Hundreds of parents of children with additional support needs in the north-east have responded to a mass survey on schooling.
Autism and Other Conditions Aberdeen (AAOCA) received 147 responses in Aberdeen and 216 in Aberdeenshire – the latter of which have still to be analysed.
In Aberdeen, 27% of parents and carers reported that children did not attend school full time, with over 12% attending school half the time or less.
Last night, AAOCA member Dr Alison Murray said that a shortage of educational psychologists was contributing to the problem.
She said: “We are very concerned about the lack of educational psychologists as they not only support children directly, but act as gatekeepers for further support.
“This has been presented as a recruitment issue, but the loss of so many staff in such a short period suggests retention is a big problem. And a department with retention issues will raise questions with potential new recruits.
“Parents responding to the survey also reported some amazing individual teachers who should be credited for the work they do in supporting children.”
Education convener John Wheeler said that recruitment to specialist roles was an issue across Scotland and that training could often take longer than for teachers.
He said: “One of the issues we have across Scotland is that there is a real lack of people taking on training in this role.
“But as more people enrol in training, and come through the system, the issue should get better.”