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Written Statement: Implementation of the ALN system: Commencement order 1 for the Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Act 2018 (ALNET Act) and making ALNCo regulations

In September, I advised Members of a revised timetable for laying the Additional Learning Needs (ALN) code and operational regulations, which remain a key priority for this Government.  These will be laid before the Senedd in February 2021 to support the commencement and phased roll out of the ALNET Act from September 2021.  I also confirmed that the statutory roles in the ALNET Act will commence as planned, in January 2021 and that to accompany this I intended to lay regulations on the ALN Co-ordinator (ALNCo) role this year; and to publish guidance to support these statutory roles before their commencement.

This statement is to inform Members that on 29 October, I made an Order to commence various powers in the Act, including the power to make the ALNCo regulations, from 2 November.  The Order also commences the requirements for schools and further education institutions; health boards; and local authorities to designate, respectively, an ALNCo; Designated Education Clinical Lead Officer (DECLO) and the Early Years Additional Learning Needs Lead Officer (EYALNLO) on 4 January 2021.  In addition I have today laid before the Senedd the ‘Draft: Additional Learning Needs Co-ordinator (Wales) Regulations 2020’ (“the ALNCo regulations”).  These regulations prescribe the qualifications and functions of the ALNCo role.

This role is a fundamental part of the ALN system designed to ensure a greater consistency in the designation of ALNCos and the co-ordination of additional learning provision.  To support the development of this role we have allocated funding to develop an ALN National Professional Learning Programme. This is a targeted programme of training and development where tailored and timely training, relevant to the individual will be available, to help build on their existing knowledge and skills.  It is intended to enable the ALNCo to fulfil their responsibilities effectively. 

The commencement of the requirements to designate each of the statutory roles and the laying of the ALNCo regulations marks a significant milestone in the progress of these crucial ALN reforms, for the benefit of all children and young people in Wales.

The Order also commences provision for establishing a list of Independent Special Post-16 Institutions (ISPIs) as outlined in the ALNET Act, and I intend to lay regulations relating to this in due course. 

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