Education Legal services for Families, in particular, Special Educational Needs & Disability
Education Lawyers

SEN / ALN system in Wales

We can also offer legal support for families in Wales whose children have additional needs. In Wales, a new system will soon be coming info force, changing the term special educational needs to Additional Learning Needs (ALN). This is expected to be implemented in 2021.

ALN in Wales

What’s the new ALN system in Wales?

The Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Act received Royal Assent in January 2018. This new statutory support system for children and young people aged 0 to 25 years in Wales with ALN is now due to come into force in September 2021. You can find factsheets here. The Welsh Government intends to lay the new ALN Code of Practice and regulations before the Senedd Cymru for approval in spring 2021.

The implementation period will last three years until summer 2024, during which time existing Statements of SEN, Individual Education Plans and Learning and Skills Plans will be converted to Individual Development Plans (IDPs). 

Is this system in force now?

No. For the time being, local authorities and all those who work with children and young people with SEN, must ensure that they continue to comply with the duties placed upon them by the Education Act 1996. They must also continue to have regard to the SEN Code of Practice for Wales (2004).

That means until then, the existing system is still in place where children with SEN can have the statutory support of a statement of special educational needs. To keep up with the changes, visit the SNAP Cymru site and the Welsh Government website.

The existing SEN Code of Practice in Wales can be found here

Your child may already be on one of the two lower levels of SEN support, “School Action” or School Action +”. If you feel the help they are currently getting is insufficient and they require a higher level of support than the school can provide from its own budget,  you can apply for a statutory assessment of their SEN.

Your child does not need to have been on these lower levels of support before you can apply for a statutory assessment if their needs are significant.

Can you support me if I’m in Wales?

Yes! We help families of children with special educational needs and disabilities in Wales. We can offer the same support as we do to families in England. We can offer help all the way through or at any stage of your child’s needs assessment and ensuring they get a legally-compliant Statement of SEN that meets their needs. We can also support you if you need to appeal or if you need to make a complaint about education or discrimination. We can also check your draft statement for compliance.

Just get in touch and see how we can help.

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