Stage 3 of the Additional Learning Needs Bill is passed

The Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Bill has passed Stage 3 after a debate in the Senedd on Tuesday 21st November.

Kirsty Williams AM, Education Secretary, led the debate with amendments tabled from Darren Millar AM and Llyr Gruffydd AM. Amendments included placing "due regard" to the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of a Child and Disabled Persons. 

Zoe Richards, Young Person and Carers Manager at Learning Disability Wales said: "Although the amendment for due regard was passed on Tuesday we would like further work to ensure that the UNCRC and the UNCRDP sit on the face of the Bill and underpin the bill.

"Kirsty Williams talked about the problems, paperwork and red tape it would cause practitioners. However, we know that the voice of disabled people and disabled children is often the least heard and that someone must take responsibility for checking and monitoring that these children are able to access the rights they are 'born' with and not the rights that someone hands them."

More information about the proceedings can be viewed at the BBC Wales website. Full details about the ALN Bill can be found at the National Assembly website.

The Bill makes provision for a new statutory framework for supporting children and young people with additional learning needs. This is to replace existing legislation surrounding special educational needs and the assessment of children and young people with learning difficulties and / or disabilities in post-16 education and training.

The Bill also continues the existence of the Special Educational Needs Tribunal for Wales and provides for children, their parents and young people to appeal to it against decisions made in relation to their or their child's additional learning needs, but renames it the Education Tribunal for Wales.

Guide to the legislative process of the ALN Bill

Once a bill is introduced into the Assembly it undergoes scrutiny. This is generally a 4 stage process

  • Stage 1 - consideration and agreement of the general principles of the bill
  • Stage 2 - detailed consideration of the bill and any changes by a committee
  • Stage 3 - detailed consideration of the bill and any changes by the Assembly
  • Report stage - an optional stage to make changes (if reuired)
  • Stage 4 - a vote by the Assembly to pass the final text of the bill.

There is now one possible stage to make smaller changes to the ALN Bill. Once stage 4 is passed the Code of Practice will begin it's scrutiny.