The requirement for children with a disability, and specifically those living with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), to receive special care in education has been highlighted in the Scottish Parliament by Martin Whitfield MSP.

The South Scotland MSP raised the issue during Portfolio Question Time, asking the Cabinet Secretary for Education to explain how the Scottish Government is meeting its responsibility to provide the support required by children diagnosed with ADHD.

In response, Jenny Gilruth highlighted increases in the number of support staff employed in schools, but also accepted that the government will need to go further to ensure the increase in additional support needs in schools is adequately addressed.

Commenting afterwards, Martin Whitfield MSP said:

“One of the impacts of the pandemic has been a surge in the number of children identified as having additional support needs (ASN), such as autism, dyslexia and mental health problems, with official figures showing around one in three pupils now have ASN.

“However, various professional and representative bodies have warned this rapid increase in demand comes against a background of spending cuts and a lack of specialist ASN teachers, support staff and the resources needed to support these children and young people.

“ADHD is just one of many types of additional support need where pupils are currently being failed. The Scottish Government has a responsibility to ensure it meets the needs of these children and must do more to address the significant spike in demand for extra support in our schools.”