OFFICIALS at Scottish Borders Council (SBC) backed new plans to support for neurodiversity in the Borders.

At a meeting of the full council on Thursday (November 24) councillors heard how the local authority will improve neurodiversity support in schools.

The plans were unveiled to the council by executive member for education and lifelong learning councillor Leagh Douglas.

Ms Douglas said: "I am very passionate about celebrating neurodiversity and I am very proud to see this as a key policy for Scottish Borders Council moving forward.

“I was heartened by the response from my councillor colleagues and the support from across the chamber for this policy."

Neurodivergence is a term used to describe the varied ways in which people's brains are wired. People who fall under the neurodivergent can also have a diagnosis of Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, and ADD.

The council's plans will help develop an "inclusive, tolerant and open-minded" environment in schools.

To achieve its goals, SBC will introduce neurodiversity education to its primary and secondary curriculums, neurodiverse staff will also be encouraged to contribute to operational planning and peer support development.

Teaching staff will also receive additional education on neurodiversity.

Ms Douglas added: “As a council, we will be leading the way in ensuring that neurodiversity education becomes a key part of the curriculum across our schools.

"There is also very encouraging evidence, following pilots in schools, that neurodivergent education has resulted in a reduction in bullying and mental health issues.

“Already we see business harnessing the potential of neurodivergent people, with IT giant Microsoft launching an online jobsite platform specifically geared at enhancing employment opportunities for neurodivergent individuals.

“This new policy will give all our young people a greater understanding that thinking differently is something to be welcomed, encouraged and embraced. Lifelong learnings that they can take with them into adulthood and the workplace.”