Councillors welcome changes for Additional Learning Needs education

Councillors in Blaenau Gwent have supported two key strategies and associated policies aimed at improving the experiences and educational outcomes of children and young people with Additional Learning Needs (ALN).

The People Scrutiny Committee heard how the way pupils with Additional Learning Needs are supported has been reviewed in line with the Welsh Government’s ALN Reform programme. All children and young people with ALN will be provided with tailored Individual Development Plans, which will set out the approach to support their needs and the additional learning provision required.

An ALN Reform working group, made up of Local Authority Education officers and Headteachers, have been meeting to work on the plans and to inform the new approaches – particularly the high-level ALN Strategy and the Inclusion Strategy.

The Council’s Executive Member for People & Education, Cllr Sue Edmunds says:

“Supporting children and young people with Additional Learning Needs is fundamental to our vision for Better Schools, Better Citizens and Better Communities. It is vital that everyone is working together to ensure that these learners are well supported in both their education and wellbeing needs and are achieving their full potential and desired outcomes.

“I’m pleased that Scrutiny have today supported these changes to ALN provision which, in our view, can only be seen as an extremely positive step forward in the education and learning experiences of some of our most vulnerable learners in Blaenau Gwent.”

In addition to Welsh Government funding allocated directly to schools to support with the implementation of ALN reforms, the Council has also been allocated additional funding of £215,000. This is to provide high quality education and to improve pupil outcomes for all learners with an Additional Learning Need. The funding will focus on improving additional learning provision, increased provision for complex needs and mental health and wellbeing support.

You can read the report to Scrutiny and view some of the new policies/strategies here –

The report will now go before the Executive Committee for final approval.