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Monday, 08 February 2021 11:21

New arrangements for supporting children with special educational needs and disability

February 2021

Dear Parent / Carer

The system for supporting children and young people with special educational needs and disability in Wales is changing. From September 2021, the Welsh Government is bringing in a new, simpler and more responsive system of meeting the needs of children with special educational needs or disabilities. The new system puts the learner at the heart of everything that happens. It will be brought in gradually over the next few years (2021 -2024). I would like to share with you some of the key messages about these changes and what they mean for you.

Key Messages:

  • The current graduated system of Early Years Action, Early Years Action Plus and Statements is being replaced. All children and young people thought to have ALN will have an Individual Development Plan (IDP). The IDP will replace all other individual plans. IDPs for children under compulsory school age will be maintained by local authorities.
  • Emphasis will be on high aspirations and better outcomes for children and young people with Additional Learning Needs (ALN).

  • The new Code for the new system will cover children and young people aged 0-25. This means that early years, further education colleges and further independent specialist colleges will now also be included (but not higher education or apprenticeships.)

  • Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENCos) in schools will now be called Additional Learning Needs Coordinators (ALNCos)

  • The term Additional Learning Needs (ALN) will replace the terms Special Educational Needs (SEN) and Learning Difficulties and Disabilities (LDD). It is when additional learning provision (ALP) is required to support their education that a child or young person will be identified as having ALN.
  • The current phased system of School Action, School Action Plus and Statements will disappear, and all children and young people thought to have ALN will receive an Individual Development Plan (IDP). The IDP will replace Individual Education Plans (IEPs), Individual Behavior Plans (IBPs) or Individual Play Plans (IPPs).
  • Most Individual Development Plans will be maintained by the school, but where it is considered unreasonable for the school to do so, the Local Authority may maintain them.

  • There will be more opportunity for children, young people, parents and carers to contribute to the creation and maintenance of Individual Development Plans through Person Centred Planning.

  • It is hoped that working together more closely should help to avoid disagreements.

  • All reasonable steps will be taken to ensure Welsh language provision if required

  • All children and young people who have an Individual Development Plan will have an equal right to appeal to tribunal.

This year, agencies will be working together to share further information with yourselves and provide reassurance about the transformation programme and implementation. If you require additional information, follow the link provided.

If you would like any additional information or advice, please contact your child's Additional Learning Needs Co-ordinator; The Lead Officer for Additional Learning Needs of your child's early years setting, or contact SNAP Cymru who offer free independent advice and support to parents by visiting: or call their helpline on: 0808 801 0608

I hope you find the information in this letter useful and that you join myself and Local Authorities in welcoming the new system.

Yours sincerely


Helen Smith

Additional Learning Needs Transformation Lead, North Wales Region

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Read 274 times Last modified on Monday, 08 February 2021 11:48