Recognition for Psychological Services

Western Isles Psychological services have been used as an example of best practice in the Annual Report to Parliament by Scottish Ministers on the progress of implementing the ASL (Additional Support for Learning) Act.

The report stated: “Almost all children and young people with additional support needs attend mainstream schools, with a few attending specialist provisions on the mainland. Two educational psychologists serve all of the islands that make up the Western Isles.

“A number of primary schools and all secondary schools have an enhanced provision that offers the higher level of support needed to meet the learning needs of some children. An Area Principal Teacher of Learning Support works closely with schools, partners, parents and young people to plan and coordinate transitions. Planning for transitions at all stages is highly personalised to the needs of the individual child and the family.

“The educational psychologist works closely with the family during transitions, especially where there is uncertainty or anxiety about a proposed placement. There is a strong commitment to inclusion across the islands and teams have worked very effectively together to create highly tailored support plans for a few young people with more complex needs.”

Cllr Catriona Stewart, Chair of Education and Children Services, said: “It is very pleasing to note that the Annual Parliamentary Report on the ASL Act has recognised the valuable work being done in the Western Isles by Shannon Finlayson and Calum Urquhart, our Educational Psychologists. Their work was recognised by Education Scotland during their recent inspection as being sector leading and contributing to the well-being of our pupils.”