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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
  • SNAP Cymru
  • Children’s Commissioner for Wales
  • 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 five members.

2. Minutes and Actions

The actions from the previous steering group meeting were discussed. All actions complete.

3. Initial teacher training and professional learning

Welsh Government gave a presentation on professional learning and associated ALN content on Hwb, Initial Teacher Education, induction support, strategic partners’ support, National Marsters; National Academy of Leadership, Higher Education, and Education Support.

The group discussed the implication of legislative changes and pressures on the system as a result. Discussed the need for greater clarity, awareness, and availability of training, and links with wider curriculum training, to other sectors including health.

The group also discussed mandatory training in other parts of the UK and how this compares to Wales, as well as discussion on options for future development of professional learning.

It was noted that there is inconsistency across Wales in how schools and teachers support ALN learners, and how practitioners are supported to access the training to develop the skills to support ALN learners.

4. Update on evaluation of implementation

Arad research provided attendees with an update on the evaluation, and outlined the scoping phase and research plans for this calendar year to include the next two phases – ALN area of studies and surveys for practitioners and parents/carers.

Researchers shared key points from the scoping report which was published in December 2023. The report presented a theory of change for the reforms, summarised findings from a synthesis of existing evidence on ALN system implementation and reported on the outcomes of a data mapping exercise.

The group provided some feedback to researchers and Welsh Government, who confirmed they will discuss proposals with individuals and organisations moving forward.

5. Welsh Government Business

Welsh Government updated the group on a question-and-answer session with the Education Tribunal Wales, President Judge Jane McConnell that took place following the success of the insights workshop held on 6 October 2023.

Welsh Government updated attendees on ALN policy position.

6. Any other business

The next meeting is scheduled for 28 March 2024.