Assessing Additional Support Needs Information for Parents/Carers

Support for Learners jigsaw piecesEducation (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 amended 2009

The Assessment Process

Assessment is an ongoing process of gathering and making sense of information about both the strengths and ‘barriers to learning’ a child or young person may face; and the additional support needs these can create. Needs can arise for different reasons including the learning environment; health or disability; family circumstances; and social & emotional factors.

Assessment of support needs looks at a child or young person’s wellbeing which includes: Safety, health, achievement, nurture, active, respected, responsible and included. This is often referred to as SHANARRI.

Schools will be able to identify most children and young people with additional support needs through their arrangements for assessing learning and educational progress. In Dundee all nurseries and schools use the ABLe framework to help identify barriers to learning.

When it is needed, we can ask other agencies to help assess what your child’s needs might be. This may mean:

  • asking for information, consultation or advice
  • seeking an assessment
  • providing additional support or any combination of the above

If this involves your child, your views and those of your child will be sought, taken account of and noted.

Requests for Formal Assessment

The Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004, amended 2009, enables you or your child (normally provided s/he is aged 16 or over) to request us to arrange a process of assessment or examination to identify additional support needs.

Your request must be in writing - or in any other permanent form which can be referred to in future, such as video or audio tape. Your request should contain a statement of the reasons for the request.

We will comply with the request unless we feel it is unreasonable. We might legitimately refuse your request for any of the following reasons.

  • Assessment is not in the best interests of your child.
  • Assessment is unnecessary as there has not been a significant change in your child’s circumstances since an earlier assessment was completed.
  • This assessment would repeat assessments already carried out.
  • A previous request was received on a given date.

 We will notify you of our decision as quickly as possible and no later than 4 weeks from the date on which we receive your request.

We will continue to work with you to help your child at school even if your request for an assessment is refused.

Where we decide not to comply with a request for assessment, we will inform the person who made the request, in writing, of our decision, explaining why we are refusing the request.

We will also inform you about:

  1. your right to access mediation services provided free of charge to you by the education authority;
  2. arrangements for dispute resolution by independent adjudication; and
  3. where appropriate, the national additional support needs tribunal.

Further Information

You can get further information about what you have read in this leaflet from the Code of Practice ‘supporting children’s learning’ available in the reference section of all Dundee libraries.

Key Contacts

If, after speaking with school staff to resolve a problem, you still want to talk about an issue your child’s support in school that concerns you, please contact:

Education Support Officer (ASN) Telephone: 01382 433984

If you want to find out more about Mediation, please contact:

Web Address :
Telephone: 01382 459252

Contact Name : Service Manager
SACRO Tayside ASN Mediation Service
Unit E, Market Mews
Market Street, Dundee DD1 3LA