Co-ordinated support plans

Some children with complex or multiple needs will have a Co-ordinated Support Plan (CSP). This is a legal document that contains information about your child's long-term learning aims and the support that is needed to help them reach these.

There are specific legal criteria for which children will have a CSP and if your child meets these criteria, the council is legally required to prepare one. The criteria are that the child:

  • has additional support needs arising from (1) one or more complex factors, or (2) multiple factors
  • those needs are likely to continue for more than a year, and
  • those needs require significant additional support to be provided by (1) the education authority (council), or (2) one or more other agencies as defined in the ASL Act 2004, section 23, paragraph 2.

A CSP must contain:

  • a description of why the child or young person has additional support needs
  • the educational aims the child or young person will be supported to achieve
  • the support needed to help the child or young person to achieve those aims
  • a note of who will provide this support
  • the name of the child or young person's school
  • the name of a contact person within the education authority to provide advice and information to parents or carers
  • the name of the person who will co-ordinate support from the different services (the CSP Co-ordinator).

A small proportion of children and young people with additional support needs will meet the criteria for a CSP. Your child has to meet the legal requirements. You can ask the council to see if your child meets these criteria.

Getting a CSP

If you think your child (or a child in your care) meets the criteria for a CSP, or you are a young person who thinks they meet the criteria, you must apply in writing or in some other permanent form (for example, email or fax) to the Quality Improvement Manager, Inclusion and Equality. The Quality Improvement Manager is the council's contact officer for CSPs and will decide: 

  • whether your request is reasonable
  • whether your child meets the criteria.

Your application needs to include a statement giving the reason(s) for your request.

What happens next?

Once you make a request, the education authority has eight weeks to respond. In that time, you will receive a letter to information you that your child's school has been asked to organise a multi-agency meeting to begin the process. From the date of the response letter to you, the authority has 16 weeks to draw up a CSP and send you a copy, or inform you that your child does not meet the criteria for a CSP.

The purpose of the multi-agency meeting is to oversee the collection of information. The meeting will seek your views and those of your child. The meeting will make a recommendation to the Quality Improvement Manager about whether your child meets the criteria for a CSP. Once a decision has been made, you will be notified in writing.

If you child meets the criteria, you will be invited to a further multi-agency meeting to draw up the CSP and a copy will be sent to you for comment. Once the draft CSP is agreed by all, a copy will be sent by you and all the other agencies that provide your child with support. The CSP will be reviewed every year.

There may be circumstances outwith our control that make it impossible for us to meet these timescales, such as if:

  • the parents or young person have requested a particular type of assessment that can't take place, or the results will not be available within the 16-week period
  • we have asked an agency or other persons to help and they have not been able to respond in time.

If it is not possible to provide you with a CSP within 16 weeks, we must set a new time limit that must not exceed 24 weeks from the original start date.

What can young people or their parents do if they do not agree with a decision made by East Lothian Council?

You will find details about how to resolve disputes in our leaflet Resolving Disputes about Additional Support Needs. You can get a copy of this by phoning 01620 827 491 or email

We also have an education complaints procedure that covers all aspects of education. For more information, please contact your school and ask for the Education Complaints leaflet.