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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-22267: Iain Gray (East Lothian)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 19 March 2019

To ask the Scottish Government how it will ensure that budget allocations for additional support needs will ensure that high quality education and support is available for children with vision impairments and their families, in light of the reported 128% increase in the number of pupils with vision impairment between 2010 and 2018 as indicated in its pupil census published on 12 March 2019.

Answered by: John Swinney 27 March 2019

In addition the Scottish Government provides over £500,000 to voluntary sector organisations to support children and young people with sensory impairment and this includes £150,000 per year to the Scottish Sensory Centre to support training to increase the capacity of staff in schools so they can provide effective support to pupils with a sensory impairment.

The Additional Support for Learning Act places duties on education authorities to identify, provide for and review the additional support needs of their pupils, including those with a visual impairment and includes the employment and provision of appropriate resources, including teaching and support staff, to meet children’s needs.

Local Government Financial Statistics for 2017-18 showed that local authorities spent £5.22 billion on education in Scotland. This has gone up from £5.07 billion in 2016-17 - a 1.0% increase in real terms (3.0% in cash terms). Of that, £628 million was on additional support for learning – increasing from £610 million in 2016-17 – a 0.9% increase in real terms (2.9% in cash terms).