£18 million funding for pupils with Additional Learning Needs

Extra funding to support children and young people with Additional Learning Needs (ALN) has been announced by the Welsh Labour Government.

Up to £18m is being made available and Wrexham’s Member of the Senedd, Lesley Griffiths has welcomed the announcement.

Of this funding, £10m will aim to provide immediate support to children and young people with ALN who’ve been adversely affected by the impact of the pandemic.

The funding will add to existing support for ALN learners, such as speech and language therapy.  It can also be used to provide extra resources to target the impacts of the pandemic, such as mental health support and tailored support to help with attendance.

The remaining £8m will provide additional support for nurseries, schools, local authorities and pupil referral units to ensure they have the capacity, time and resources needed to implement the new ALN system from this month.

The new ALN system, being rolled out over three years, will ensure children and young people with ALN are identified quickly and their needs are met. The Act makes provision for new individual development plans, designed to put the views of learners at the heart of the decision-making process, alongside those of their parents or carers.

Lesley Griffiths MS said: “This has been a tumultuous time for our schools.  Day-to-day timetables are uncertain and budgets are being stretched.  Every student has been impacted by Covid-19 but vulnerable or disadvantaged learners, particularly children and young people with ALN, have been disproportionately affected.

“Learners in Wrexham will benefit from this extra investment and I hope it will aid recovery, as well as help reduce longer-term impacts on their education and wellbeing.  This announcement demonstrates that supporting students with ALN remains a key priority for the Welsh Government and the action it has taken will help ensure everyone has the opportunity to thrive.”