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Cardiff Council

Special Educational Needs (SEN) is changing

​​​The way we support children who have difficulties with learning is changing.

The Welsh Government has passed legislation, called the Additional Learning Needs (Wales) Act 2018, and Additional Learning Needs (ALN) Code 2021.

This will replace all of the existing legislation and guidance about special educational needs.

The main changes include:

  • bringing together all existing systems into a new, single system for additional learning needs
  • being more learner-centred
  • providing learners with the same rights and entitlements whatever their age or setting
  • improving transition between settings  , such as primary to secondary. 
  • Welsh language provision where needed
  • being a fair and transparent system for all

The Welsh Government hope that these changes will mean that children and their parents and young people will:

  • get the support they need earlier
  • be more involved in making decisions about their lives and the support they need
  • be able to find information more easily
  • be supported if they disagree with decisions
  • be able to appeal decisions to the education tribunal

This new system will protect the rights of all children, regardless of their additional learning needs.

If you have a current statement or plan

Children and young people who have been through the SEN assessment process may have: 

  • an individual education plan (IEP),  
  • a statement, or
  • a learning and skills plan.

Many of these children and young people will continue to have their needs met through high quality and routine classroom practice.

There will be a few children and young people who have a learning difficulty or disability that calls for additional learning provision (ALP). 

This is provision that is additional to or different from that made generally available for others of the same age.

These children and young people will have an individual development plan (IDP).​
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