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Written Statement - Publication of the White Paper consultation on Legislative Proposals for Additional Learning Needs

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This consultation sets out proposals to create a fairer system of support for children and young people with additional learning needs in Wales.
Huw Lewis, Minister for Education and Skills

Today, 22 May 2014, I am publishing a White Paper setting out the Welsh Government’s Legislative Proposals for Additional Learning Needs which aim to create a fairer system for children and young people with additional learning needs in Wales.

Reforming how children and young people with additional learning needs access support in either a school or Further Education setting is a Programme for Government commitment.

The White Paper ‘Legislative Proposals for Additional Learning Needs ‘ seeks views on proposals to introduce a new legislative framework for supporting children and young people with additional learning needs.  This will replace existing legislation for the assessment and provision of support for children and young people with special educational needs in schools and learning difficulties and/or disabilities in post-16 education and training.  

The White Paper explains how our proposals will create:

  • a unified legislative framework to support learners aged 0 to 25 with additional learning needs;
  • an integrated, collaborative process of assessment, planning and monitoring which facilitates early, timely and effective interventions; and
  • a fair and transparent system for providing information and advice, and for resolving concerns and appeals.

The reforms will provide a more equitable, person-centred system which increases the rights of children and their families and ensures that they are involved throughout the process.  I am confident that the proposed changes to policy and primary legislation will deliver improvements in the support provided to children and young people in Wales with additional learning needs to reach their full learning potential.

The White Paper builds on our preliminary proposals for reform set out in the 2012 consultation document, ‘Forward in partnership for children and young people with additional needs,’ which can be accessed from our website.

Officials have engaged extensively with stakeholders in preparing this White Paper and I have asked them to continue to do so as they develop the proposals further.

The consultation will run for nine weeks and will close on 25 July 2014.