Section 15 - Requirement that education be provided in mainstream schools
36.This section aims to establish what is effectively a presumption in favour of “mainstream education” for all children in Scotland. It will strengthen the rights of children with special educational needs to be included alongside their peers in mainstream schools. In this context “mainstream” refers to education in a school other than a special school. Subsection (2) applies the section to children under school age. For these children, the presumption in favour of “mainstream education” applies both to education provided by the local authority and education provided by non-local authority providers (by virtue of arrangements made under section 35 of this Act).
37.At the same time the provision recognises that a mainstream setting may not be appropriate for all children, or in all cases, and sets out circumstances in subsection (3) where a local authority may decide to offer education in a special school. Such circumstances are presumed to only arise exceptionally. A local authority will be required to take account of the views of the child and his parents where, after consideration of the circumstances specified in subsection (3), they still believes mainstream to be more appropriate than a special school.