Changes to the education system in Wales come into force today

2 mins read

Wednesday 1 September 2021

Tags: education, school, special educational needs, additional learning needs

From today, 1 September 2021, a new system of support for children with additional learning needs (ALN), called the ALN framework, is in effect to replace the existing special educational needs (SEN) system. There is new statutory guidance: the Additional Learning Needs Code for Wales 2021.

The new system will be gradually phased in until Summer 2024, with a timetable in place for transfer of children and young people currently received support through the SEN system.

This means that the support your child receives might come under the old or the new system, depending on where they are in the transfer process.

Support under the ALN framework

If your child starts to receive support in education for the first time after 1 September 2021, their support will come under the ALN framework.

Under the ALN framework, children and young people with ALN receive extra help through an Individual Development Plan (IDP). 

Support under the SEN system

If your child was receiving support in education before 1 September 2021, that support comes under the SEN system and under the SEN code of practice.

If they are receiving support through School Action/Action Plus, this will end in January 2022. After that, they’ll start to receive support under the ALN framework.

If your child has a statement of SEN, this will continue to be in place until it is replaced by an IDP.

More about the new system

The Welsh Government has FAQs about the new system:

The additional learning needs transformation programme: frequently asked questions

You can also read the new statutory guidance: Additional Learning Needs Code for Wales 2021.