Responding to the publication by the Welsh Government of a new Additional Learning Needs Bill, Plaid Cymru Shadow Education Secretary, Llyr Gruffydd AM, said:
“We welcome today’s publication of the Bill and will work to ensure it offers the strongest possible support for children and young people with additional learning needs in Wales.
“The current system for supporting those with special educational needs is based on a model that was introduced over 30 years ago. It’s no longer fit for purpose and reform is long overdue.
“That’s why Plaid Cymru proposed an Additional Learning Needs Bill in our recent election manifesto. It’s also why we secured a commitment for a new law in our agreement with the Welsh government in May.
“The Bill published today sets out a legal framework for ‘Additional Learning Needs’. Much of the important detail will follow in the proposed Code of Practice to be published in the New Year.
“This Bill is set to impact the nearly a quarter of pupils in Wales who have some form of additional learning needs. Plaid Cymru is determined to scrutinise this important legislation carefully to ensure that it delivers the best possible provision for our young people.
“Key to our considerations will be the strength of the duty placed on health bodies to ensure any additional learning needs provision that’s identified is secured and delivered in a timely and effective manner. We must also be mindful that any additional burdens placed on schools, teachers and governing bodies are properly resourced and supported by those with the appropriate skills.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to transform the support available to those who need it, and Plaid Cymru will play our part in making sure that any new law makes a real and positive difference to the education and lives of those with additional learning needs.”