The Minister for Education and the Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles, has announced new funding over three years to improve the experiences of further education students with additional learning needs (ALN).
The funding will be given to all further education colleges in Wales to help them to implement the ALN Act, which is being phased in over three years and gradually replaces the existing special educational needs (SEN) system.
The funding will be used to improve educational experiences and help colleges provide tailored support to students through their individual development plans. It will also support a more consistent approach to ALN in colleges across Wales by helping them develop partnerships with local authorities, health boards, other colleges, and schools.
Coleg Ceredigion's Camu Mlaen project is an example of how the funding will be used. Historically, young people with the most complex and severe needs had to leave their local community to access education and training. Coleg Ceredigion and Ceredigion County Council have worked together to change this through Camu Mlaen, so young people can now get life skills education locally. The extra funding announced recently (02 March 2023) will help the college to develop this project and will create opportunities for other colleges to work on similar projects.
Jeremy Miles recently said:
Every young person in Wales deserves access to high quality education. I want to make sure every learner can fulfil their potential.
This investment will lead to a real difference for young people and increase the opportunities and options available to them at their local college.
Chris Denham, ALN Transformation Lead, at ColegauCymru, added:
ColegauCymru believes that all young people should have access to high-quality further education and training and that, wherever possible, this should be available within their own community. This latest Welsh Government commitment will help to secure this.
The implementation of an ALN system within post-16 education has provided a focus and an opportunity for colleges to improve the FE experience for young people. All thirteen colleges in Wales have been working hard to ensure that their provision will enable them to meet their new duties under the ALN Act.