Responding to the Autumn Statement a spokesperson for the Scottish Children’s Services Coalition, an alliance of leading independent and third sector service providers, commented:
“While the increase in infrastructure spending from the Autumn Statement going to the Scottish Government is to be welcomed, the Scottish Government’s overall budget is still likely to fall in real terms over the next five years.
“These cuts in public services means that Scotland faces the prospect of a ‘lost generation’ of children and young people with Additional Support Needs (ASN), making it extremely difficult for the Scottish Government to close the educational attainment gap.
“With an increasing number of those children and young people with ASN, now amounting to more than one in five of the pupil population, we urge the Scottish Government and local authorities not be pass on these cuts to services that care for the most vulnerable in our communities.
“These budgetary constraints should also act as a catalyst for public sector reform, promoting greater partnership working with independent and third sector service providers, providing the most appropriate support to the child or young person concerned and delivering the best possible outcomes.
“It is a ‘false economy’ in looking to cut services to these children and young people, who if their needs are not met often go on to become a costly burden on society and the economy.”