Jeremy Miles MS, Minister for Education and Welsh Language
I am pleased to make available an additional £18 million in 2021-22 to support Additional Learning Needs (ALN) provision.
Of this funding, £10 million will provide targeted support for children and young people with ALN who have been further disadvantaged by the pandemic, and £8 million will provide extra support for maintained nurseries, schools, pupil referral units and local authorities to ensure they have the capacity, time and resources needed to implement the new ALN system.
The impact of COVID-19 is affecting all learners, but disproportionately affecting vulnerable and disadvantaged learners, particularly children and young people with ALN. By providing additional resource to support learners with ALN to recover from the effects of the pandemic, we can reduce the likelihood of long-term and/or lifelong impacts on their education, skills, health, and wellbeing.
We have heard directly from schools, whose budgets and staff capacity are already stretched, that there is a need for additional funding to help them prepare for, and implement the new ALN system which is being commenced over three years. The additional £8 million I am making available will provide extra support for these settings to ensure they have the resources they need to move children and young people from the old special educational needs (SEN) system to the new ALN system.
Supporting learners with ALN remains a key priority for this government as we continue to take action to ensure everyone has the opportunity to thrive.
This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Senedd returns I would be happy to do so.