Money for pupils with additional support for learning needs
Midlothian Council is to spend an extra £373,047 to support children in the county with additional support for learning (ASL) and complex needs (CN).
Growing population helping fuel rise
At the full council meeting on Tuesday, councillors heard the latest data shows 26.53% of Midlothian children have recorded ASL and CN needs. This is 7.93% more than budgeted for and slightly higher than the national average of 24.89%. The increase is largely due to Midlothian being the fastest growing county in Scotland.
Councillors agreed, therefore, to increase the ASL budget by £373,000 to ensure the council supports the most vulnerable children within our communities. Councillors also agreed the annual ASL budget should increase annually to reflect the growing needs of the service.
Budget doesn't reflect demand
Midlothian Council’s cabinet member for education, Cllr Jim Muirhead said: “The budget basically has not increased in line with demand, due to our growing population.
“We need to address this as soon as possible to make sure children are included and get the best possible education.”