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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-11410: Kezia Dugdale (Lothian)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 20 September 2017

To ask the Scottish Government how care-experienced young people are informed of their options before leaving secondary school.

Answered by: Jamie Hepburn 5 October 2017

The Scottish Government is working with partners to deliver Developing the Young Workforce, a seven year programme to reduce youth unemployment, which is helping young people to have a better understanding of the world of work, and career opportunities.

This includes the provision of Career Information Advice and Guidance at an earlier stage in school in order to inform choices around learning and careers, with Careers Advisers meeting all school pupils on a one-to-one basis. The service is personalised, flexible and responsive to the needs of individual customers. This allows SDS to provide targeted advice to those young people who need additional support due to personal circumstances, such as young people with care experience.

Education authorities and other agencies have duties under the Additional Support for Learning Act 2004 (as amended) to identify, provide for and review the additional support needs of their pupils. An additional support need can arise for any reason and be of short or long term duration. Additional support may be required to overcome needs arising from learning environment; health or disability; family circumstances or social and emotional factors. Looked After Children and Young People are deemed to have additional support needs until they are assessed otherwise. The assessment of needs must also consider whether the child or young person requires a co-ordinated support plan.

Children and young people's needs are met through planning for their learning and support, usually through an individualised educational programme (this may have another name such as Additional Support Plan) which sets out targets for learning and the support to be provided (usually termly). For children and young people who have complex or multiple needs which require significant support from education and another agency or agencies a co-ordinated support plan (CSP) may be required. The purpose of the CSP is to support co-ordinated planning to meet pupils' needs. The plan lasts for up to a year.

Young people leaving formal education, may be referred by the school (or other partner organisation) to the Opportunities for All Co-ordinator at the Local Authority for support. Every Local Authority area has an assessment & referral process in place and this will identify whether the young person would benefit from taking part in an Activity Agreement, funded by Scottish Government. The assessment takes into account a young person’s social, academic and vocational skill set in order to create a tailored learning plan which will develop their skills and enable them to progress towards employment.