Publication: Additional Support for Learning - audit scope

To be published early 2025 by Auditor General, Accounts Commission

Over the past decade, the number of pupils with recorded Additional Support for Learning (ASL) needs across Scotland’s publicly-funded primary and secondary schools increased by 84 per cent, to 37 per cent of pupils, and numbers continue to rise. There is also wide variation across councils in both the percentage of pupils recorded as needing ASL and in councils’ spend on ASL. However, significant data gaps make it difficult to understand why these variations occur.

The scale, growth and variation in the demand for ASL present significant challenges to the Scottish Government and councils. These challenges have been highlighted previously in an independent review in 2020, an Accounts Commission blog in 2022 and most recently in a report from the Scottish Parliament’s Education, Children and Young People Committee in May 2024.

The purpose of this briefing paper is to look at how well the Scottish Government and councils are addressing the demand for ASL and, where appropriate, make recommendations to support improvement. We plan to publish the briefing paper on behalf of the Auditor General and the Accounts Commission in early 2025.

Audit scope
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