The Welsh Government is introducing a new, simpler and more responsive system of meeting the needs of children with special educational needs or disabilities. These changes will happen gradually over the next few years.
The Additional Learning Needs and Educational Tribunal (Wales) Act has been passed and will be supported by a new code. This sets out how the ideas from the act will work in practice. The draft cose was published in December 2018 and a consultation to gather the thoughts and feelings of professionals, parents, carers, children and young people lasted until the 22nd March 2019.
The Key messages surrounding these changes are outlined below:
- The term Additional LearningNeeds (ALN) will replace the terms Special Educational Needs (SEN) and Learning and Disabilities (LDD). Children with ALN will be supported through additional learning provision (ALP).
- SENCos will now be called ALNCo (additional needs coordinator).
- The new code will cover 0-25 year olds which means further education colleges and specialist independent colleges will now also be included (although not higher education or apprenticeships.)
- There will be an emphasis on high aspirations and improved outcomes for children and young people with ALN.
- The graduated system of school action, school action plus and statements is being replaced and all children who are identified as having ALN will have an Individual Develepment Plan (IDP). The IDP will replace IEP's, IBP's or IPP's.
- Most IDP's will be maintained by the school but where it is considered unreasonable for the school to do so (such as those with more severe or complex ALN) the local authority may maintain them.
- There will be an increased participation from children, young people, parents and carers in the dreation and maintenance of IDP's through person centered planning.
- It is hoped that closer collaboration and working together in partnership should help us to avoid disagreements.
- All reasonable steps will be taken to secure provision in Welsh if required.
- All children and young people who have an IDP will have an equal right to appeal to tribunal.
If you would like any additional information or advice please contact Mrs Weaver (ALNCo) or you can contact SNAP Cymru who offer free, independent advice and support to parents by visiting: https://www.snapcymru.org/