On 1 September 2021 the law about children with learning difficulties and disabilities living in Wales changed as the old special educational needs (SEN) system began to make the transition to the new additional learning needs (ALN) system.
Every year for the next 3 school years (2021-22, 2022-23 and 2023-24) a group of school years will move from the SEN system to the new system until all pupils are on the new system. This means that during the transition period some pupils will come under the SEN system and others under the ALN system.
In some situations, children and young people and their parents in both systems have the right to challenge local authorities and schools at a specialist independent tribunal. These challenges can relate to the SEN or ALN systems and/or disability discrimination.
Before 1 September this tribunal was known as the Special Educational Tribunal for Wales (SENTW) but it is now known the Educational Tribunal for Wales (ETW).
The ETW will deal with challenges for both of the systems. However, both systems have different regulations and both systems have a different dedicated website with different forms and guidance!
So, how do you know which website to use?
The easiest way to know whether someone has moved to the new ALN system is to check what learning needs plans they have.
If they already have a statement of SEN, or were being assessed for a SEN statement before 1 September 2021 or have an individual educational plan (IEP) they are in the SEN system and you need this website
If they have an individual development plan (IDP), or were assessed for ALN after 01 September 2021, they are in the new ALN System and the correct website is here
Please note that the disability discrimination claims rules also changed on 1 September 2021 and you will need to use the ETW website:
If you have any doubts or questions the ETW’s contact details are:
Telephone: 0300 025 9800