Alun Davies, Minister for Lifelong Learning and Welsh Language
I am today publishing revised guidance clarifying the policy and process by which the Welsh Government will make decisions about funding placements for young people with learning difficulties at a specialist further education (FE) establishment. This is designed to ensure greater transparency and understanding of the Welsh Government’s decision making process. The revised guidance now includes clearer timescales within which we and other interested parties seek to act and a mechanism for young people and/or their parent/carer to take issue with decisions made by the Welsh Government.
The Welsh Government is firmly committed to an inclusive education system. The Welsh Government believes that all young people who have a learning difficulty should be afforded equitable access to further education (FE) at a mainstream FE institution (FEIs), through the delivery of inclusive options available locally to meet their needs. FEIs normally meet the education and training needs of the majority of young people who have a learning difficulty. Where a young person’s needs cannot be met at an FEI then the Welsh Government will secure the specialist provision considered necessary to meet their identified needs.
The Welsh Government understands the severity and complexity of a young persons’ learning difficulty will differ from person to person. Therefore all applications for funding are considered on a case by case basis and on their individual merit. Decisions regarding provision to meet a young person’s needs, including the required duration and the programme of study, are based on an assessment of the young person’s education and training needs.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those involved in reviewing and strengthening this guidance.