Cllrs Reid, Stewart and Cowan with Eddie Fraser, Kevin Wells, reps from Aberlour and Alba from Willowbank on Aoife's sensory bus

ASN Holiday Support Progress Report

At the first meeting of Cabinet of 2024, an ASN Holiday Support Progress Report was considered and agreement was reached to extend a pilot contract with Aberlour, Scotland’s Children’s Charity, to deliver an ASN holiday programme this summer.

Aberlour was contracted by the Council to provide an ASN summer programme on a pilot basis last year. The holiday programme ran through July 2023 within Hillside and Willowbank Schools plus Crosshouse Communication Centre, and employed the Council’s existing workforce. This meant that the Council was in a position to provide a high quality provision within familiar settings and with familiar faces, ensuring the children and young people attending were settled and happy.

Over 150 children and young people accessed the summer holiday provision, including the additional provision provided at Park School by the Active Schools team. Feedback from parents and carers, and our children and young people, was very positive and constructive feedback was also received on what could be improved. Suggestions included increasing availability throughout the summer period.

Councillor Elaine Cowan, the Council’s Spokesperson for Education, and Children and Young People said: “With agreement reached to extend the pilot contract with Aberlour, the Council can now press ahead with plans to expand the ASN holiday support programme for this summer and also look at expanding the programme to the October holidays.

“The decisions taken by Cabinet are designed to ensure fair access to provision and to support better outcomes for local families. The Council will be working with Aberlour and parent representatives to develop the holiday programme. We have had some extremely positive feedback from parents and carers on the last programme, with some registering their interest in volunteering on the programme this year, which is greatly appreciated.

“It is important to note that any expansion of the summer holiday programme will require further recruitment from out with the Council’s workforce and we will work on this with Aberlour to develop a structured approach that can be adopted by any future provider. It will also be a good opportunity to understand the extent of potential staff within this sector that may be available over the holiday period.”