Learning Difficulties (Scotland)

Children and parents holding up posters about the learning difficulties JLA priority setting partnership

Research Priorities for Learning Difficulties was a project to identify the top 10 research priorities for learning difficulties amongst children and young people.  Across Scotland the PSP asked people with learning difficulties, their families and the professionals working alongside them, to tell them what they would want researchers to find out about learning difficulties.  The PSP was delivered by The Salveson Mindroom Centre and The University of Edinburgh.

What do we mean by learning difficulties?

By ‘learning difficulties’ we mean a problem of understanding or an emotional difficulty that affects a person's ability to learn, get along with others and follow convention. On a day-to-day basis, that can be many things - struggling with reading, writing or numeracy, not being able to concentrate for long periods, losing track of time, forgetting what has just been learned or acting impulsively. 

A learning difficulty may be associated with many conditions such as dyslexia, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) etc., and the person affected may, or may not have a diagnosis.

The top 10 research priorities will inform future research work into learning difficulties, including the work of The Salvesen Mindroom Centre.

The Salvesen Mindroom Centre, formerly known as Mindroom, is a Scottish charity that combines research, education and outreach support for families living with learning difficulties. The centre works in collaboration with the University of Edinburgh on research into learning difficulties.

Phase 1 First Survey

The first survey closed on the 30 September 2017.  828 research questions were submitted. Following analysis, they were summarised into 40 questions.

Phase 2 Shortlisting Survey

A shortlisting survey then opened, where children and young people with learning difficulties, their parents and carers and professionals working alongside them selected their top 10 research priorities from the shortlist of 40.  This closed on 18 May 2018 after being completed by 361 people.

Phase 3 Priority Setting Workshop

A workshop took place in Edinburgh on 11 June 2018, where children and young people with learning difficulties, their parents and carers and professionals working alongside them discussed the questions that people had voted for in the shortlisting survey, and jointly agreed the final order of priority of the research questions. 

See news from this PSP: December 2018

The Learning Difficulties (Scotland) PSP Top 10 was published in September 2018.

Key documents