The biggest extension of rights in Europe? Needs, rights and children with additional support needs in Scotland

Sheila Riddell, Duncan Carmichael

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 boosted the rights of parents of children with additional support needs (ASN) by improving access to information, instituting a Code of Practice and establishing new redress mechanisms such as the ASN Tribunal and independent mediation. More than a decade later, Scottish legislation enacted in 2016 and implemented in 2018 attempted to increase children’s rights, broadly placing them on a par with those of parents and young people. This paper draws on data from an ESRC project entitled Autonomy, Rights and Children with Special Needs: A New Paradigm? (ES/P002641/1). Analysis of Scottish Government policy and legislation, key informant interviews and official statistics are used to examine the extent to which the new rights are likely to be realised in practice, given the complexity of the legislation and competition between discourses of needs, broadly synonymous with the wellbeing agenda, and rights. The paper concludes with a discussion of the lessons which may be learnt from the Scottish experience, which will be of interest to an international audience.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)473-490
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Inclusive Education
Issue number5
Early online date19 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2019
EventAutonomy, rights and children with special needs: International perspectives - Godfrey Thomson Hall, Thomson's Land, Moray House School of Education, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 13 Jun 201813 Jun 2018

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • rights
  • children
  • additional support needs
  • autonomy
  • Scotland


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