Responding to the report from the Scottish Children’s Services Coalition highlighting the dramatic increases in Additional Support Needs pupils and reduction in funding for ASN pupils, Jackie Baillie MSP said:
“It is a disgrace that with the number of pupils identified as having additional special needs (ASN) increasing by over 50% since 2012, the funding to provide the extra staff needed has decreased so dramatically.
“Instead of the funding for support staff rising with the number of ASN pupils, it has actually seen a 26.7% decrease. It is all the more shocking when you consider that there has been a 68.7% increase in the number of ASN pupils in Scotland’s Schools. So an already over stretched resource is stretched even further.
“Both Argyll and Bute and West Dunbartonshire Councils have seen the consequences of this reduction in funding with the number of support teachers for ASN pupils decreasing by 5 and 17 teachers respectively. Without the staff and resources to support ASN pupils within mainstream schooling, teachers are left to struggle to make up for the significant lack of funding available to provide the support required.
“With per pupil funding seeing such large reductions since 2012, pupils that are most in need of help are being left without the support necessary and are being failed by the lack of funding for ASN pupils.”