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Update - Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal [Wales] Act 2018

Update for Schools in ERW (South West and Mid Wales) – November 2018

  • The Bill received Royal Assent in January 2018
  • Implementation over three years, commencing September 2020
  • Transformation Lead role created by Minister to support and challenge key partners
  • Implementation Timeline:


Key considerations:

  • A quarter of pupils in the region are on the SEN register, around 10% of learners in FEI have SEN/LDD
  • Many pupils with SEN are taught in mainstream schools
  • ALN reform is not separate from the school improvement agenda and high quality teaching that is based on a sound understanding of the needs of children remains paramount
  • Presumption that pupils with ALN are educated in mainstream schools remains
  • Existing SEN legislation applies and will continue to do so until the implementation period has concluded, likely to be 2023
  • ALNET does NOT replace duties under the Equality Act 2010
  • 11 overarching aims of the Act:

1)    ALN not SEN, new definition includes learners whose learning difficulty or disability arises from a medical condition

2)    0-25 age range but no right to education up to 25

3)    A unified, single statutory plan – replaces statements of SEN, learning and skills plans and non-statutory plans

4)    Increased participation of children and young people

5)    High aspirations and improved outcomes

6)    A simpler, less adversarial system

7)    Increased collaboration – partners and parents/carers

8)    Avoiding disagreements and earlier disagreement resolution

9)    Clear and consistent rights of appeal – SENTW to ETW to cover 0-25

10)  The ALN code

11)  A bilingual system



What will be new?

  • Statutory role of Additional Learning Needs Co-ordinator [ALNCo], Designated Education Clinical Lead Officer [DECLO], Local authority early years ALN lead officer.
  • Person centred practices that influence the ethos and culture of schools: meaningful engagement with parents/carers, children/young people and other agencies.
  • Implementation of statutory individual development plans [IDPs] replaces eg individual education plans, statements of special educational needs, learning and skills plans.
  • Decisions and funding around post 16 provision for learners with complex needs will transfer from Welsh Ministers to local authorities.

What to look out for?

The ALN Code:

  • Consultation on ALN Code will commence early December 2018 and conclude in March. 2019. –There are 27 chapters to the code and there will be around 60 consultation questions.
  • Welsh Government and regional transformation leads will hold an ALN consultation event in the region on 13th February 2019. WG will be releasing further information and booking details via the DYSG publication.
  • Separate consultation events will be held with parents/carers and young people.
  • Local authorities have been asked to work with schools and social services to provide a co-ordinated response to the consultation. This does not remove your right to take part in the consultation as: a] an individual b]an organisation c] as part of a professional association.

Individual Development Plans:An implementation guide for IDPs for school aged children and under has been published

The Act…an easy read guide: 

As a region we will be publishing an easy read guide of the Act. This is due for release early Spring Term 2019 and will emailed to all schools.Professional Development: 

  • Online, e-training materials for all practitioners will be released.
  • Additional funding is being made available to support the professional learning offer for ALNCOs. This will be a national programme, delivered regionally/locally. Further details will be released in Spring Term 2019.
  • Additional funding has been made available to the region to support the professional qualification of teachers of hearing and visually impaired


Support materials: All of the following materials can be used to support staff development / awareness raising

How have local authorities and schools been preparing for the Act?

 Welsh Government ALN Transformation Programme Grant:

As a region we have determined the following priority areas:

  • Awareness raising
  • Workforce development
  • Person centred practice and individual development plans
  • Early years
  • Post 16
  • Pupil and parent partnership

Cross cutting themes: [School improvement, health, bilingualism, effective practice]

Local implementation plans and grants: Each local authority has provided a plan of how it will implement the priorities. Ninety four percent of the regional grant has been allocated to local authorities. Local authority heads of inclusion will be able to provide you with copies of the LA plan.

Huw Davies

ALN Transformation Lead – South West and Mid Wales