Falkirk to appoint more school learning assistants for pupils with additional needs

Falkirk Council will increase the number of support for learning assistants (SFLAs) in its nursery classes to help children with additional support needs.

By Kirsty Paterson, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Wednesday, 27th January 2021, 8:01 am

A meeting of the education, children and young people committee heard the proposal was being made having seen how successfully SFLA's are working in the council's new early learning centres.

Members heard that lessons were being learned from the new establishments and it was clear that "motivated and well-trained" SFLA's provide crucial support to children with additional need and to the professionals working with them.

It was agreed that SFLA hours should increase from 530 to 900, with some additional hours provided by existing staff and some new recruits.

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Councillor Adanna McCue

The estimated cost will be £560,000 for a full year.

Head of educational resources, Gary Greenhorn, said they were looking at what had been working well in the new early years centres since they had started offering 1140 hours of pre-school education.

Councillor Adanna McCue, the council's education spokesperson, said: "This highlights the fact that we are focussed on early intervention and support for learning provision being extended is a very good move forward.

"The staff teams within our early learning centres have grown and grown as we've brought in different professionals and we now need to draw them together and take a holistic approach."

Mr Greenhorn said that this was just the first step and they would also be looking at how other support teams - including family support - could help to enhance the early intervention work being done in nurseries.

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