Jargon buster

Translating technical terms around your child's health, education, benefits and rights into simple language.

The Additional Support Needs Tribunal hears appeals (which are called references) from parents and young people against decisions of education authorities regarding the provision of educational support under the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 (the 2004 Act).  The most frequent reason for a parent ‘making a reference’ to tribunal is to challenge a decision about which school your child will attend.  The ASNTS is part of the Scottish Courts System.

An advocate is someone who will help you to make your voice heard.  Advocacy means speaking on behalf of another person.  If you are facing a difficult situation, conversation or phone call, you might ask for advocacy to make sure that your views are taken into account.  Many parents find it difficult to speak about their child’s health or disability, even if they feel confident in other settings.  This is why Kindred offers an advocacy service which is specifically for parents of children with complex needs. 

Kindred practices 'independent advocacy' as defined by the Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance.

An English as an additional language teacher specialises in helping children whose first language is not English.

Enquire is the Scottish advice service for additional support for learning.  The service provides easy to understand advice and information about additional support for learning.  Enquire has many useful factsheets and also produce The parent’s guide to additional support for learning’.

This definition of Independent advocacy is given by the Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance (SIAA):

Independent advocacy is about speaking up for, and standing alongside individuals or groups, and not being influenced by the views of others. Fundamentally it is about everyone having the right to a voice: addressing barriers and imbalances of power, and ensuring that an individual’s human rights are recognised, respected, and secured.

Independent advocacy supports people to navigate systems and acts as a catalyst for change in a situation. Independent advocacy can have a preventative role and stop situations from escalating, and it can help individuals and groups being supported to develop the skills, confidence and understanding to advocate for themselves.

Independent advocacy is especially important when individuals or groups are not heard, are vulnerable or are discriminated against. This can happen where support networks are limited or if there are barriers to communication. Independent advocacy also enables people to stay engaged with services that are struggling to meet their needs.