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The impact of the pandemic threatens to further entrench inequalities for pupils with additional support needs (ASN) and the teachers trying their best to support them, members of NASUWT Scotland-The Teachers’ Union, have argued today.

The disruption caused by Covid-19 has exposed and heightened yet further the gaps in specialist support and resources for pupils with ASN, which have been growing for several years as a result of funding cuts and the loss of specialist staffing, the NASUWT Scotland’s Annual Conference has heard today.

Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:

“Many teachers are increasingly expected to teach children with such high and complex needs that they require almost one-on-one support, at the same as teaching the rest of their class. Such a situation undermines the right of all pupils to a high-quality education and those pupils who deserve to have their additional learning needs met with specialist support.

“The pandemic has further exposed the lack of adequate provision for pupils with ASN, the lack of recognition and support for teachers and pupils in specialist settings and the failure to adequately protect teachers’ safety and wellbeing as they strive to do their best for their pupils.

“Teachers cannot and should not be expected to go on filling in the gaps in provision of resources and funding for pupils with ASN.

“It is clear that the current system is failing pupils with ASN, their classmates and the teachers working to support them. It is high time the Scottish Government revisited its system of support for pupils with ASN as it is plainly not fit for purpose.”

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