Extra learning needs funding to meet county’s rising demand

Midlothian Council Debating chamber at Midlothian House, Buccleuch St in Dalkeith
Midlothian Council Debating chamber at Midlothian House, Buccleuch St in Dalkeith

Midlothian Council is to spend an extra £373,047 to support children with additional support for learning (ASL) and complex needs.

At the full council meeting last week, councillors heard the latest data shows 26.53 per cent of Midlothian children have recorded ASL and complex needs.

This is 7.93 per cent more than budgeted for and slightly higher than the national average of 24.89 per cent. The increase is largely due to Midlothian being the fastest growing county in Scotland.

Councillors agreed, therefore, to increase the ASL budget by £373,000.

Midlothian Council’s cabinet member for education, Councillor Jim Muirhead (Lab) said: “The budget basically has not increased in line with demand, due to our growing population.

“We need to address this as soon as possible to make sure children are included and get the best possible education.”