NEU Cymru comment on Additional Learning Needs petition


Speaking about the debate in the Senedd today (8th May), Nicola Fitzpatrick, Interim Wales Secretary for the National Education Union Cymru, said:

"NEU Cymru members will recognise many of the challenges identified by the petition being debated today - the Additional Learning Needs Code needs to change to support children and young people.

"NEU Cymru has broadly welcomed the introduction of the Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Act, in terms of its principles of early intervention for children and young people with additional learning needs. However, members tell us that there are significant challenges in implementing the Act, and in providing the right support for children in schools.

"The nature of the changes means an increased workload for ALN Coordinators, with coordinating and filling out an Individual Development Plan (IDP) taking a significant amount of time. Our members want to be focusing on children and their learning. Instead, the system is forcing teachers away from the classroom. Welsh Government has now got the opportunity to implement the recommendations from the task and finish group.

"It is clear to us - and indeed all of the schools' unions - that there are many aspects of the system which need to change so that schools can be best supported to provide support for children and young people - including consistency in terms of funding, and better access to training for ALNCos, teachers and support staff.

"Schools also need support, they cannot support children alone. There needs to be a range of services available to schools, including speech and language and CAMHS. Better and more consistent access to health and assessments would help support schools in making decisions about a child's ALN and the support they may need in accessing their learning."


Note to editors: Joint union briefing - signed up to by ASCL, NAHT, UCAC, Unison, GMB, NASUWT and NEU.

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