The 2018 EIS AGM passed the following resolution relating to the impact of having multiple children with additional support needs in mainstream classes:

“That this AGM instruct Council to investigate and report on the impact on teaching and learning when there are multiple children with additional support needs (ASN) in a mainstream classroom.

We further instruct Council to use these findings to lobby the Scottish Government and Local Authorities to increase the level of additional support in mainstream classrooms to improve the learning and teaching for all.”

This resolution echoed very similar concerns which had been expressed at previous recent AGMs. For example:

  • in 2016 the AGM called on Council “to investigate and report on the consequences of Presumption to Mainstreaming in all sectors in terms of funding, resources, workload and impact on staff health and wellbeing” and “to use the information to campaign for an increase in resources, including staffing, to support all children with additional support needs and the full implications of the ASL Act (as amended 2004).”

  • in 2016 it was agreed to “investigate and report on the consequences, as perceived by nursery, primary and secondary teachers, of current inclusion practices on the welfare and learning of the majority of children.”

  • in 2017, concern was noted about the continuing reduction in EAL teachers, ASN teachers and vital support staff including classroom assistants and ASN assistants, and it was agreed to campaign for a review of resourcing of the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2009 and to reflect in campaigning “the growing concerns of members of the impact of under-funding of support for ASN on wider attainment and achievement levels.”

We identified that there is a wealth of evidence about the impact of having multiple children with additional support needs in a mainstream classroom, within a context of diminishing support for those children from specialist services, and a context of staff shortages. The impact on teaching and learning is significant. The EIS will continue to campaign for an increase in resources, including staffing, to ensure that all children with additional support needs, including those in mainstream classes, are able to have their needs met at school.

Read the full report.

If you have any questions about or comment on this report, please contact Christina Starko in the Education and Equality Department.