The Welsh Government has unveiled proposals to create a fairer system for children with additional learning needs in Wales.
In the Programme for Government in 2011 the Welsh Government made a commitment to reforming how children and young people with additional learning needs access support in either a school or Further Education setting.
The draft White Paper - Legislative Proposals for Additional Learning Needs - provides details on Welsh Government proposals. It outlines the changes to policy and primary legislation that are believed necessary to reform the current framework for special educational needs and deliver improvements in the support provided to learners.
The use of term additional learning needs represents a conscious shift from the use of 'special educational needs' to one that is more inclusive and better reflects the diversity of learning need.
This White Paper explains how the proposals will:
- Join up the legislation so that there is one process to support learners from 0 to 25 with additional learning needs;
- Introduce an Individual Development Plan for all learners with additional learning needs, which they can contribute towards;
- Increase the rights of children and their parents to receive the provision they need.
Education Minister Huw Lewis said: 'Everyone deserves the very best opportunity to succeed in education and this includes those with additional learning needs.
'We strongly believe that if appropriate support is provided as soon as it is needed then many of the barriers they face can be overcome.
'The reforms which are being proposed will mean a more equitable system which increases the rights of children and their families and involves them throughout the process. The overall impact will be to support children and young people in Wales with additional learning needs to reach their full potential.'
The White Paper can be accessed on the Welsh Government's website.