Approximately 1,000 extra pupil support assistants will be recruited this year to work with children with additional support needs.

This week the First Minister Announces £15 million for councils to expand on the 13,636 pupil support assistants already working in Scotland’s classrooms.

Visiting West End Campus in Dundee, Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:

“Every child should have the support they need to reach their full learning potential. Through listening to the experiences of children and young people with additional support needs, their families and those who support them, we recognise we need to do more to enhance their experience at school. 

“Working in partnership with local authorities we will invest an extra £15 million in the coming year to increase frontline staff to support learners with additional support needs.

“This will make an significant impact in our classrooms and will help to ensure our young people and their families get the right help at the right time.”

COSLA Spokesperson Councillor Stephen McCabe said:

“Additional resource for Local Government is always welcomed and this funding will make a positive difference to children and young people in classrooms across Scotland, helping those with additional support needs to reach their full potential on their school journey. 

“Core Local Government services like education are vital to all of Scotland’s communities and COSLA will work hard in the coming months to ensure that Councils across Scotland continue to have the resources they need to support every child, young person, citizen and community.”

Background

The Scottish Government will now work with Cosla to determine how the £15 million funding will be allocated. 

Education authorities and other agencies have duties under the Additional Support for Learning Act 2004 (as amended) to identify, provide for and review the additional support needs of their pupils.  An additional support need can arise for any reason and be of short or long term duration.  Additional support may be required to overcome needs arising from learning environment; health or disability; family circumstances or social and emotional factors.   

In 2018 there were 693,251 pupils in Scotland's local authority primary, secondary and special schools and grant-aided schools. Of those, 199,065 were identified as having an additional support need, around 28.7 % of all school pupils (a 2.1% point increase on last year). 

Approximately 1,000 extra pupil support assistants will be recruited this year to work with children with additional support needs.

This week the First Minister Announces £15 million for councils to expand on the 13,636 pupil support assistants already working in Scotland’s classrooms.

 

Visiting West End Campus in Dundee, Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:

“Every child should have the support they need to reach their full learning potential. Through listening to the experiences of children and young people with additional support needs, their families and those who support them, we recognise we need to do more to enhance their experience at school. 

“Working in partnership with local authorities we will invest an extra £15 million in the coming year to increase frontline staff to support learners with additional support needs.

“This will make an significant impact in our classrooms and will help to ensure our young people and their families get the right help at the right time.”

COSLA Spokesperson Councillor Stephen McCabe said:

“Additional resource for Local Government is always welcomed and this funding will make a positive difference to children and young people in classrooms across Scotland, helping those with additional support needs to reach their full potential on their school journey. 

“Core Local Government services like education are vital to all of Scotland’s communities and COSLA will work hard in the coming months to ensure that Councils across Scotland continue to have the resources they need to support every child, young person, citizen and community.”

Background

The Scottish Government will now work with Cosla to determine how the £15 million funding will be allocated. 

Education authorities and other agencies have duties under the Additional Support for Learning Act 2004 (as amended) to identify, provide for and review the additional support needs of their pupils.  An additional support need can arise for any reason and be of short or long term duration.  Additional support may be required to overcome needs arising from learning environment; health or disability; family circumstances or social and emotional factors.   

In 2018 there were 693,251 pupils in Scotland's local authority primary, secondary and special schools and grant-aided schools. Of those, 199,065 were identified as having an additional support need, around 28.7 % of all school pupils (a 2.1% point increase on last year). 


Support for the SNP is surging amid the chaos of Brexit, according to a new poll which suggests a huge boost for the party in the event of a snap general election.

The YouGov poll for The Times Scotland suggests the SNP could win 51 of Scotland’s 59 seats, with the Tories reduced to 3 and Labour down to 1.

The poll also shows a majority of people in Scotland now agree that Scotland should have the right to choose its future as support for Scotland becoming independent is on a knife edge at 49%.

48% of Scots say Boris Johnson as Prime Minister has made independence more likely, and 57% of Remain voters say they would vote for independence.

At Holyrood, the SNP remains significantly ahead of all other parties after 12 years in government with the party on 45% - 22 points clear of the Tories and set to secure another pro-independence majority across the parliament.

The poll also shows that Nicola Sturgeon is the only party leader seen favourably overall in Scotland, with 47% saying the SNP leader is doing well, compared to just 24% for Boris Johnson and just 13% for Jeremy Corbyn.

SNP Depute Leader Keith Brown said:

"This is a brilliant poll, which underlines the strength of opposition to Brexit in Scotland and the increasing support for Scotland having the right to choose our own future amidst the Westminster chaos.

“With the prospect of an election imminent, the SNP never take a single vote for granted. We will continue to work hard for people across every part of Scotland - doing everything we can to stop Brexit and give the people of Scotland a choice on their future.

 



"Scotland has been completely ignored throughout the Brexit process. The people of Scotland deserve the right to choose our own future - instead of having it dictated to us by Westminster.

"It is no wonder that support for independence is growing and a majority of people now want a fresh referendum. It is clearer than ever, that the only way to properly protect Scotland's interests is by becoming an equal and independent European country."

Subcategories

 

Keeping up with you

Hello and welcome to all of you in Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse.

Thank you for taking a moment to look at this email. I want to keep everyone in touch with what’s going on in the constituency and what it might mean for you.

My door is open to anyone who seeks advice and support, so you can  phone or email me at any time.

You also have the option of visiting  constituency surgeries on Mondays. You don't need to make an appointment.

If you haven’t yet subscribed to receive your personalised copy of this newsletter, which we are sending out every two weeks, then please do  sign up here.

Back to School, back to costs!


Pupils from across all of South Lanarkshire have been helped out with the price of school uniforms. COSLA confirmed that all 32 local authorities have implemented an increase for school clothing grant. 

The £100 minimum grant to all eligible families was put in place for the start of the academic year, relieving the financial pressure for South Lanarkshire families and pupils as they return to school. 

This announcement from the Scottish Government will provide real, tangible help to families feeling the strain. 

We all know the stress and pressure that the return to school can bring, with clothes, shoes, bags and all the accessories. 

In South Lanarkshire, we have already made great strides in providing pupils with school clothing through the Back to School Bank. 

It's great to see our Scottish Government taking an action that provides real help.


Motor Neurone Disease 

Some of you already know that I take a close interest in living with Motor Neurone Disease (MND), as my own father did for many years before he died.

In June, just before we went off for the summer holidays, we marked MND Awareness Week. 

The Scottish Government has invested £2.5 million annually in the Specialist Nursing and Care Fund since 2015, more than doubling the number of MND specialist nurses across Scotland.


The new Health and Social Care Standards, introduced in April, seek to provide better personal outcomes for everyone and to ensure that the basic human rights we are all entitled to are upheld.

Everyone is entitled to care that meets their needs and upholds their rights.

The Euan MacDonald Centre, at Edinburgh University, https://www.euanmacdonaldcentre.org was started up with funds from Euan - just 29 when he was diagnosed - and his father, Donald. It's a fantastic resource, and I was directly involved with Euan on the building of a voicebank for patients to access, allowing them to pick out a voice sound that is closest to their own natural voice.




The Scottish Government recognise that research is essential for the development of new and effective approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of Motor Neurone Disease – investing in both research capacity and in bringing MND studies to Scotland.
 
Are you being scammed?

Watch out! What do you know about skimming or fake ATMs? The cleverer technology gets, the cleverer online scammers get to keep up. Phishing, harvesting, identity theft, hacked information such as BA's embarrassment last week. British Airways is facing a possible fine of around £500 million over a data breach that compromised 380,000 card payments after regulators said they were "making inquiries" into the incident.

 

So I took up the cause at Larkhall Trinity Church last week and invited in experts to explain more.

The ‘Scam Awareness Surgery’ was designed to make sure the citizens of Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse are made more aware of the latest scams and frauds. 

Research from Citizens Advice Scotland had shown that over 61% of over 65s have been approached by a scammer. Other schemes include computer repair/ phishing scams and home and identity fraud

Scammers can target anyone, but especially older people and anyone who has a vulnerability that makes them an easier target.

I thought it was important to give you the opportunity to ask questions and find out how best to protect yourselves against this ever more sophisticated form of theft.

Thanks especially to Hamilton Citizens Advice Bureau, Trading Standards and Police Scotland for coming along to give east to understand help and guidance that will make sure people here are more protected and secure whether that's at an ATM or purchasing something online.

I'll be back in a couple of weeks with more news.