More funding and consistency for children with additional learning needs

The Cabinet Secretary for Education will today (Wednesday 8th May) set out how she will ensure additional learning needs (ALN) reforms are being implemented consistently in Welsh schools and local authorities.

She will also announce a further £20 million for schools to improve facilities for learners with ALN as part of a debate on ALN reforms this afternoon.

Education Secretary Lynne Neagle said:

“Excellent work is happening to support learners with additional learning needs across Wales. I have made it my job in the first few weeks to listen to parents, schools, local authorities and the health sector to see what is happening on the ground.

I want to act now to improve the implementation of the ALN system, focusing on the fundamental issues that are being raised with me.

We have already extensively reviewed implementation, but I want to see further improvements to make the system more consistent across Wales.

The extra £20 million, as part of our Sustainable Communities for Learning Programme, will continue to make a huge difference to the education of learners with additional learning needs. Every child in Wales has the right to an excellent education and it is vital to continue to invest in it for all children to succeed.”

The £20 million announced today will help with building and updating sensory areas, specialist equipment upgrades, specialist classrooms and outdoor spaces as well as improving the additional learning provision through the medium of Welsh. 

Over the last three years we have invested an extra £60 million in ALN infrastructure as part of our Sustainable Communities for Learning Programme and protected our extra investment of £56.3 million to implement reforms and boost resources in schools, further education and local authorities.

In 2022 Ysgol Gymraeg Gwaun Y Nant in Barry received a grant of nearly £214,000 which was used to create and equip a specialist ALN resource centre at the school. This will also increase Welsh language provision for ALN learners.

Rhydian Lloyd, headteacher at Ysgol Gymraeg Gwaun Y Nant said:

“The additional funding has allowed us to establish a modern and dedicated Welsh-medium resource base for ALN learners across the Vale of Glamorgan.

We are noticing a significant increase in pupils presenting with ALN, particularly those with autism spectrum condition and significant social communication, interaction, anxiety, and regulation difficulties.

By establishing our resource base, we can further support these pupils and in doing so improve the provision for some of our most vulnerable learners.”

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