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Attendees included:

  • Association of Directors of Education in Wales (ADEW)
  • Colegau Cymru
  • National Implementation Leads
  • Education Tribunal for Wales (ETW)
  • Health Board Directors of Service
  • Local Authority inclusion leads and Directors of Service
  • National Academy for Educational Leadership Wales (NAEL)
  • Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA)
  • Welsh Government (WG)

1. Welcome and introductions

The Chair welcomed the group and noted apologies from 4 members.

2. Governance: minutes and actions from 18 January 2024

The actions from the previous steering group meeting were discussed.

3. Feedback from Steering Group members and Terms of reference review

Welsh Government gave a presentation on the governance, revised Terms of reference of the ALN Reform National Steering Group.

The group discussed the frequency of meetings and composition of membership. 

Members were asked to consider and agree the revised Terms of reference.

4. ALN claims: Educational Tribunal for Wales

Education Tribunal Wales noted appeals registered on Additional Learning Needs (ALN) and Special Educational Needs (SEN) claims were lower than originally anticipated.

Discussion around trends relating to threshold and criteria policies regarding ALN and Additional Learning Provision (ALP), maintenance of local authority or school based Individual Development Plan (IDP) and changes to the case management of appeals.

5. Update position on middle tier and ALN

Welsh Government provided a presentation on middle tier review and ALN. It was noted evidence was gathered from schools, LAs and regional middle tier partnerships during the autumn term 2023.

Discussion around effective local collaboration, targeting effective resources and providing stronger national leadership.

6. Post-16 update

The National Implementation Lead for Post-16 provided a presentation on Post-16 in ALN. Discussion around challenges of transition and information sharing and workforce and capacity.

Discussion around local and regional Post-16 groups promoting effective practice. Challenges raised around developing partnerships with Further Education Institution’s (FEI’s) and collaboration with Health and Social Care.

7. ALN Welsh Government update

Welsh Government updated attendees on the ALN policy position. Details were provided on new Cabinet Secretary for Education and Minister for Mental Health and Early Years.

Discussion around appointment of Welsh Language National Implementation Lead, Post-16 event on transition and the Cabinet Secretary’s attendance at the Children, Young People and Education Committee on 8 May 2024.

8. Any other business

Members gave thanks to ALN Multi-Agency Collaboration Working Group in establishing links with Health. 

The next meeting is scheduled for 20 June 2024.