Top

Top

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cabinet Meeting: 30 November, 2015

Report of the Cabinet Member for Children's Services & Schools

Draft Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Bill

Purpose of the Report

  1. To inform Members of the legislative context and content of the Draft Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Bill and agree the proposed consultation response to Welsh Government.

Recommendation

  1. Cabinet endorses the attached response to be made to the Welsh Government consultation as contained in Appendix A to the report, regarding the Draft Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Bill.

Reason for the Recommendation

  1. To agree a response to Welsh Government's consultation regarding the Draft Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Bill.

Background

  1. Legislation in relation to Special Educational Needs (SEN) is currently set out in Part IV of the Education Act 1996. Although the definition of SEN applies to children and young people with a wide range of needs, the legislation focuses primarily on those children and young people with more complex needs who are entitled to a statement of SEN issued by the local authority. According to Welsh Government data as at January 2014, 105,303 pupils at maintained schools in Wales had some form of SEN, which is around 22% of all pupils. However, only 12,530 pupils with SEN had a statement, which is 2.7% of all pupils.
  2. Statutory guidance on SEN is provided in the SEN Code of Practice for Wales. For children with SEN who do not have a statement, the Code sets out guidance in relation to interventions that are additional to, or different from, those provided as part of the school's or early years setting's usual, differentiated curriculum strategies. This is known as 'School Action' or 'Early Years Action.' Where a school or early years setting seeks the help of external support services, this is known as 'School Action Plus' or 'Early Years Action Plus'.
  3. The legislation relating to post-16 learners in FE with LDD is included in the 2000 Act. Welsh Ministers currently have a general duty under sections 31 and 32 of the 2000 Act to secure 'proper provision' for the education and training of learners aged between 16 and 19 years and 'reasonable facilities' for those over the age of 19 years. The 2000 Act also requires Welsh Ministers to secure the provision of boarding accommodation for children and young people with LDD if they cannot otherwise secure provision of facilities for education and training which are sufficient in quantity and adequate in quality for 16-19 year olds or reasonable facilities for those aged 19-25 years. Section 140 of the 2000 Act places a duty on Welsh Ministers to make arrangements for the assessment of young people who have statements of SEN, where they are likely to leave school at the end of the last year of compulsory schooling to receive post-16 education or training or higher education. It also gives Welsh Ministers a power to do so in relation to those aged up to 25 years who do not have a statement of SEN but who appear to have a learning difficulty.
  4. Under section 160 of the Education Act 2002 independent schools must be registered and an application to enter an independent school onto the register must contain information about whether the school admits pupils with SEN. The Independent Schools Standards (Wales) Regulations 2003 set out the standards to which an independent school will be inspected.
  5. In addition to the registration process, under section 347 of the Education Act 1996, Welsh Ministers may approve an independent school to admit children with a statement of SEN generally; or give individual consent to admit a child with a statement of SEN, where a school has not been approved. The Education (Special Educational Needs) Approval of Independent Schools Regulations 1994, prescribe the requirements to be complied with by an independent school as a condition of its approval as a school suitable for the admission of children for whom statements of SEN are maintained. In order for a child with a statement of SEN to be admitted into an independent school, the school must be registered under section 160 of the Education (Wales) Act 2002 and approved under section 347 of the Education Act 1996.
  6. The Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 ('the 2014 Act') offers opportunities to improve the connection between additional learning needs (ALN) and social care planning for looked after children and formerly looked after children. The 2014 Act places a duty on local authorities to provide and to keep under review, care and support plans for children and adults who have 'eligible needs' or fall into one of the 'passported' categories e.g. looked after child.
  7. Section 83(8) of the 2014 Act provides that where a child becomes looked after by a local authority, the local authority may:
  • prepare, review or revise a care and support plan at the same time as it or another body is preparing, reviewing or revising another document in the case of the person concerned; and
  • include the other document in the plan.
  1. This provides for integrated planning to ensure that the individual needs of children and young people are met. In addition, the 2014 Act places a duty on those exercising functions to seek to promote the well-being of people who need care and support. Section 2(2) of the 2014 Act defines "well-being" as well-being in relation to education, training and recreation (amongst others). In addition, under section 2(3), "well-being" in relation to a child (defined as a person under 18 years of age) also includes physical, intellectual, emotional, social and behavioural development. Section 78(2) (a) of the 2014 Act states that the duty of a local authority to safeguard and promote the well-being of a child looked after by it includes a duty to promote the child's educational achievement.

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. The Draft Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Bill is found at Appendix B via the following link: http://www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/Documents/_Committee%20Reports/Cabinet/2015/15-11-30/Draft-Additional-Learning-Needs-and-Education-Tribunal-Wales-Bill-Appendix-B.pdf A copy is also available in the Members' Room for ease of reference. The Draft Additional Learning Needs Code, Appendix C, is also provided via the following link: http://www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/Documents/_Committee%20Reports/Cabinet/2015/15-11-30/Draft-Additional-Learning-Needs-and-Education-Tribunal-Wales-Bill-Appendix-C.pdf and a copy of the same has also been deposited in the Members' Room for ease of reference. The draft Bill (Appendix B/section 1) provides for the term 'additional learning needs' (ALN) to replace the existing terms 'special educational needs' (SEN), 'learning difficulties and/or disabilities (LDD) and allows for its use in relation children or young people of any age.' For the purposes of the draft Bill, a child is a person not over compulsory school age while a young person is a person over compulsory school age but under the age of 25.
  2. Welsh Government believes that the use of a single term across the 0 to 25 age range will underline the new system's coherence and provide greater equity for learners. It will also help to avoid some of the stigma associated with the existing terms and will mark a clear break from the current systems.
  3. The draft Bill (Appendix B/section 3) also uses the term 'additional learning provision' (ALP) to replace the term 'special educational provision' (SEP), although it retains much the same definition that SEP currently has, that is, provision which is additional to, or otherwise different from, the educational or training provision made generally for children or young persons of the same age other than in special schools.
  4. The draft Bill replaces Part 4 of the 1996 Act, which established the current SEN system for schools and pre-16 education in general. It also (Appendix B/section 28) amends section 41 and repeals section 140 of the 2000 Act, both of which make provision in relation to LDD and further education. In their place, the draft Bill (Appendix B / sections 8-12) provides for the same statutory plan to be given to learners with ALN irrespective of whether they are in, or are likely to enter, school-based or further education. It will therefore place the systems for supporting learners with ALN in schools and further education on a more equal footing and should improve transition between school and post-16 education.
  5. The draft Bill's provisions will require local authorities to secure specialist post-16 education or training for a child or young person where the Individual Development Plan (IDP) indicates that this is necessary to meet their needs. Funding is likely to be transferred from the Welsh Government to the Revenue Support Grant (RSG) to support local authorities in their duty to secure specialist post-16 provision. The detail of the quantum of funding and the transfer arrangements are subject to negotiation through the Distribution Sub-group (DSG). All transfers to RSG are subject to negotiation through this group, which includes representation from the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) and Welsh Government in addition to four independent members.
  6. The draft Bill introduces statutory IDPs (Appendix B/sections 8-13) for all children and young people with ALN. Statements, IEPs and LSPs will cease to exist.
  7. The IDP will describe the child or young person's ALN and the ALP required to meet those needs (Appendix B /section 8). IDPs will normally be prepared, maintained and reviewed by the school or FEI that the child or young person attends following a determination by that body that the child or young person has ALN (Appendix B / sections 9-10). The ALP set out in the IDP will normally be delivered by the school or FEI. In those cases where determining whether the child or young person has ALN is beyond the school or FEI's capability, where it would not be possible for them to secure the ALP which is required, or the child or young person is not attending such a setting, the local authority would be responsible for determining ALN, preparing and reviewing the IDP and securing the ALP within it (Appendix B/section 12).
  8. Local authorities will also have powers and duties, in some circumstances, in relation to the reconsideration of decisions about ALN taken by schools, taking over responsibility for IDPs previously maintained by a school or FEI, and directing a school to prepare and/or maintain an IDP (Appendix B/sections17-19). As a minimum, IDPs would have to be reviewed every 12 months but in practice should be reviewed when necessary, or on request, which in many cases will be more frequent than every 12 months (Appendix B/section15). Welsh Government expects the interventions set out in the IDP action plan to include clear and specific milestones which will trigger a review of their effectiveness.
  9. The draft Bill (Appendix B/section 17,18 and 21) enables a child, young person or a child's parent to request:
  • that a local authority reconsiders a decision made by a school about whether he/she has additional learning needs;
  • that his/her IDP is reviewed;
  • that a local authority considers taking over a IDP maintained by a school or FEI; or
  • that a local authority reconsiders a school's decision to cease to maintain an IDP.
  1. Where a local authority does not comply with the request, the draft Bill requires that they give notice in writing of that fact to the child or young person and the child's parent. The notice must also inform the child/young person/parent of their right to appeal.
  2. The draft Bill permits (Appendix B/section 26) a local authority to name a maintained school in Wales in the IDP for the purposes of securing admission to that school, where it is satisfied that the child's interest requires the ALP identified in the IDP to be delivered at that school, and places a concomitant duty on schools to admit pupils in these circumstances. The draft Bill (Appendix B/section 30) also empowers local authorities to arrange for ALP to be made otherwise than in a school or make such arrangements (Appendix B/section 36) as they think fit to enable a child or young person for whom they are responsible to attend an institution outside of Wales or England which specialises in making the ALP necessary to meet the child or young person's needs.
  3. Where a pupil or student with an IDP maintained by local authority is registered or enrolled at a school or FEI, the draft Bill (Appendix B/section 25) requires that the school or FEI takes all reasonable steps to secure the ALP included in the IDP, although ultimate responsibility for securing that provision would rest with the local authority that maintains the IDP.
  4. Those bodies responsible for maintaining an IDP for a child or young person would be able to cease to maintain that IDP where it was no longer necessary for them to maintain it (Appendix B/section 20); or transfer it to another body (Appendix B/section 23) where that was appropriate (for example, where a child or young person changed schools or transferred from school to further education).
  5. When a child or young person is detained within a relevant youth accommodation and they are identified as having ALN, the draft Bill (Appendix B/sections 58 and 61) provides that their home local authority will be required to secure an IDP and make necessary ALP in accordance with an IDP on their release from detention. If a child or young person has an ALN and is subject to detention, the draft Bill (Appendix B/section 60) provides that the home local authority must keep the IDP while the person is detained in relevant youth accommodation and arrange for whatever ALP is appropriate for them whilst they are detained.
  6. The draft Bill states that the effect of these provisions would be to remove the inconsistencies and the unfairness which arise from the existing statutory and non-statutory categories of SEN, and the different systems for learners in schools and FEIs.
  7. The draft Bill (Appendix B/section 6) provides for the views, wishes and feelings of children and young people to form a core element of the new system and emphasises the importance of children and young people, and their parents participating as fully as possible in the decisions that are taken in relation to their ALN and the ALP that is provided for them.
  8. This will give statutory underpinning to Welsh Government's existing policy of promoting a much more person-centred approach to identifying needs and appropriate actions to meet those needs and help to ensure that IDPs are developed in accordance with the principles of person-centred thinking and planning. To facilitate this, the draft Bill (Appendix B/section 7) requires local authorities to make arrangements to provide children, young people and others with information and advice about ALN and the system set out in the draft Bill. It further requires local authorities to make known those arrangements to the affected parties thus ensuring that this information and advice is disseminated as appropriate and is accessible for all those who need it.
  9. In order that children and young people are able to fully exercise their right to appeal under this draft Bill, or to engage in disagreement resolution procedures required by it, the draft Bill (Appendix B/section 38) requires local authorities to provide them with access to independent advocacy services. These are services providing advice and assistance to a child or young person who is making, or intending to make, an appeal to the Education Tribunal for Wales ("the Tribunal"), considering whether to appeal to the Tribunal under that section, or taking part in, or intending to take part in, dispute resolution arrangements.
  10. The draft Bill (Appendix B/section 39) also allows for regulations to make provision for case friends who might make representations on behalf of a child or young person with a view to avoiding or resolving disagreements about the exercise by local authorities of their ALN functions, or exercise on their behalf the child or young person's person behalf, their rights to make an appeal to the Tribunal.
  11. The draft Bill (Appendix B/section 46) requires that all maintained schools (which will include maintained nurseries, and pupils referral units) and FEIs designate an Additional Learning Needs Co-ordinator (ALNCO). This replaces the existing non-statutory SENCO role which is interpreted differently across settings and authorities. It also extends the role to education settings which did not previously have a SENCO.
  12. Furthermore, the draft Bill will enable the IDP to be created so that the ALP it contains has a strong outcome focus rather than the making of provision being an end in itself.
  13. The draft Bill permits local authorities to place children and young people at independent schools or independent post-16 specialist colleges where it is necessary and appropriate in the light of the individual's ALN.
  14. However, local authorities (Appendix B/section 32) will be prohibited from placing a learner with ALN at an independent school that is not registered to cater for the ALP required to meet the ALN, as set out in the learner's IDP. Repealing section 347 (Appendix B/section 35 of the draft Bill) of the Education Act 1996 and strengthening the way that independent schools register to admit learners, under section 160 of the Education Act 2002 (Appendix B/section 31) will remove the unnecessary duplication and confusion between the two regimes and enable a clear single system of registration. Section 160 will be amended so that an independent school wishing to admit learners identified as having ALN, will be required to have demonstrated as part of its registration that it can provide the required type of ALP. In addition, Welsh Government will publish the independent school register, which combined with the above strengthening of the registration process will clearly set out for LAs and parents, of learners with ALN, the ALP an independent school can cater for. This will reduce the risk of inappropriate placements of learners with ALN into an independent school. Annual monitoring of independent schools is undertaken by Estyn who will also have a role in ensuring that independent schools are able to deliver the ALP they are registered to deliver.
  15. Similarly, local authorities will be prohibited from placing a learner at an independent specialist college in Wales or England unless the college is entered on a list of such colleges established under provisions set out in this draft Bill (Appendix B/section 33). Currently, minimum criteria are set via a funding contract between independent specialist colleges and Welsh Ministers.
  16. The provisions in this draft Bill will seek to ensure that any independent setting that is funded by local authorities to provide additional learning provision will continue to meet minimum criteria which will be transparent and set out in regulations. Furthermore it should provide the necessary assurance that when a child or young person with ALN is placed in this type of education setting, their needs will be met. Local authorities will be required to pay any fees arising from the placement of the child or young person at an independent school or college (Appendix B/section 27). These provisions should smooth the path of transition, enable better coordination with social services' support in particular, and encourage the provision of local packages of support. Annual monitoring of independent specialist colleges is also undertaken by Estyn.
  17. The draft Bill replicates the existing legislative presumption in favour of those with ALN being educated in mainstream schools wherever possible (Appendix B/section 29). This not only supports the Welsh Government's general policy on inclusiveness but underlines our view that expectations of and aspirations for those with ALN should be as high as possible.
  18. To ensure that high standards are universal, Welsh Government will work with local authorities to enable them to put in place arrangements to monitor and review the operation of the new system within and by maintained schools. In addition, to ensure that the overall learning provision the local authority makes continues to meet the needs of children and young people in their area, the draft Bill requires local authorities to keep under review the arrangements made by them for ALP (Appendix B/section 45). Local authorities may also supply goods and services to governing bodies to help them meet the needs of the child or young person (Appendix B/section 51).
  19. In removing the current artificial and contentious divide between children and young people who receive a statement of SEN and the statutory protection that affords, and those needs that are not considered severe or complex enough to receive a statutory plan with statutory protection, Welsh Government believes that the draft Bill provisions which introduce IDPs will eliminate one of the principle causes of adversarial tension. Furthermore, the draft Bill's emphasis on the participation of children and young people, and the parents of children in the decisions which affect them and the development of IDPs, will result in a more consensual approach to planning. It is also the belief of Welsh Government that the draft Bill's provisions on IDPs will pave the way for a less bureaucratic and time-consuming process for planning provision which should prove simpler to understand and less confrontational.
  20. The draft Bill (Appendix B/section 49) provides that where a local authority requests help or information from another local authority, an NHS body, or an FEI in the exercise of any of their ALN functions that body must comply with the request unless it considers that doing so would:
  • be incompatible with that body's own duties; or
  • otherwise have an adverse effect on the exercise of its functions.
  1. The duty to share information is new. Welsh Government believes that the draft Bill will address some of the current issues around the failure of bodies to share information as effectively as they should. It will be underpinned by clear guidance. The duty to help is similar to that which appears in the existing SEN legislation and will form the basis for ensuring the appropriate involvement of professionals in the development and review of IDPs for those with more severe and complex needs. In the view of Welsh Government where input is required from other agencies to support the child or young person to overcome barriers to learning, the draft Bill will enable the IDP to include ALP agreed by health, social services and other services as well as education. IDPs will contain an action plan that is clear about which agency is responsible for delivering the individual elements.
  2. The draft Bill (Appendix B/section 16) provides for IDPs and other plans relating to the same learner to be prepared, reviewed or revised at the same time. Other plans may also be included in the IDP; this mirrors the provisions included under section 58 of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014. This provision provides a clear legislative basis for avoiding the duplication of effort and confusion which arise where multiple plans are produced for the same individual, and enabling the much closer alignment and integration of otherwise separate planning processes. In relation to looked after children in particular, and in recognition of the fact that a very significant proportion of such children are likely to have ALN, the draft Bill (Appendix B/section 56) provides for regulations to be made that would allow, amongst other things, the formal integration of IDPs into the educational plans that they will have under the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014.
  3. The draft Bill (Appendix B/section 14) includes a new duty on health bodies to deliver any ALP contained in the IDP that they have agreed to provide.
  4. The draft Bill (Appendix B/section 47) also includes a new duty on LHBs to appoint a designated medical or clinical officer (DMO). The role of this officer will be to seek to ensure there are appropriate service models within the LHB; provide leadership within the LHB in support of meeting the relevant duties; liaise with partners and serve as a primary point of contact for LAs; and prompt and facilitate effective inter-professional working for the benefit of children with ALN. We do not envisage the DMO being routinely involved in the assessment and reviews of individual IDPs except in the course of their usual clinical practice, but they would be responsible for ensuring the appropriate LHB input is provided. Overall, DMOs will play a pivotal role in improving the extent and effectiveness of collaboration between LHBs and local authorities in the delivery of services for children and young people with ALN.
  5. Additionally, where a LHB in the course of exercising any of their functions in relation to a child who is under compulsory school age, form the opinion that he/she has (or probably has) ALN, the draft Bill (Appendix B/section 48) will provide them with the discretion to bring this to the attention of the appropriate local authority if they believe that to be in the child's best interests (and inform the child's parent that they are doing so).

Avoiding disagreements and earlier disagreement resolution

  1. The draft Bill (Appendix B/section 37) requires local authorities to make arrangements for avoiding and resolving disagreements between children, young people and parents, and schools, local authorities and others. This includes providing access to help in resolving a disagreement from an independent person. Local authorities will also be required to ensure that children, young people and parents are made aware of these arrangements. The Code (Appendix C - Draft Additional Learning Needs Code) will then be used to emphasise that local authorities' first priority should be to avoid disagreements arising by developing ways of ensuring that children, young people and parents are supported to understand and participate in the decisions which are taken that affect them, provided with appropriate reassurance, and offered opportunities to raise concerns and have their questions answered. However, where disagreements do arise, arrangements should focus on ensuring that these are resolved at the earliest opportunity and at the most local level possible. The development and implementation of effective disagreement avoidance and resolution arrangements is key to improving the trust that children, young people and parents have in the system and minimising the extent to which they feel the need to exercise their rights of appeal.
  2. The draft Bill (Appendix B/section 63) renames and expands the remit of the existing Special Educational Needs Tribunal Wales (SENTW). The tribunal will be renamed the Education Tribunal for Wales ("the Tribunal"). The draft Bill makes provision for the continuation of the Tribunal's constitution, membership and remuneration and expenses (Appendix B/section 63 to 65). The new name reflects not only its role in determining appeals in relation to ALN but also the role currently undertaken by the SENTW in determining disability discrimination claims relating to schools, a function which the Tribunal will continue. Currently, only children and young people registered at maintained schools have the right to appeal to the SENTW in relation to their ALN. The draft Bill will introduce more equitable rights of appeal by extending this right to children and young people up to the age of 25 years who attend FEIs or specialist post-16 institutions.
  3. The draft Bill (Appendix B/section 40) enables a child or young person up to the age of 25 years, or a child's parent, to appeal to the Tribunal against:
  • a decision as to whether a person has ALN;
  • a decision by a local authority whether it is necessary to prepare and maintain an IDP for a young person;
  • the description of a person's ALN in an IDP;
  • the ALP specified in an IDP;
  • the school named in an IDP for the purpose of admission or the type of school or institution specified in the plan;
  • if no school or institution is named in an IDP, that fact;
  • a decision not to take over responsibility for an IDP following a request to consider doing so;
  • a decision to not revise an IDP; and
  • a decision to cease to maintain an IDP.
  1. Although use of the Tribunal should be a last resort, Welsh Government believes that the right of appeal to an independent tribunal whose decisions are binding (Appendix B/section 42) will ensure the new system for supporting ALN is robust and has the confidence of children, young people and parents. It will also help to ensure that the duties in respect of learners with ALN are properly discharged; this will safeguard the rights of children and young people and will provide for greater equity.
  2. The extension of appeal rights to include post-16 learners who are pursuing further education or training will help to underpin the new system's 0-25 age range and deliver on our core aim of a more equitable approach.
  3. The draft Bill (Appendix B/section 40) allows for the Welsh Ministers to make regulations about the proceedings of the Tribunal on an ALN appeal and the initiation of such an appeal. Requirements can be imposed in relation to disclosure of documents and attendance at tribunal. If the Tribunal makes an order the local authority concerned must comply with the order before the end of the period prescribed in regulations and beginning with the date on which it is made.
  4. The draft Bill (Appendix B/section 44) also allows that a party to any proceedings about ALN before the Tribunal may appeal to the Upper Tribunal on any point of law arising from a decision made by the Tribunal in those proceedings.
  5. The draft Bill requires the Welsh Ministers to issue a Code on ALN (Appendix B/section 4). The Code will apply to those with functions under this draft Bill and will be able to impose:
  • (where specified in the draft Bill) mandatory requirements in accordance with which relevant bodies must act; and
  • guidance to which those bodies and other providers of education and training must have due regard.
  1. It is the view of Welsh Government that the creation of a Code of this nature will ensure the new ALN system has a set of clear, legally enforceable parameters within which local authorities and those other organisations responsible for the delivery of services for children and young people with ALN must act. The Code will be targeted towards practitioners so they understand and can implement the new ALN system.
  2. In particular, the draft Bill will enable the Code to provide detailed requirements about how IDPs are to be prepared, maintained and reviewed. This will include requiring the plan to be in a specified form and contain specified things and requiring specified persons to undertake certain roles and/or actions in relation to the preparation, maintenance and reviewing of IDPs within set time limits. The draft Bill will also enable the Code to set out the functions of ALNCOs and impose requirements in relation to the provision independent advocacy services arrangements.
  3. The draft Bill (Appendix B/section 5) requires that the Code is subject to consultation with local authorities, schools, FEIs, ESTYN and others. The Local Authority has met with school representatives in order to inform them of the draft Bill and the consultation process. Consultation forms were shared with schools and they were encouraged to respond.
  4. A draft response to the draft Bill has been prepared which identifies a number of positive developments in the Draft Bill and the potential for a stronger code of practice. However, there are a number of issues within the Bill that are a cause for concern. These are outlined in the draft consultation response (Appendix A).

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. The Education Act 1996 required a Code of Practice to be produced giving practical guidance on how local authorities and schools should undertake their functions in respect of SEN. Following devolution, the Welsh Government published the SEN Code of Practice specific to Wales which took effect from 1st April 2002 and is still in use today. The Code sets out procedures which should be followed by schools and the Local Authority in order to ensure that the needs of pupils with SEN are met.
  2. The Draft Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Bill will replace the existing legislation surrounding Special Educational Needs (SEN) and the assessment of children and young people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities (LDD) in post-16 education and training. If introduced the LA's roles and responsibilities in relation to ALN will be significantly increased.
  3. The requirements of the Draft Bill would place a financial burden on Councils if implemented. It is not clear whether the Welsh Government would provide additional funding for implementation of a subsequent ALN and Education Tribunal Act although given the financial climate it is unlikely.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. There are no sustainability or climate change implications arising directly from this report.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. The Education Act 1996 required a Code of Practice to be produced giving practical guidance on how local authorities and schools should undertake their functions in respect of SEN. Following devolution, the Welsh Government published the SEN Code of Practice specific to Wales which took effect from 1st April 2002 and is still in use today. The Code sets out procedures which should be followed by schools and the Local Authority in order to ensure that the needs of pupils with SEN are met.
  2. The draft Bill replaces Part 4 of the 1996 Act, which established the current SEN system for schools and pre-16 education in general. It also (at section 28) amends section 41 and repeals section 140 of the 2000Act, both of which make provision in relation to LDD and further education. In their place, the draft Bill (sections 8-12) provides for the same statutory plan to be given to learners with ALN irrespective of whether they are in, or are likely to enter, school-based or further education.

Crime and Disorder Implications

  1. There are no crime and disorder implications arising directly from this report. Any potential implications arising from the implementation of the Bill will be identified in further reports to Cabinet.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

  1. As part of the legislative process the Welsh Government have undertaken a thorough equality impact assessment and have identified no implications.

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. The legislative changes relate to the Council's Corporate Plan, specifically contributing to improving attainment and attendance in our schools and learning centres and meeting the diverse needs of learners.

Policy Framework and Budget

  1. This is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

  1. Not required

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

  1. Lifelong Learning

Background Papers

None

Contact Officer

Mike Glavin, Head of School Improvement and Inclusion

Officers Consulted

David Davies, Lead Officer Inclusion

Ruth Ferrier, Lead Professional Officer Wellbeing, Learning support and Safeguarding

Responsible Officer:

Jennifer Hill

Director of Learning and Skills

Share on facebook Like us on Facebook