Wales: Update on the Additional Learning Needs System

01 December 2020

The Welsh Government issued the following update below on 25 November:

The Senedd yesterday approved the ‘Draft: Additional Learning Needs Co-ordinator (Wales) Regulations 2020’ (“ALNCo Regulations 2020”) which will come into force on 4 January 2021. This marks another significant step towards the implementation of the ALN system; and our goal of transforming the expectations, experiences and outcomes for children and young people with additional learning needs (ALN).

The ALNCo Regulations 2020 prescribe the qualifications and experience of the ALNCo role and will help to ensure greater consistency in how schools and further education institutions in Wales will exercise their duty to designate an ALNCo.

Please note that as indicated in her statement on the 3 November, the Minister for Education has commenced by way of Order, the requirements in the ALN Act for schools and further education institutions; health boards; and local authorities to designate, respectively, an ALNCo; Designated Education Clinical Lead Officer (DECLO) and the Early Years Additional Learning Needs Lead Officer (EYALNLO) on 4 January 2021.

We will shortly be publishing non-statutory guidance on the operational duties of the three ALN statutory roles. This will be based on the intended final text of the ALN Code which has been developed and revised following the 2018-19 code consultation and is to be laid before the Senedd in February 2021.

ALNCos have a vital role to play in helping schools and FEIs to prepare to deliver their statutory duties and responsibilities under the ALN Act 2018. Before these duties commence on a phased basis from September 2021, ALNCos in schools and FEIs across Wales have an opportunity to embed systems and practice; build effective and collaborative relationships; and to lead the whole education setting in delivering the ALN system effectively.

To support the ALNCo role we are developing an ALN National Professional Learning Programme. This is a targeted programme of training and development where tailored training, relevant to the individual will be available, to help build on their existing knowledge and skills. It is intended to enable the ALNCo to fulfil their responsibility to deliver the strategic planning, co-ordination and delivery of additional learning provision.

This supports a key aim of the ALN system, which is to ensure that all learners with ALN are supported to overcome their individual barriers to learning and achieve their full potential.

Further details will be published shortly on the learning programme and the package of workforce training we have developed to support newly established ALNCos and existing SENCos who are transitioning to the new ALNCo role.

You can find out more about the ALN transformation programme and guidance on the current SEN system here including our frequently asked questions and ALN transformation programme guide.

Please send any queries to [email protected]

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