All posts in “Policy”

Draft Additional Learning Needs (ALN) Code Consultation – Summary reports published today

The Minister for Education has today published the summary of response report which presents the Welsh Government’s analysis of the 644 responses we received as well as the feedback from the regional stakeholder events and the engagement events with children, young people and parents.

You can read that report, the Minister’s statement as well as separate reports on the regional stakeholder events and engagement events with children, young people and parents here. The full individual consultation responses with anonymous responses marked as appropriate can also be viewed.

 The Welsh Government is now considering what changes may need to be made to the Code, proposed related regulations and proposed revisions to the Part 6 Code that have been suggested by respondents.

 Once approved, any changes and the reasons for them will be explained in the explanatory memoranda that will accompany the final ALN Code and regulations which we intend to lay for Assembly approval before the end of this year.

The responses were interesting, more so that the yes/no/maybe numbers suggested, many questions were raised , particularly those relating to Question 12 – Is this explanation of ALN given in paragraphs 7.4 – 7.32 of the draft ALN Code clear?  And  question 13 – Does Chapter 7 of the draft ALN Code provide a clear and comprehensive explanation of the evidence that should inform decisions about ALN and ALN, from which sources this evidence might be collated, and how?

Of particular note were the responses to question 42Are the requirements set out in Chapter 25 of the draft ALN Code on local authorities in relation to arrangements to avoid and resolve disputes appropriate?

In general, those who answered this question stated that they were welcome any provision to avoid and resolve disagreements that may arise.

However, concerns were raised as to whether a local authority would be in the position best to provide these services, and it was questioned whether there would be a local authority able to operate completely independently or impartially, and concerns were expressed specific to this in the context of financial pressures. This reflects similar comments made by many in the consultation events workshops Welsh Government regional advice and information, resolution independent disagreement and advocacy

It was made clear by most respondents that arrangements for avoiding and resolving disagreements should be provided by the independent parties to ensure that decisions are made on the basis of the needs of the learner rather than cost-based.

Respondents’ comments shared many of the beliefs of parents and professionals, that those supporting families and local authorities to resolve disagreements should be independent of the LA.

Next steps

The responses to the consultation have raised a huge number of issues that now require detailed consideration to determine what changes to make to the Code and regulations. Once this consideration is complete, it is intended that the Welsh Government will lay a revised draft of the ALN Code before the National Assembly for its approval later in 2019. At the same time, it is intended that various regulations (some in draft form) to be made under the Act will be laid, including those consulted on as part of this consultation. The laying of the ALN Code and regulations will be accompanied by the publication of the relevant explanatory memoranda and impact assessments.

Subject to the National Assembly’s approval of the ALN Code, it is expected to be issued before the end of 2019 with the new ALN system implemented over a period of three years beginning in September 2020.

last day to respond! – Have your voice heard and respond to the Welsh ALN Code

‘As many of you will know, half of the battle of getting support for your child’s Additional Needs is getting people to listen to you and by getting good reliable advice.   By people, I mean schools, professionals and your local authority.’  So says solicitor Hayley Mason Senior Solicitor at SEN Legal

What happens is the people who are there to help end up giving parents confused and sometimes incorrect information.  “They’re often working from incorrect information themselves, or working from policies driven by budget cuts rather than applying the law.”

The law in the form of the current legislation and the new ALNET Act 2018 is very clear in this area, but the interpretation of this is not as clear or as widespread as it should be.   The new ALN Draft Code and what children and young people and their parents can expect is far from clear in its current form.  

With a huge change in the law about to be implemented in Wales in September 2020 –getting the ALN Code right is essential.   As the name suggests, this code is about– about delivering for the children and young people with additional learning needs in the real world.  

The Code will when finalised provide a legal framework to ensure that learners’ additional learning needs are identified early and includes  guidance for relevant people such as schools and local authority , further education , NHS Trust etc…..; The Code imposes requirements on a local authority to provide:

· advice and information;

· disagreements resolution;

 · decisions on whether a child or young person has additional learning needs;

·  the preparation, content, form, review and revision of individual development plans (IDPs); and

· ceasing to maintain IDPs.

Where requirements are imposed by the Code, the Act or regulations, the relevant body must comply with the requirement.  Where it says that certain things are not allowed, the school, or local authority or college must not do it.

Schools, Local authorities, FE’s and others must comply with the law and requirements included in the Code and not doing so could result in a decision being overturned by the Tribunal, a successful complaint to the Welsh Ministers, local authority or Welsh Ministers’ intervening, a complaint to the Public Services Ombudsman or to a successful judicial review claim.

So why worry?  

  • Well the Code, is, we are told not for parents.   (Guidance for parents will be issued later….) – But at least the draft should be clear and accessible for all those SENCO’s, teachers and local authority officers out there who have to implement it.
  • The draft code is 316 pages long and from all the feedback we’ve had from schools, LAs and professionals, it’s open to huge interpretation and a really difficult read.
  • The structure and language isn’t always clear and rather than just dipping in to ‘relevant sections’, you really do have to cross reference back and forth to try and find the full picture.
  • The new draft code seems to be far more complicated and less easy to read than the old 2002 version which it replaces.
  • There is less than a month to respond and people all over Wales haven’t read the whole draft yet

In the midst of severe austerity where our schools and local authorities are having budget cuts, (which does shape institutional behaviour) having a code which is not clear can create conflict.

Let’s hope that out Tribunal rates will not soar as they did in England or that Schools and their local Authorities will not be in conflict regarding decisions and reconsiderations vice versa.

So is all lost? 

Certainly not, the ACT is a welcome and vital extension of opportunity for children and young people with ALN.  Those drafting the code are open to changes.   Everyone will have to adapt and learn, money will have to be spent, and a raft of new skills will have to develop.  But Rome never was built in a day

However there is a specific issue of concern which SNAP Cymru feels should be clarified and not left to interpretation:

   The provision of disagreement resolution services

SNAP Cymru feel that disagreement resolution should be provided by individuals and services, who are independent of the local authority.    We feel disagreement resolution support that is delivered by the Local Authority internally, in an attempt to comply with its duties would clearly not comply with section 68(3) of the Act .

If a Local Authority were to dedicate a ‘separate department’ to this service, we feel it would still fail in its duties to provide an independent service as set out in the new legislation.   It is not only vital that this service, is independent in appearance, but also independent in fact to promote the confidence and trust of families – both vital ingredients for any successful disagreement resolution process

The English Code of Practice which accompanies the 2014 legislation makes it quite clear:

  ‘no-one who is directly employed by a local authority can provide disagreement resolution services.

Those responsible for the Code in Wales believe it’s appropriate to deliver this service ‘in house.’   Many teachers and local authority officers have told us that they feel this would be a conflict of interest and have no intention of going down this route.   But some may.  

Parent Partnership Services have already been removed from this Code; the battle to ensure that information and advice was independent, was also lost during the writing of the legislation.

If information and dispute resolution for parents is to be clear, reliable and widespread and not determined and delivered solely by the local authority then people need to tell the WG that disagreement resolution provided by the local authority ‘in house’ is NOT acceptable

So please do respond to the following questions in the consultation:

Question 8 – Involving and supporting children, their parents and young people

Question 11 – Advice and information

 And 42 and 43 – Dispute resolution

https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/21TLX/

What are the next steps in terms of development of the Code?

The ‘code’ is out for consultation now – please respond and tell the Welsh Government how you feel.   You don’t have to answer every question.   Respond to specific points, to small section that you find particularly important.    You can respond on the online form by doing sections at a time and saving the doc before submitting.   Get together with other parents and respond together! If you’re a professional and concerned do respond.

The Code will be will need approval by the National Assembly for Wales, before it can be issued. We anticipate this will be at the end of 2019

https://beta.gov.wales/draft-additional-learning-needs-code

How the Additional Learning Needs Education Tribunal (ALNET) Act will be implemented.

Since the ALNET Bill received Royal Assent last year the Welsh Government has consulted on and published the first in a series of guides which explain how the ALNET Act and changes from Special Educational Needs to Additional Learning needs Systems will be implemented from 2020 onward

This first guide focuses on implementing individual development plans (IDPs) for children of compulsory school age and under.  It sets out the intended mandatory phased timetable for local authorities and school governing bodies to transfer children with special educational needs plans – such as statements and individual education plans – to the new ALN system.

Under the new system, children with ALN will be entitled to IDPs.

Where it appears to a LA or a school that a child may have ALN ‘they must decide’.   Where it has been decided a child has ALN, an IDP must be prepared for the child. The school or LA that maintains an IDP must secure the additional learning provision (ALP)

The definition hasn’t changed a great deal:  “A person has additional learning needs if he or she has a learning difficulty or disability (whether the learning difficulty or disability arises from a medical condition or otherwise) which calls for additional learning provision”

Conversion of statements will take place over a two year period and conversion of plans for learners on early years action, school action, early years action plus and school action plus will take place over three years.

The phased approach prioritises the transfer of learners with statements.  In addition, the approach focuses on, the youngest of learners to ensure early and effective intervention, and those learners nearing key points of progression to facilitate effective transition planning.

The guides are intended for use by organisations with duties set out in the Act such as local authorities, governing bodies of maintained schools, school teaching staff and special education needs co-ordinators (SENCos)/additional learning needs co-ordinators (ALNCos)

The Welsh Government have said that information for parents – “to explain what the new system means for children and young people including how, and when, they can access their new rights under the Act will be published in due course.”

Additional guides which will set out the arrangements for implementing specific aspects of the ALN system to include further education including specialist post-16 education.

The Additional Learning Needs Code will place requirements on local authorities and governing bodies and contain guidance.   A new draft ALN Code is expected to be published for consultation in December. This will provide an opportunity to respond to the content – much of which will eventually be mandatory and contain the regulations regarding timescales.  There will be approximately 15 weeks to respond to the consultation.  This will then  be laid before the National Assembly for Wales in 2019 and it is hoped that all subordinate legislation will be in place by the end of 2019.

Implementation training will be rolled out early in 2020 and the new system will be expected to go live from September 2020.

The guide to implementing IDPs for children of compulsory school age and under is available at:

Other useful documents can be found at the following:

 

 

Infographic available at – http://gov.wales/topics/educationandskills/schoolshome/additional-learning-special-educational-needs/transformation-programme/legislation-and-statutory-guidance/?lang=en

 

To ensure successful and consistent implementation of the new system, the WG have said they will be helping services to prepare for the changes ahead and to develop closer multi-agency
and cross-sector working practices. This includes the following:

  • Readiness, compliance, and impact monitoring and evaluation: to ensure that implementation of the Act is monitored closely, that issues are effectively addressed
    for the benefit of children and young people, and that best practice is being identified and shared across Wales. The approach will consider implementation in stages.
  • Readiness: assessing the extent to which local authorities and other delivery agents  are prepared for the changes ahead.
  • Compliance: how effectively they are complying with the new legislative requirements once they take effect.
  • Impact: how and the extent to which the changes are embedding and making an impact on outcomes for learners.

ALN Transformation Leads: the WG have appointed a team of five transformation leads who provide advice, support and challenge to local authorities, FEIs and other delivery partners in preparing for and managing transition to the new ALN system.

Tracey Pead will remain in South East Wales after being the lead of the Pupil Support team in Torfaen County Borough Council;
Liz Jones, former Principal Educational Psychologist from Blaenau Gwent, will continue to work in the Mid-East region;
Huw Davies, a former Estyn inspector, will be working in the West and Mid Wales region;
Margaret Davies, former Estyn inspector, will work in the North region;
Chris Denham will take on the role of a Further Education transformation leader after working to Coleg Gwent in the field of Additional Learning Needs

 ALN Transformation Grants: funding to support delivery partners (including local authorities, FEIs, local health boards, the Tribunal and Estyn) to prepare for transition
to 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) (gov.wales/docs/dcells/publications/131016-sen-codeof-practice-for-wales-en.pdf).

Additional Learning Needs Parent Information Sessions

SNAP Cymru in partnership with the Additional Learning Needs Transformation Leads for South East Wales, South West & Mid Wales and North Wales are delivering a series of information events for parents intended to help families understand how the new system that supports children and young people with Additional Learning Needs will work. The events are being held at the locations below and can be booked by contacting Amanda 07587 187 430 or amanda.daniels@snapcymru.org

Or book on:  South West & Mid Wales    Eventbrite               

South East Wales and North Wales  Eventbrite 

Carmarthen

Wed 21st November 2018

10.00 – 1.00 p.m.

Outdoor Bowling Club

St. Peters

Carmarthen

SA31 1QP

 

Neath Port Talbot

Fri 23rd Nov

1.30 – 3.30

Owain Glyndwr Community Ctr

Waunceirch

Neath,   SA10 7BZ

 

 

Torfaen

Tues 27th Nov

11.00 – 2.00

Brecon House

4a William Brown Cl

Cwmbran

NP44 3AB

 

Swansea

Wed 28th November

10.00 – 1.00

ITEC

250 Carmarthen Road

SWANSEA

SA1 1HG

 

Newport

Thurs 29thth Nov

11.00 – 2.00

Leisure Centre

1 Kingsway

Newport

NP20 1UH

 

Swansea

Fri 30th Nov

10.00 – 1.00

ITEC

250 Carmarthen Road

SWANSEA

SA1 1HG

 

 

Conwy

Wed 5th Dec

10.00 – 11.30pm

Clwyd Suite

Parc Eirias, Eirias Rd

Bae Colwyn/Colwyn Bay

LL29 7SP

 

Conwy

Wed  5 Dec

2.00 – 3.30

Towyn Community Centre

Ty’n y Coed, Towyn Road,

Towyn

LL22 9ES

Denbighshire

Thurs 6th Dec

3.00 – 4.30

Willow Room

Oak Tree Centre

Ffordd Las

Rhyl LL18 2DY

Denbighshire

Thurs 6th Dec

10.00 -11.30

Eirianfa Community Centre

Factory Place

Dinbych/Denbigh

LL16 3TS

 

Powys (1)

Mon 10th Dec

10.0  – 1.00

Media Resource Centre

Oxford Rd

Llandrindod Wells

LD1 6AH

 

Powys (2)

Tuesday 11th Dec

10.0  – 1.00

COWSHACC

Olford Lane

Welshpool

 

SY21 7TE

 

 

Ceredigion

Wed 12th Dec

10.30 – 1.30

Y Ganolfan Integredig

Boulevard de Saint-Brieuc

Aberystwyth

Ceredigion

SY23 1PD

 

Caerphilly

Wed 12th Dec

11.00 – 2.00

Bryn Meadows

Ystrad Mynach,

Caerphilly

CF82 7SN

 

For further information or to confirm your attendance at one of the parent events opposite, please contact Amanda Daniels on:

07587 187 430 or amanda.daniels@snapcymru.org

 

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)

 

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