Kirsty Williams, Minister for Education
I am pleased to publish today the summary of responses to the consultation on the draft Additional Learning Needs (ALN) Code and proposed related regulations.
This is an essential milestone in ensuring that those working with learners with ALN understand their roles and responsibilities under the Act, regulations and Code. It will assist them in delivering a transformed system of support to improve educational outcomes for some of our most disadvantaged children and young people.
I am delighted at the level of engagement from an extensive range of stakeholders and partners in the consultation. In total 644 written responses were received, including some in response to the children and young people and easy read consultation documents.
To ensure we reached a wide range of stakeholders we held eight half-day consultation events in the four regional education consortia areas, which were attended by approximately 800 people in total. In addition, we commissioned a series of engagement sessions with children, young people and parents which were attended by 228 participants. I have today also published the separate summaries of feedback from the regional consultation events and the engagement sessions with children, young people and parents.
Overall, over half of the questions received a positive response. Of the remaining questions, none had an absolute majority against the proposal but nevertheless included a significant number of ‘not sure’ or negative responses. The comments received from respondents tended to come from those who were opposed to particular aspects of the policies set out in the draft ALN Code, or who were unsure about aspects of those policies and requested further clarity.
The responses to the consultation raised many issues that now require detailed consideration to determine what changes may be needed to the Code and regulations. I intend to lay a revised draft of the ALN Code before the Assembly for its approval later in 2019. At the same time, I intend to lay various regulations to be made under the Act, including those consulted on as part of this consultation. The laying of the ALN Code and regulations will be accompanied by the publication of explanatory memoranda which will set out in detail any changes made as a consequence of the consultation.
Subject to its approval by the Assembly, I expect to publish the ALN Code before the end of 2019, with the new ALN system implemented over a period of three years beginning in September 2020.