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.”


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).