All posts in “Policy”

SNAP Cymru receives generous donations from Memorial Posy Festival at St. Mary’s Church Tenby

At the Benefice Holy Eucharist last Sunday, 2nd September at St Marys Church Tenby, generous donations were made to the local representatives of SNAP Cymru and two other charities, as a result of the highly successful twentieth Memorial Posy Festival, held over four days earlier in the summer. One of the summer’s most popular events ‘In Loving Memory’, the annual Festival of Posies, was held on Thursday, June 28 until Sunday, July 1 at St. Mary’s Church, Tenby, Pembrokshire 

Almost 300 posies, window displays and stands adorned the beautiful church building, each one dedicated to the memory of a loved one. The flowers were arranged by a team of enthusiastic volunteers.  No two posies where the same.  Window displays and stands are also lovingly produced by talented floral specialists, led by Anne, Rita and Delyth.

Amanda Daniels, Assistant Director of SNAP Cymru, Kathryn Harries, representing Diabetes UK, and Cindy Jenkins, Leader of Snap Pembrokeshire ( a specialist early years setting for children with emerging additional learning needs at Withybush Hospital)  attended the service and were presented with generous cheques by three members of the Posy Festival Committee.

Presentations to each charity were made by Mrs Mary Smith, Mrs Judith Williams and Miss Maureen Webb.   SNAP Cymru and the other recipients expressed delight and gratitude at being nominated to be beneficiaries of such substantial gifts and gave an outline of how the generous gifts would support their work.

Rector Andrew Grace offered prayers for the excellent work of the charities, for their staff and volunteers and for those who benefit from their support.  In order to generate these funds over two hundred and fifty yellow and white posies, along with window displays and individual arrangements adorned St. Mary’s Church over four days and visitors from far and wide were welcomed to the church to enjoy the floral spectacle.

As a registered charity, SNAP Cymru relies on  generous donations from a variety of sources; these include contributions from  community organisations and individuals to sustain our work.

Whilst we hold the Parent Partnership Services, which are funded through Service Level Agreements in each Local Authority across Wales, this is not the case in Pembrokshire where the service was taken in house within the Local Authority two years ago.  Despite this SNAP Cymru continue to provide independent advice on additional learning needs and disability discrimination in Pembrokshire and a generous donation like that of St Mary’s allow us to provide advice to families through our helpline.

We are extremely grateful St Mary’s and to all our funders, not only for their generosity, but also for their enthusiasm and shared belief in what we do. Without their support we most certainly wouldn’t be in a position to help children and families across Wales.

SNAP CYMRU ACHIEVES QUALITY MARK FOR EXCELLENCE

(Some of SNAP Cymru’s Cardiff and Gwent Staff)

“SNAP Cymru has a myriad of excellent practice with fantastic staff!  Recognising Excellence Assessor Neil Huxtable

It’s been another successful year for SNAP Cymru, in which the organisation has been awarded the Legal Aid Agency’s Specialist Quality Mark (SQM) for the third time running. The accreditation highlights the organisations commitment to client care and best practice.

As a standard that is only awarded to organisations who meet the highest levels of management and customer care, SQM accredited organisations undergo rigorous independent assessments every three years. This ensures that they meet required standards of excellence in areas such as client care, case management and risk management.

The Specialist Quality Mark (SQM) is a standard owned by the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) and was developed to help ensure that members of the public in need of specialist advice receive a quality service.  The SQM is independently audited by an Recognising Excellence on behalf of the Legal Aid Agency.

SQM requires organisations and Law firms to show that they comply with industry standards for business management and financial control as well as having in place good systems to manage the work with clients. The standard covers supervision and client care, access, running the organisation, plans and organisational issues, including and file reviews, meeting clients’ needs, and a commitment to quality, complaints and feedback. 

Assistant Director Amanda Daniels says “We had to pass rigorous desktop audits and these were followed up by on site audits and interviews, including examination of our case files, policies and procedures.  As in the first two audits we passed with flying colours!  We provided a comprehensive demonstration that all of our systems are to the required standard and in many areas significantly above what is required.   Holding the SQM demonstrates our commitment to the provision of quality services. To achieve the standard we continually improve our systems, our staff and volunteers take quality seriously and work extremely hard to maintain these standards. All of this ensures increased client and funder confidence.

 

Denise Inger CEO commented; 

 “We are delighted to have secured our SQM standard for the next three years and to be recognised as an organisation that excels in providing quality services for families throughout Wales.  Providing our families with the highest levels of client care is one of our core values.

This accreditation is proof of our commitment to delivering a quality service. It is a formal recognition of the way in which we work, clients come first and we always act in their best interests.  It also reflects our thorough in-house systems and processes which enable us to be more effective and efficient in our service delivery.  We invest in people and new technology, to give an accurate, efficient service that is good value.”

 

 

 

(Assistant Directors Caroline Rawson and Amanda Daniels and CED Denise Inger)

 

Waiting for the new ALN Bill & Code of Practice Wales – getting it right?

Chief Executive Director Denise Inger discusses the ALNET Wales Act with Andy Lusk, long standing Board Member with SNAP Cymru as we wait for the new Code of Practice for Wales due for consultation later this year.

Background

The Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Bill was passed by the National Assembly for Wales on 12 December 2017 and became an Act on 24 January 2018 after receiving Royal Assent.  The Bill and ALN Code will be the catalyst for the biggest changes in provision for pupils with special educational needs in a generation. SNAP Cymru is broadly positive about the Education Reform and the Welsh Governments Transformation Agenda, however we remain concerned about its implementation.  Meeting Additional Learning Needs requires considerable skills and expertise and if not done well generates friction points, which can be moved, but cannot be eliminated.   As the Reform in Wales shifts there will be some magnification of key friction points, which may create serious conflict, between parents schools and LA’s as has happened and continues to happen in England.   We hope the Act, the new Code of Practice along with the newly appointed DECLO’s will result in Health, Social Care, Schools, FEIs and LA’s delivering on equality, inclusion and quality for children and young people with ALN.  Families however, are less confident that this will happen and we believe families and professionals will need, more than ever, independent easy access to advice and impartial support to help avoid conflict and achieve resolution.

 

Waiting for the new ALN Bill & Code of Practice Wales – getting it right?

Prepared by Andy Lusk NEC member SNAP Cymru.   

(Andy Lusk is the retired Autism Services Director of Ambitious about Autism, prior to that Executive Director at Scope for the UK and prior to that Education Director, Children’s Services Director, Head of Schools at NCH.   He currently provides consultancy, mainly in England, in the SEND and Safeguarding fields. He has also been a Higher Education Lecturer. He served on the Lamb Review in 2009 which investigated a range of ways in which parental confidence in the SEN assessment process might be improved and was, earlier in his career, part of the process of consultations on the 1989 Children Act. Andy  has also been an expert witness in the Family Court)

Since the publication of the green paper that later became the Children and Families Act 2014 and the SEND Code of Practice I have been consulting to schools, institutions, parents and young people responding to, or confronting, the new arrangements for SEND in England, soon to be implemented, with some significant differences, in Wales as the ALNET (Wales) Act.

In the 40 years since I became involved in Special Schools it has been clear that the restricted arrangements to access special education beyond the age of 19 has been one of several reasons why individuals with additional educational needs enjoy so few of society’s benefits, in the shape of work, economic success, access to housing, leisure….the list is considerable, it needs no rehearsing here. Perhaps the most strikingly unsuccessful aspect of the sector is its continuing ability to propel those with complex needs into the least stimulating yet most expensive forms of institutional care. For example, in England, of those categorised  (by the Institute of Psychiatry) as having complex autism, of the 238,000 identified, over 50% were in institutional care, a further 14,000 in hospital care with just 17,000 in supported living.

The factors driving these (and other) dismal figures are what the legislation in England and soon in Wales seeks to change. So how has this turned out so far?

In my experience, successful implementation has been affected by:

  1. The Transfer process (from Statements to EHC plans) has exemplified everything that we discussed in the Lamb Review; many plans are very poor, or in reality worthless beyond securing a placement for a pupil. Schools do not understand how to write them, parents do not understand how to contribute to them and the chronic lack of aspiration translates into cut and pasted descriptions of children or young people that reflect a lack of targets, outcomes or sometimes even intentions. The hope that SMART, crisp clear driven plans, with serious Reviews is not yet anything like a reality. Why? Many reasons, not least the fact that all schools, and special schools in particular, don’t see (or own) the consequences of a poor education, so don’t recognise that they have contributed to an individual too skills weak and independence training light to do other than head for unemployment at one end of the impairment scale to residential care at the other.
  2. In England the Local Authorities have the legal duty to write the EHCPs but in practice many are populated by schools. Because the inherent conflict of interest remains unchanged even well written EHCPs drafted by skilled local authority officers (and they exist) have a heavy bias towards in house schools, cheaper or cheapest options, which in effect just kick the can down the road. Where parents can afford quality advice and have the tenacity, they fight, and they fight more than before, hence the rise in SEND tribunal activity. In England this has been in part supported by the PPSs and ISs.
  3. There has in my experience been an improvement in the ability of mainstream schools to identify and support SEND pupils but this has been accompanied by a crisper calculation by SENCOs of the point at which they cannot expect their school to cope, driving more transfers to special schools and more friction with local authorities as they have sought EHCPs for such children to lever more resources. Hence, in part, the pressure on special school places.
  4. The Local Offer requirements of the Act have not obtained a foothold. Commissioners have not understood the way in which to track demand and thus predict resource pressures. This has been particularly acute around post 19. The assumption that somehow the FE sector would step up to the plate and accept far more SEND students has been an illusion. For FE the SEND population are a tiny part of their businesses. They have been unprepared for anything other than their traditional diet of a very small number of students with MLD and faced with more complex needs have manoeuvred to refuse entry, curtail stay, find excuses. This is not helped at all by the absurd lag learner system, the lack of understanding of what is actually happening by those in the ESFA and Ofsted. FE institutions are nervous of developing truly imaginative curricula and too devoted to the rigid systems imposed upon them by the funders. The result is that the pressures are transferred into adult social care services, who are struggling to survive. A very common problem is that an individual known to an education department from the age of 3 or 4 who has consumed perhaps £450,000 in education costs is introduced as if they were a complete unknown to the same local authority’s adult services department.
  5. Commissioners have not yet started to populate the supply side with training providers registered under Section 41, (and registration itself is restricted) so for the large number of special school leavers who cannot make use of the rigid regime of FE they cannot be placed with training providers either, with wholly predictable outcomes.
  6. The DWP has large gaps in its offer for people with ALN. This leads to local DWP officers assuming that someone with complex needs is simply going to be unemployed. The efforts to induce greater aspiration have to go far and wide to work.
  7. Far too often the sections of the EHCP related to social care support and health are blank or say nothing relevant. This frankly defeats one of the central objectives of creating EHCPs which are then little more than Statements as a result.

 

In England, in very brief summary, there is greater friction with parents, little evidence of greater aspiration, a weak supply side especially post 19, negligible commissioning activity, the same old same old conflict of interest between assessor and purchaser. The period over which disputes can range has been extended in line with the extension of opportunity to 25.

However I don’t believe the Act was a mistake. Much of this was not evident beforehand. The extension of opportunity was the right policy and overdue. But the challenges are considerable and will take a long time to overcome.

The question is can Wales learn from England’s mistakes. Well of course it ought to.

Decades of immersion in SEND help one to understand where the systemic points of friction exist. As parents have become more ambitious, access better advice, use the tribunal and related systems they learn that where the statutory assessor is also the purchaser the needs of the pupil/student will be subordinated to organisational welfare. Put simply, it’s about money. The new legislation has collided with reduced public investment and so the subordination of the client to the organisation increases. This process is moderated by 2 principal factors: the quality of independent advice to parents, so the access of parents and indeed students themselves to providers such as SNAP, and the quality of the professionals in the system. Yet it remains a fact that the desire for the perfect SEND educational placement and indeed the desire to create the perfect SEND educational provision would generate infinite spending and nobody has found a way to avoid the central conflict of interest that would be financially containable. The question is can the system confine the friction in the most manageable place whilst promoting the most intelligent outcomes for the customers of that system.

The ALNET Act is different in some key aspects to the England legislation. How might that affect the friction equation?

To some extent it’s all to play for via the ALN code and regulations.

I think there is likely to be:

 

  1. The same problem with the quality of IDPs/ALPs as with EHCPs. So far there isn’t enough to prevent that.
  2. Ditto the realistic inclusion of social care and health information relevant to a genuinely pan departmental plan.
  3. Independent advice for parents has to be independent to be useful. Where it is in house with the assessor/purchaser is risks being a sham that will quickly fall into disrepute with parents, resulting in more reliance on Tribunals.
  4. Creating a system in which schools (or, quizzically Governing Bodies) must write IDPs will too quickly reveal their incapacity to write really good ones, unless serious measures are taken to help them understand how to write good ones. The same will be even more acute for FEIs.
  5. So the locus of friction will move from the local authority (where it sits in England) to the school in Wales. This will, where it applies, change the relationship of parent to school.
  6. The school will have to defend at Tribunal, have they the knowhow and resources?
  7. Where ALN seems more complex, the school will seek the LA to take over the process to obtain the right ALP. This will in some cases shift the friction to the relationship between the school and the LA. Various complex alliances will result. As schools in Wales are local authority owned (there being no Academies) one can imagine some serious conflicts emerging where schools do not believe they have the resources to deliver on the IDP but their landlord will not take up the IDP and fund the ALP.
  8. All (and more) of the control and supply problems England has experienced seem likely to emerge in Wales as a result of the dependence on FEIs for the post 19 supply of education.

In summary, the differences so far evident (in the absence of the Code of Practice) as between England and Wales seem likely to shift and in some cases magnify friction points but may also accelerate the desire of LAs in Wales to support and improve SEND/ALN practice in their own schools, as the incentive to do so will be significant for them.

Andy Lusk /8.5.18/Wales

Implementation

The Welsh Government is developing implementation training which will be rolled out in early 2020 and the new system will be expected to go live from September 2020. There will be an implementation period of three years, during which time all existing statements and plans will be converted to individual development plans.  Children and young people newly identified as having an additional learning need and requiring an individual development plan during the implementation period will be supported via the new system.

For the time being, local authorities and all those who work with children and young people with SEN, must ensure that they continue to comply with the duties placed upon them by the Education Act 1996. They must also continue to have regard to the SEN Code of Practice for Wales (2004).

 

Draft law on autism – your views are wanted

Draft law on autism – your views are wanted

On 22 February 2018, the National Assembly for Wales published a draft law on autism for comment. The draft law has been developed by backbench Conservative Assembly Member Paul Davies. As drafted, the Bill would require the Welsh Government to publish an autism strategy and guidance on how it should be used.  

The current Welsh Government already has an Autistic Spectrum Disorder Strategic Action Plan, but the Bill would make sure there would always be an autism strategy (and that the strategy included certain principles), even if the government changed.

Background

Spring 2017: the proposed legislation was carried forward following a ballot of back-bench Assembly Member’s suggestions, won by Paul Davies AM. National Autistic Society worked closely with members and supporters to help Paul draft a Bill that will best meet the needs of autistic people and their families in Wales.
Autumn 2017: consultation was launched on what an Autism Act should include. Responses were received by mid November.
2018: the development of the draft Autism (Wales) Bill was based on responses to the initial consultation on the general concept of an Autism Bill. Now, Paul Davies AM is publishing his draft Autism Act to ask how it could be improved.

Consultation

Please read the draft Bill and share your views in response to the consultation. You can either answer the questions in the consultation document or send your thoughts to consultation.autismbill@assembly.wales. You can find the consultation documents on their website. Easy read versions that Learning Disability Wales assisted National Assembly are also available:

http://www.senedd.assembly.wales/mgConsultationdisplay.aspx?Id=293

The consultation closes on 17 April 2018.

What will happen next?

After people have had the chance to have their say on the draft Bill, there will be a vote in the National Assembly that decides whether or not the law will be allowed to proceed. Whilst there will still be further debate and scrutiny of the Bill and what an Autism Act could include, this will be a further opportunity for lobbying around the Bill.

 

Additional Learning Needs Reform – Update NOV 2017

The Welsh Government’s stated objective for a fully “ inclusive education system for Additional Learning Needs is around creating a system that’s flexible and responsive to the changing needs of learners; that is supported by a workforce who have the skills and experience and confidence to deliver that system really effectively.  That have a good understanding of evidence based practice to inform their work to make sure that the strategies and interventions being put in place for learners really are tailored to meet those individual needs.”  The aims include:

  • Embedding Principles of PCP
  • Welsh language duties
  • Statutory ‘IDPs’ for all learners with ALN
  • Local authorities to become responsible for post-16 specialist placements
  • Focus on early intervention
  • Statutory ALNCOs
  • Strengthened role for the health service
  • Avoidance and early resolution of disagreements

The intention is to provide a more pupil centred approach so you’ll hear lots about person-centred practice and most LA’s across Wales have already had training in this area and have begun to use one page profiles and PC style reviews. SNAP Cymru feels parents and YP should also have this training if they are to participate effectively.

The Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal Wales Bill, or ALNET Bill, remains the cornerstone of the reform. Changing the legislation is the central part of what the WG are doing but changing the law alone won’t affect the practice and cultural change they hope for.

The WG ‘transformation programme’ which includes supporting the implementation of the legislative changes has five reported strands:

  • WG Legislation and statutory guidance
  • Workforce development
  • Implementation/ transition support
  • Awareness-raising
  • Supporting policy

Part of this is creating a new ALN Code to replace the current SEN Code of Practice and Regulations the detailed information to support the implementation of the Bill.  The new Code will have mandatory requirements that have the same weight in law as regulations, as well as good practice and guidance that Schools and LA’s etc  must have due regard for. The new Code and regulation will be introduced in draft for consultation next year. Look out for it and take every opportunity to respond.

We understand that the Welsh Government is preparing a workforce development programme with three tiers:

  1. Core skills development – making sure that all those people that are involved in supporting learners with ALN have access to professional learning and development opportunities to improve their skills and knowledge around how to best support learners with ALN.  
  2. specialist skills development – to target local authority provided specialist support services, i.e. advisory teachers for hearing impairment, vision impairment or multi-sensory impairment, educational psychologists.
  3. ALNCo, or Additional Learning Needs Co-ordinator role, which will replace the current SENCo role and will be put on a statutory footing. An intensive programme of professional development.

Awareness raising

The WG are intending to engage stakeholders about their new duties and powers under the new system, but as important we believe is the way these changes are shared with children and young people and families so that they can understand the new system and ensure they’re aware of the changes.  The original engagement events were difficult for all but a small amount of parents to attend, hopefully the WG will be aware of this and offer more accessible timings and locations for future events   

Where are we now….

Stage 1- The Children, Young People and Education Committee consulted initially, taking evidence in relation to the Bill as introduced, and scrutinising the detail of it. There were 69 recommendations from the committees

These were broadly around

  • the role of the NHS in the new system.
  • Having a Mandatory national IDP-that the new Code when it comes to fruition will include a standard template that all practitioners will have to use- (see the link to Gwynedd’s IDP as an example at the end of this update.)
  • Early Years – non-maintained providers having to have regard to the new Code and the LA’s having an ‘ALN Early Years Lead Officer’.

Stage 2 – detailed consideration by the Assembly Committee of the Bill line by line – completed see report below.

Stage 3 –  The deadline for developing and securing Ministerial agreement and cross-party support for amendments are scheduled to be debated and voted on  Tuesday 21 November 2017.

Royal Assent – probably January 2018

Formal consultation on the Code and Regulations 2018

Training and awareness raising Spring 2019

Implementation (probably) September 2019.

 

Appointment of ALN leads

A small team of ALN transformation leads have been appointed and will support local authorities, schools, early years settings, further education institutions and other delivery partners to prepare for and manage transition to the new ALN system. They will also have the responsibility for assessing readiness, compliance and impact monitoring of the  LA’s, in their consortia area or the FE’s across Wales  (4 x consortia leads & 1 FE lead)

Implementation

Consultation on how to implement the Bill ended early summer 2017. A summary of responses which will provide a breakdown of the views expressed will inform how the Government decides its approach for implementation. (not yet published)

The WG will circulate a detailed transition guide to statutory bodies once the Bill has Royal Assent.

The options explored :

  • Learners that have already got statements will be the first cohort of learners to be moved onto an IDP.
  • Learners at significant points of transition, so those moving between settings, those moving from primary school into secondary school, or out of secondary school into FE, those sorts of key transition points being the learners that go first.

Useful links.

  • 116 amendments have been agreed so far, which made changes to the Bill. An amended version of the Bill is available on the Assembly’s website where you can find other information on and follow the progress of the Bill:

 http://senedd.assembly.wales/mgIssueHistoryHome.aspx?IId=16496

  • Summary of changes at Stage 2 Summary of stage 2 changes to the Bill

https://seneddresearch.blog/2017/11/13/new-publication-additional-learning-needs-and-education-tribunal-wales-bill-summary-of-changes-at-stage-2/

  •  WG ALNET Transformation Programme

http://gov.wales/topics/educationandskills/schoolshome/additional-learning-special-educational-needs/transformation-programme/awareness-raising/?lang=en

http://gov.wales/docs/dcells/publications/161221-educational-psychologists-wales-guidance-en.pdf

Please contact amanada.daniels@snapcymru for further information or use the referral form on our contact page for direct support.

 

ALN Bill update

The story so far…..

The ALNET Bill was referred to the Children, Young People and Education Committee for scrutiny and consideration of the general principles in November 2016 and  a deadline of 12 May 2017 was set for the Committee to report on its general principles.

The committee met with and heard from many stakeholders; including the views of children and young people with ALN through an online survey and parents and carers of those with ALN at an event facilitated by SNAP Cymru.  

The committee supported much of the general principles of the Bill, although the evidence they received highlighted many concerns about implementation.

 “Simply passing the legislation will not address the deeper underlying problems within the current system.” Lynne Neagle Chair

Nobody should underestimate the scale of this agenda. Over 100,000 pupils in schools have SEN or ALN, which is over one in five of all children. The Committee has made 48 recommendations aimed at strengthening not just the Bill itself, but also the wider proposals for reform of the system.

The key issues that emerged and recommendations are included in the Committees  publication 

The deadline for Stage 2 committee proceedings has been amended from 21 July 2017 to 20 October 2017 following concerns raised by SNAP Cymru regarding the cost savings in the Bill.   SNAP Cymru felt the figures were drastically inaccurate and did not agree with the Government’s view ‘that disagreements will automatically be reduced as a result of the introduction of the bill’  Rather, SNAP Cymru fear there may be an increase in disagreements during transition in the short term.  

SNAP Cymru Casework with concerned families ahead of the implementation  of the Bill has risen by 13% in the last year and the number of ‘problems or issues’ brought by individual families to our service has doubled.

Options for implementing the Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Bill where consulted on from February – June this year and the responses are still being reviewed. Details of the outcome will be published here  in due course.

It is clear that there should be a mandatory phase to ensure the successful implementation of the new Bill, however SNAP Cymru continue to be concerned that LA’s are rolling out IDP’s before the legal framework is in place,  leaving current IDP’s as non statutory plans for children and young people.  If parents have concerns they should contact our telephone advice line 08451203730

For a summary of the Bill>

 

Consultation – options for implementing the ALNET Bill

The Welsh Government is currently consulting on options for how the Additional Learning Needs and Tribunal (Wales) Bill is implemented.

The ALNET Bill will create a single, unified framework for supporting learners with additional learning needs. The current range of statutory and non-statutory learning plans will be replaced by individual development plans (IDPs). This will ensure that provision and rights are protected regardless of the severity or complexity of needs.

For details go to the Welsh Government consultation 

Please submit your responses by 9 June 2017

The draft Additional Learning Needs Code has been published to assist with scrutiny of the ALNET Bill.

Following the publication of the draft Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Bill on December 16th 2016, a  draft Additional Learning Needs Code has been published alongside the  Bill to assist with Stage 1 scrutiny.

The introduction to the new draft code reminds everyone that all those listed in the code must have regard for the code and that its been primarily designed for ‘their purposes’, however others (e.g. parents, specialist advisers or advocates) might find it useful.   At 236 pages make sure you have enough time to put aside for some light reading!

Details of the Bill and its expected progress are found here.  

Thank you to all those parents who attended a parent stakeholder event on the 9th of February in Cardiff – your views will be published and help inform the scrutiny committee response –  the transcript will be published here

We will be keeping a close eye on the Bill as it progresses through the various stages before it receives Royal Assent. Denise Inger SNAP Cymru’s Director will be giving evidence to the committee in March.

The Bill will continue to be scrutinised by the Children, Young People and Education Committee to consider and report on the general principles. The Committee is due to report to the Assembly by 12 May 2017. Stage 2 proceedings should be completed by 14 July 2017 wit h Royal assent this Autumn.  Those of you wishing to send a written consultation responses on the Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) should  do so by Friday 3 March.

Please contact the SNAP Cymru helpline if you have any concerns

 

 

 

Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Bill: Stakeholder Event feedback

On 26 January 2017 the Welsh Assembly’s Children, Young People and Education Committee sought advice in respect of reforming how children and young people with Special Educational Needs (SEN) are supported.

Stakeholders were asked to respond to questions which covered the following areas:-

  • Replacing the three-tier system with Individual Development Plans (IDPs) for all learners with ALN- What are the advantages and disadvantages of replacing the current three tier, graduated system with one where all learners with ALN are entitled to a statutory Individual Development Plan (IDP)?
  • Responsibility for Individual Development Plans (IDPs): Governing body or local authority and does the Bill make it sufficiently clear when a local authority, rather than a school/college governing body, will be responsible for assessing a learner’s needs and for the learner’s IDP?
  • A comprehensive, age 0-25 system- Is there enough focus in the Bill on ALN in early years and should young people undertaking work-based learning such as apprenticeships also be included if the Bill is to establish a comprehensive age 0-25 system?
  • How adequate are the duties in the Bill in securing the necessary input and contribution from Multi-agency partners?
  • Fairness, transparency and dispute resolution- How adequate are the Bill’s provisions for independent advocacy, disagreement avoidance and resolution and access to information and advice for learners with ALN and their families?
  • Does the Bill provide the renamed Tribunal with enough powers and functions to carry out its role effectively?
  • What will be the main challenges for implementation- financial or otherwise?
The Committee has now published a Summary of Evidence following the event. The participants welcomed aspects of the bill such as the equity in providing a 0-25 system and the the emphasis on all children and YP with ALN having the same opportunities for redress to the tribunal, although they did share some serious concerns that the proposed reforms to support are relatively ambiguous, and do not provide sufficient levels of accountability. See the responses here 
The committee is currently seeking views from those who are affected by the proposed changes.  Responses should be returned by the 24 February

 

ALN Bill Scrutiny

The ALN Bill has begun its scrutiny by the Children, Young People and Education committee before being debated by the National Assembly. The committee is currently seeking views  from those who are affected by the proposed changes.
The Welsh Government will publish an ALN code that will support people to work in accordance with the new law. The code will be published to support the scrutiny of the Bill in February.

 

The National Assembly for Wales have published a research briefing that provides more information on ALN in Wales and the process thus far.

 

You can also read the Bill and Explanatory Memorandum on the National Assembly for Wales website. The Explanatory Memorandum includes an overview of the Bill (see pages 27 – 42) and a section on changes made to the draft version of the Bill (see pages 47-59).