New FAQ for young people on extra support from school


Young people have all experienced lockdown differently, but some have been forced to self-isolate, not had the in-school support they usually rely on, taken on additional burdens at home, and experienced many more challenges along the way. That is why it is so important that young people who feel they need it, know the ways they can get support, and use them if they feel they need to. So if you think you might need any extra help or support , or you’d like to know more about the options available to you, start by speaking to your school about the support you feel you need.

If you feel you need any additional support, that is where this FAQ comes in. It has been developed by the CYPCS team to provide you with some practical suggestions about what you can do if you think you are not being treated fairly.”

Cameron Garrett, MSYP

Now that secondary schools are back to full-time learning, our office has created an FAQ to answer questions you might have around extra support. You can read it below:

A:

With secondary schools going back to full time learning, some young people will find they have been affected more than others by not being in school.  This means that they have had a bigger interruption to their learning than others in their class, so they’ll need extra help.

Some reasons you might have been disproportionately affected are:

  • You couldn’t follow online learning because you didn’t have a laptop or tablet, or enough data, or the device you had was too old to run software you needed,
  • Your internet connection meant you couldn’t watch video lessons or attend online classes,
  • You usually get extra help in class from teachers or someone else, but you didn’t get this during online learning,
  • You were asked to self-isolate, so you missed more in-person school than your friends did,
  • You have a disability that made online learning more difficult for you— like being deaf, having a physical or visual impairment or being dyslexic, dyspraxic, autistic or neurodiverse in another way,
  • Your home and family circumstances made online learning difficult, for example because you had to help look after younger brothers and sisters, your family were homeless, you experienced domestic abuse, you were living in a care home; or English is not the language you usually speak at home,
  • You are a young carer and you had to do more than usual,
  • Someone close to you was seriously ill or has died.

Schools need to make sure all young people are properly supported. It is important they do so for those who have been affected more than others due to the pandemic. That makes it more likely that grades will be fair when they are assessed. 

What do I do if I think I need extra support?

You may need extra support to help you learn now that schools are back.  Schools must provide you with the support you need – and help you work out what will help you best. 

If you think you need extra support in some way, you should talk to someone at your school.  Who this should be will be different from school to school, but some of the people it might be are:

  • Your class teacher,
  • Your guidance or pupil support teacher.

When you talk to someone, you should explain why you think what has happened over the last two school years has affected you in a disproportionate way. 

Your teachers should talk to you about what they will do to help you. For example, if you have missed school work they might arrange for you to have some extra support.  You should talk to your teachers if you are concerned about how they will take your needs into account when you are doing assessments.

What if I’m not happy with the support my school arranges? What if my school doesn’t offer me extra support?

If you are not happy with the support you get, or aren’t offered extra support, you could make a formal complaint. 

If you go to a local authority (Council) run school (which is almost all state schools in Scotland), the Council that runs your school will have details of its Complaints Policy on their website. 

You should make your complaint in writing if you can and say that you are making a formal complaint under the Council’s complaints policy.  You should provide as much detail as possible.  You should address your complaint to your school’s Headteacher – if they are not the person who will deal with your complaint, then they should pass it on to the right person.  You can ask [the person dealing with your complaint] to answer your complaint in writing.

If you’re still not happy you can ask the Council to look at it again.  This is called a Stage 2 complaint.  You should be told how to do this when they respond to your first complaint, but if not you should write to your Headteacher, telling them you want to make a Stage 2 complaint. 

What if I am still not happy after making a Stage 2 complaint?

You can ask one of two independent bodies to look at your complaint.  

If your complaint is about additional support needs you may be able to refer it to the Health and Education Chamber of the First Tier Tribunal for Scotland. (sometimes called the ASN Tribunal) 

If your complaint was not about additional support needs, you can ask the Scottish Public Sector Ombudsman (SPSO) to look at it. 

Both of these have lots of information about how to complain on their websites. 

Who can help me when I try to get extra support from school?

My Rights My Say are funded by the Scottish Government to help young people aged 12-15 exercise their rights to additional support. Enquire can provide advice to young people of any age and their parents.  You can call them on 0345 123 2303 or visit their website.


Young people have all experienced lockdown differently, but some have been forced to self-isolate, not had the in-school support they usually rely on, taken on additional burdens at home, and experienced many more challenges along the way. That is why it is so important that young people who feel they need it, know the ways they can get support, and use them if they feel they need to. So if you think you might need any extra help or support , or you’d like to know more about the options available to you, start by speaking to your school about the support you feel you need.

If you feel you need any additional support, that is where this FAQ comes in. It has been developed by the CYPCS team to provide you with some practical suggestions about what you can do if you think you are not being treated fairly.”

—Cameron Garrett, MSYP


top