New funding announced to help students with additional learning needs
Minister for Education and the Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles, has announced £2.1m of new funding for young people with additional learning needs (ALN) in further education.
The funding will be given to all further education colleges in Wales over the next three years to help them to implement the ALN Act, while it is being phased in to replace 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 also aims to create a more consistent approach to ALN in colleges across Wales by helping them develop partnerships with local authorities, health boards, other colleges, and schools.
Jeremy Miles 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.”
Coleg Ceredigion’s Camu Mlaen project is an example of how the new 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 today will help the college to develop this project and will create opportunities for other colleges to work on similar projects.
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.”
The funding announced today is part of an overall investment of £25.6m in 2023-24 and 2024-25 for additional learning needs, increasing the budget by £4.5m.
It follows on from the increased investment of £7m allocated from 2022-23 to provide additional resources to transfer children and young people from the SEN system to the ALN system.
The Welsh Government’s draft budget also provided an increase in funding, from £15.525m to £16.871m, in the Further Education budget to provide the additional support for learners with ALN to succeed on their chosen programmes of study.
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