The ALNET Bill is just one aspect of the overarching ALN Transformation Programme.
Almost a quarter of pupils in Wales have some kind of SEN and the Minister today announced how he intends to take forward landmark legislation to protect and strengthen the rights of this significant group.
The Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (ALNET) Bill, announced as part of the first year of this Government’s legislative programme by the First Minister last week, will overhaul the legal framework, eliminating inconsistencies and shortfalls in the current system.
It also aims to ensure that partner agencies work together to provide equality of opportunity for all children and young people to participate in and benefit from learning.
The Minister said,
“The current legislative framework for supporting children and young people with special education needs is based on a model introduced more than 30 years ago. This is clearly no longer fit for purpose.
“With this Bill we hope to transform the expectations, experiences and outcomes for children and young people with ALN in Wales.
“This transformation is already well underway, through a comprehensive programme of wider reforms, but the introduction of legislation is a major step in this journey.
“We have consulted extensively on these proposals, including via a White Paper and last year’s draft Bill, and the responses to that have been published today. The feedback we have received has been strongly supportive of the principles and ambitions of our reforms and we will take the views expressed and use them to inform the development of this landmark legislation, as well as the wider ALN Transformation Programme.”
The overarching aims of the Bill are to create:
- a unified legislative framework to support children and young people aged 0-25 with ALN in schools and further education
- an integrated, collaborative process of assessment, planning and monitoring, which facilitates early, timely and effective interventions
- a fair and transparent system for providing information and advice, and for resolving concerns and appeals
The ALNET Bill is just one aspect of the overarching ALN Transformation Programme. At the heart of these reforms is a focus on inclusion; putting children and young people at the centre, and ensuring they are supported to reach their full potential.
The Minister said,
“These reforms will deliver a complete overhaul of the system. Implementing the reforms will be a considerable undertaking, but one which has real potential to bring about significant improvements for all involved and which will, I am sure, have a real and positive impact on the lives of some of society’s most vulnerable people.”