Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton Constituency, has called on the Scottish Government to take action to prevent failing an entire generation of pupils with additional support needs (ASN).
Scottish Government statistics published this week revealed that the number of pupils with ASN such as autism, dyslexia and mental health problems in 2020 has reached a record high of 226,838.
Despite this, as of March this year, the number of specialist teachers supporting those with additional support needs had fallen by more than 500 since 2008.
Jackie Baillie has said that this ‘perfect storm’ of rising demand and falling support risks failing an entire generation of ASN pupils.
Jackie Baillie MSP said:
“With the number of pupils with additional support needs rising and the number of specialist teachers falling, we are facing a potential perfect storm in terms of pupil support.
“Since coming to power, the SNP has continually failed to give ASN the attention it needs and has catastrophically failed to bolster the number of ASN specialists.
“It is unacceptable that the Scottish Government’s failure is now threatening to fail an entire generation of pupils.
“It’s time for John Swinney to stop sleeping at the wheel and wake up to the mess he has created.”