The national agency offering advice about education for disabled children in Scotland is Enquire.
Enquire provides independent advice on additional support for learning; the educational system in Scotland; steps you can take to resolve disagreements and other sources of help.
The services that Enquire provides include a helpline, publications, an outreach service and a young people’s service. They have a very useful Parent’s Guide to Additional Support for Learning which can be downloaded for free (or Signpost can send you a copy).
Local Contacts and Advice
The local contact for all education matters is:
West Lothian Council Education Dept
Address: West Lothian Civic Centre, Howden South Road, Livingston, West Lothian, EH54 6FF
Telephone: 01506 280000
If you are having difficulty with any aspect of your child’s education, Signpost staff would be happy to provide a listening ear and help you to decide what you want to do next. They can also help you to prepare for meetings.
If you are worried about your child’s education, you should generally speak to your child’s class teacher in the first instance. It may be helpful to make an appointment to see him or her outside class time rather than surprising them at the end of the day, when they may not have time to deal with you. If they cannot resolve your difficulty, the next stage would be to speak to the head teacher, or write a letter stating your concerns.
If the head teacher cannot help, West Lothian Council has a complaints procedure which may be helpful in taking your concern further.
If your child will require school transport, they will need to be assessed by the school doctor. This can be arranged by the school. For all enquiries about school transport, contact 01506 775291.
West Lothian Council has more information about its school services on its website here.
Moving on from school
For information about education after school, please contact the office on 01506 431133 for your copy of our guide Leaving School & Transition to Adulthood.
Medical Conditions and Additional Needs
Contact a Family holds a comprehensive database of medical conditions and rare syndromes, and is a good place to start when seeking information on your child’s condition or illness. They also have links to support groups across the UK.
If you suspect that your child may have a medical condition which has not yet been diagnosed, or if you are worried about any aspect of their health or behaviour, Signpost can refer you to the appropriate professionals to have your child assessed.
If your child already has a diagnosis, Signpost may be able to put you in touch with a local family whose child has the same condition – please call us on 01506 431 123.
To search for reputable medical information about a particular condition on-line, you may wish to try Health on the Net Foundation’s free search facility (be patient, this link looks like an error, but eventually provides a search page!). The HON Foundation is an independent organisation which checks that websites containing medical information contain quality information.