So, I came across an article on Special Needs Jungle on the new Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Act 2018, which came into force on 1 September 2021. This seems to represent a sweeping change in the special educational needs framework (now to be known as additional learning needs). You can read about the changes here: The new “rights-based” Additional Learning Needs system in Wales
Based on what I have read, there are some interesting and welcome features in this new legislation:
- Covers ages 0 to 25, as opposed to 3-18 (roughly) in Scotland
- A single statutory plan for everyone with additional learning needs, as opposed to a tiny proportion who fit with the arcane criteria for a Co-ordinated Support Plan (CSP)
- A focus on local resolution of disagreements, backed by wide and consistent rights of access to the Education Tribunal for Wales
- A “whole system” approach, including external agencies and the stages before and after school
- A Code of Practice which embeds principles from the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
As you know, the ASN Review is now in its implementation phase, and we are currently waiting for the review on CSPs to report and a revision to the Code of Practice (I think). So, plenty of opportunities to adopt some of these ideas from Cymru.