Virtual public meetings have been organised as part of Stirling Council’s consultation on the expansion of secondary specialist provision for young people with additional support needs (ASN).
In Stirling, this has risen from 2,817 in 2013 to 3,528 in 2019. Improved assessment and recording is one factor behind this trend which is also mirrored nationally.
The first virtual public event will take place on Thursday (13 May) on the Council’s Engage Stirling platform and will be hosted on Microsoft Teams. It will get underway at 6.30pm and will finish at 8.30pm.
A second session will be held via the same means on Monday, 17 May, between 2pm and 4pm.
Convener of Stirling Council’s Children and Young People Committee, Cllr Susan McGill said: “This is a really important issue for many families across Stirling and I would encourage as many people as possible to come along to the virtual meetings, hear about the proposals and provide feedback.
“Carrying out this consultation now allows us to plan ahead and ensure continuity of this high-quality provision for pupils in the years to come.”
Around 95% of children with ASN in Stirling are educated in mainstream schools, with 5% requiring smaller class groups with specialist staffing.
Projections suggest the current availability of places is not sufficient, with 10 new classes required within the next 10 years.
Three options have been proposed to address this issue:
- Support young people in mainstream schools and use external placements
- One additional central school to meet the increase in need for secondary specialist placements
- Establish additional secondary specialist provision within or alongside current school buildings.
Vice Convener, Cllr Christine Simpson said: “We believe that developing specialist educational settings close to children’s own communities is the best way to achieve additional capacity and meet the needs of pupils with ASN.
“The online sessions are an opportunity for families to hear more details about the proposals and ask staff any questions so please drop in if you can.”
The consultation is live on the Council’s Engage Stirling platform for people to view, take part in a survey and leave comments until 4 June.