During the May elections and within our manifesto, NAHT Cymru asked that the Welsh government develop an understanding that for ALN reform to succeed, there must be significant investment in training and support for schools. Some settings still do not understand the implications of the bill, and for some the reform agenda will prove to be very challenging. Schools must be given help and a grace period of adjustment in order to meet the requirements.
The role of the ALNCo is significant in the reform agenda and is now mandatory for all schools. An ALNCo will form part of the senior leadership team of the school, which will result in restructures where the post holder is not already an SLT member. It is essential that appropriate provision is available to ensure the ALNCo and the setting live up to statutory responsibilities. This means that not only will remuneration commensurate with the level of responsibility be made available, but also that schools have the resources in place to release the postholder to carry out that work. If the ALNco is also a classroom teacher, appropriate teacher cover must be brought in and that funding must be allocated; otherwise schools are being set up to fail.
NAHT Cymru calls on the Welsh government to recognise these issues and adopt an appropriate pay structure and funding stream. The current SEN allowance relates to teaching responsibilities, not leadership roles.
In February this year, the previous education minister announced that:
Since publication of the plan, covid has had a significant impact on Wales and I cannot ignore the impact of this on resources available in our schools, pupil referral units, local authorities and our health service. As a result, I have carefully considered my aims for implementing the new system, based on what is reasonably deliverable in the current circumstances.
Therefore from 1 September 2021, the ALN system will commence for children of compulsory school age and below who:
- - attend maintained schools in Nursery Years 1 and 2 and Year 1, Year 3, Year 5, Year 7 and Year 10) who have special educational provision via school action or school action plus;
- - are detained; and
- - do not have special educational needs on or before that date, regardless of their year group or setting - including those that may attend an EOTAS setting, an independent school or who are electively home educated.
- This means that children who currently have special educational provision via a statement and those who are in any form of post-16 education, will not be included in the first year of implementation.
Webinar with government officials
We continue to receive numerous queries from setting regarding the reform and we have therefore arranged a webinar with Welsh Government officials for Monday 12 July 12 at 2pm. You can register in advance for this webinar here and download a poster for the event here.
NAHT Cymru FAQs on ALN Reform
Additional learning needs (ALN) transformation programme
Welsh Government FAQs
Overview of the 'Draft Additional Learning Needs Code for Wales' - February 2019
ALN online training