Additional Support for Learning Review and January Focus Groups
20th December 2019
We have received a lot of feedback regarding Angela Morgan’s Additional Support for Learning (ASL) Review, and the ASL Focus Groups we at NPFS are hosting in January. We recognise from your feedback that ASL is an understandably sensitive issue for parents, with many feeling frustrated, angry, and disappointed that their children’s educational needs have not been met.
We at NPFS agree that ASL is an extremely important area of Scottish Education and are pleased that Angela Morgan is conducting a necessary review. Following ongoing feedback from parents, and notably identifying at a Q&A Event we hosted with Deputy First Minister John Swinney just how many parents feel let down by a lack of ASL for their children, we approached Angela Morgan to organise Focus Groups with parents for the review.
As many of you are aware, we have organised four focus groups due to take place in January. We had initially organised two focus groups, one in Edinburgh and one in Glasgow, before being approached by Aberdeenshire to host two more. We want to give parents the best opportunity to provide feedback to the review, however we are a small organisation, and it is unfortunately not possible for us to host these focus groups across the whole of Scotland. The ASL Review is being conducted by the Scottish Government and is not being carried out by NPFS directly, and therefore the Focus Groups have also been subject to Angela Morgan’s availability. Nonetheless, we want to give you as parents the best opportunity we can to contribute to the review, to make sure your voices are heard, and to make sure that the Scottish Government recognises that so many children with Additional Support Needs in Scotland are not currently receiving the education and support they require and deserve.
It is with regret that we are not able to come and see you all directly to listen to your stories and get your feedback for the review. We realise how for many this will feel like another example of your voices not being heard. However, we do want to empower you as parents and support you in sharing your stories, experiences, and views with the Scottish Government, and we continue to endeavour to do as much as we can as an organisation to achieve this.
We invite you to please contact us with any experiences, opinions, and ideas you would like to share with the review. We also encourage you to have conversations with us, and we are eager to hear your personal stories so that as an organisation we can continue to represent parents to the best of our ability. Ultimately, we want to work together with you in order to continue to improve educational opportunities and outcomes for all children and young people.
You can contact us to share your personal stories and experiences by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. If preferred, these stories can be shared with us anonymously. We are also very happy to discuss the review and gather your views and experiences by phone, and you can call our Office in January on 01313138842 to have these conversations.
Finally, we would also like to remind you that parents are also invited by the Scottish Government to respond directly to the review by emailing: ChairASLindependentreview@outlook.com
The office is closing today and will be back after the festive break. Although the office will be closed, please do not hesitate to email us over the break, as we will have the opportunity to look through your emails in January. If you would like to call and speak to us, we will be back in the office on the 6th January 2020. We look forward to hearing from you.
Joanna Murphy, Chair, National Parent Forum of Scotland