Issue - meetings
Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Act 2018
Meeting: 25/07/2019 - Joint Education & Youth and Social & Health Care Overview & Scrutiny Committee (Item 10)
(a) That the report be noted;
(b) That Members raise awareness with the Council’s Cross Party Working Group with regard to the potential funding pressures as a result of the legislation; and
(c) That a letter be written, on behalf of the Committee, to the Welsh Government Minister for Education outlining the Committee’s concerns around the resource implications of the Act for both the Local Authority and schools.
The report was present by the Senior Manager (Inclusion & Progression) who provided an update on the progress of the Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Act 2018) (ALNET) which was given Royal assent in January 2018 with the implementation taking place in September 2020. She explained a lot of work was required to ensure schools and partners were ready and provided information on the overall aims of the Act. A draft Code which outlines the operational duties of the Act has been published and subject to consultation earlier this year. A Council response was generated and included input from a range of partners including the Youth Council. Welsh Government are considering the consultation responses and the final Code is to be presented to the Assembly in the autumn with a view to this being published by the end of December 2019. She explained that because of the timescale involved extra resources had been put into the team to ensure there was seamless support for the young people on implementation. A transformation plan for the Council has been generated however, the timescales are extremely tight given the proposed publication date of the final Code.
There was concern as this Act had been described by Welsh Government (WG) as cost neutral but it has serious resource implications for the Council.
The Senior Manager then listed the implications on the Council because of these changes:-
· There was a need for example, to have an Additional Learning Needs Officer for early years to identify those with additional learning needs and put provision into all settings which was something we do not do at present.
· Requirement for an Additional Learning Needs co-ordinator in every school; where this is the head teacher at present, it is likely that the role will need to completed by someone else given the additional responsibilities placed on schools by the Act.
· Age range increase to 25 including support for young people in further education, currently services support young people up to the age of 19 who attend a school.
· The duty to commission specialist provision for 16-25 year olds, this is currently undertaken by WG. Information on the Working Group which would be looking at the mechanism for funding for this provision was provided. This duty will commence from 2021.
· LAC Officer to write the Individual Development Plans – currently the Statement of Special Education Needs is written by the authority where the looked after child resides however, under the new Act this will become the responsibility of Flintshire officers.
· Could have responsibility for identifying additional learning needs for those in custody – the provision would be put in place for when they were released.
· Elective home education – funding for additional learning provision could fall on the Council if a child has additional learning needs - We don’t draw down any funding for this at present and this was being looked at by WG.
· Additional specialist legal advice to support the Council in tribunal cases.
· An additional ... view the full minutes text for item 10