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Caithness News Bulletins December 2003

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17 December 03
Extra Funding For Parents Helpline         Enquire Helpline: 0845 123 2303 and www.enquire.org.uk

A national helpline which offers information and advice to parents of children with additional support needs is to receive a £675,000 boost, it was announced today.

Enquire, the Additional Support Needs (ASN) helpline and website, will receive the cash to help continue its work during the next two years.

Minister for Education and Young People Peter Peacock said:
“I want all our pupils to receive the support to enable them to make the most of their talents and this means ensuring that the appropriate help is there for all pupils no matter what their needs are.

“For the price of a low cost call or at the click of a mouse, Enquire provides parents with independent information and advice that enables them to ensure their children receive that support. Enquire has also produced a parents’ guide and is developing a programme of visits across Scotland to advise parents directly.

“Enquire also has an important role to play in helping families understand how provisions in the Additional Support for Learning (ASL) Bill will affect them. The Bill provides better support for children and strengthens parent’s rights. It is therefore vital that parents understand these changes and ensure their children benefit from them.

Enquire job-share manager Yvonne Cassidy said: "We are delighted that the Scottish Executive has, once again, recognised the significant contribution Enquire makes. We have made a lot of progress forging links across the community throughout Scotland and have provided advice to thousands of parents this year.

"Our service is widely used and we expect to be able to help further by providing advice to those affected by the Additional Support for Learning Bill currently being progressed in the Scottish Parliament”.

Enquire is managed by the charity Children in Scotland. It is based in Edinburgh and its core opening hours are 0900 - 1700, Monday to Friday.  Enquire Helpline: 0845 123 2303 and www.enquire.org.uk

Enquire will receive £675,000 over 2004-05 and 2005-06 from the Special Educational Needs Innovation Grants Programme

The draft Education (Additional Support for Learning) Bill seeks to revamp a system that has been in place for more than 20 years.

ASL Bill is one of many strands in the Executive’s agenda to improve and better integrate children’s services and ensure all pupils can benefit from an education which meets their particular needs.

The Executive is investing substantially in this area: the Changing Children’s Services Fund of £44.5 million this year, rising to £65.5 million in 2005/06; the ring-fenced funding of £8.4 million per annum to support Special Educational Needs staff training and development; Inclusion funding of £20 million this year, rising to £25 million next year; and £9 million this year, rising to £17 million next year to support accessibility improvements. These are just some of our many programmes to improve services for children, all of which will contribute to achieving the fundamental aims of the system proposed in the ASL Bill.