Minister to explain delay in ALN Bill to Members

19 June 2015

Article by Michael Dauncey, National Assembly for Wales Research Service

picture of young boy in classroom

Image from Pixabay. Licensed under the Creative Commons

The Minister for Education and Skills, Huw Lewis, will make a statement in the Assembly Chamber on Tuesday (23 June), explaining why legislation to reform the legal framework for assessing and meeting Additional Learning Needs (ALN) will not be introduced until after the Assembly election.

According to this week’s Business Statement (16 June), which sets outs the Chamber’s agenda for the next three weeks, an Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Bill was expected to be laid the week of 6 July.

However, a Ministerial statement issued yesterday announced that, instead, a Draft Bill will be introduced before the summer recess (by Friday 16 July) and an early version of the Code of Practice published in the autumn. Consultation on both will take place until December this year and the Bill itself will be brought forward after next May’s election, early in the next Assembly.

The Minister says ‘it is vital we design change with the profession and do not impose it upon them’ which has led him to decide ‘we need to build in an important additional step in our reform journey’.

Ahead of the Minister’s statement on Tuesday, AMs and interested observers may find useful the Research Service’s recently published paper, Special Educational Needs (SEN)/Additional Learning Needs (ALN) in Wales (PDF1.21MB). This charts the journey of review and proposed reform that has already taken place, providing the background to this eagerly anticipated legislation.

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