Cllr Jim Paterson

Children with additional support needs will be better supported to learn in their community as part of an education review.

Renfrewshire Council is looking to deliver better education for all children and young people with additional support needs by making sure the resources they need are available locally.

Cllr Jim Paterson

Cllr Jim Paterson

Instead of children been transported to specialised bases outside of their community, a new locality model is being proposed that would see children receiving support within one of four areas.

Each locality would see Headteachers allocating resources as needed, allowing specialised teachers to work with primary and secondary teachers within mainstream schools as well as in a number of inclusion hubs.

The new system would mean children can remain within their local school more often and attend inclusion hubs in the local area if they need further enhanced support.

Education and Children’s Services Convener, Councillor Jim Paterson, said: “All children and young people should have the best start in life and that’s why it is important to make sure pupils who need additional support needs can reach their full potential.

“We know that moving a child out of their community means that they don’t always feel a part of it. They don’t develop as many friendships locally and this can have an impact when they reach adulthood.

“In areas of deprivation, this can have a bigger impact on children and young people than those from more affluent areas.

“By making sure that teachers across Renfrewshire can learn from specialist teachers who work with pupils with additional support needs, it means that they are able to provide much more support with mainstream education and within their community.

“As the number of children and young people needing additional support needs increases in Renfrewshire, which is in line with national trends, we need to ensure that we are flexible and proactive in our approach. Giving our Headteachers the resources to make those decisions locally will have a positive impact on pupils with additional support needs.”

The review does not include Riverbrae and Mary Russell schools.

Parents, staff and pupils will be involved in the development of the new proposals, which are expected to start being phased into schools from August 2019.