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Transition to post-16 Education and Training for Young People who have ALN

Transition from compulsory schooling to post-16 education and training is a very important life stage for every young person.

From September 2022, some arrangements for young people entering post-16 education and training will begin to change. A young person is someone who is over compulsory school age (16) and up to age 25. This will happen as part of the Welsh Government’s Additional Learning Needs (ALN) Act Implementation plan.

Welsh Government have published guides to support understanding of how and when children and young people will move to the ALN system on their Additional Learning Needs (ALN) system: guide for parents and families page (Link to an external website).

Some post-16 learners will gradually move to the new ALN system while others remain in the special educational needs (SEN) system. Therefore, both ALN and SEN will be running side by side for the next few years.

  • Those over compulsory school age in 2022 to 2023 who have SEN will remain on the existing Learning Difficulties and Disabilities (LDD) or Special Educational Needs (SEN) systems until September 2025
  • From September 2022, for young people who are in Year 12 (or above) and are newly identified as having SEN the SEN system or the LDD system will apply until 1 September 2025

The Education Act 1996 and the Learning and Skills Act 2000 will continue to apply, and they will continue to benefit from the support available via the existing SEN and LDD systems as appropriate.

  • Those over compulsory school age in 2022 to 2023 who have SEN will remain on the existing Learning Difficulties and Disabilities (LDD) or Special Educational Needs (SEN) systems until September 2025
  • From September 2022, for young people who are in Year 12 (or above) and are newly identified as having SEN the SEN system or the LDD system will apply until 1 September 2025

The Education Act 1996 and the Learning and Skills Act 2000 will continue to apply, and they will continue to benefit from the support available via the existing SEN and LDD systems as appropriate.

  • Those over compulsory school age in 2022 to 2023 who have SEN will remain on the existing Learning Difficulties and Disabilities (LDD) or Special Educational Needs (SEN) systems until September 2025
  • From September 2022, for young people who are in Year 12 (or above) and are newly identified as having SEN the SEN system or the LDD system will apply until 1 September 2025

The Education Act 1996 and the Learning and Skills Act 2000 will continue to apply, and they will continue to benefit from the support available via the existing SEN and LDD systems as appropriate.

  • Those over compulsory school age in 2022 to 2023 who have SEN will remain on the existing Learning Difficulties and Disabilities (LDD) or Special Educational Needs (SEN) systems until September 2025
  • From September 2022, for young people who are in Year 12 (or above) and are newly identified as having SEN the SEN system or the LDD system will apply until 1 September 2025

The Education Act 1996 and the Learning and Skills Act 2000 will continue to apply, and they will continue to benefit from the support available via the existing SEN and LDD systems as appropriate.

  • Those over compulsory school age in 2022 to 2023 who have SEN will remain on the existing Learning Difficulties and Disabilities (LDD) or Special Educational Needs (SEN) systems until September 2025
  • From September 2022, for young people who are in Year 12 (or above) and are newly identified as having SEN the SEN system or the LDD system will apply until 1 September 2025

The Education Act 1996 and the Learning and Skills Act 2000 will continue to apply, and they will continue to benefit from the support available via the existing SEN and LDD systems as appropriate.

  • Those over compulsory school age in 2022 to 2023 who have SEN will remain on the existing Learning Difficulties and Disabilities (LDD) or Special Educational Needs (SEN) systems until September 2025
  • From September 2022, for young people who are in Year 12 (or above) and are newly identified as having SEN the SEN system or the LDD system will apply until 1 September 2025

The Education Act 1996 and the Learning and Skills Act 2000 will continue to apply, and they will continue to benefit from the support available via the existing SEN and LDD systems as appropriate.

Implementing the ALN system for young people will involve a ‘flow-through’ approach. A ‘flow-through’ approach means children who are being moved to the ALN system by a school or local authority during the phased, three-year implementation period (from September 2021 to August 2024) will ‘flow through’ into further education with an individual development plan (IDP) already in place (where they require one).

  • Those in Year 11 in 2022 to 2023 will move to the ALN system by 31 August 2023
  • Any other young person not yet in the ALN system at the end of the 2024 to 2025 school year will also move to the ALN system at that point

The following guide will help you to learn more about how children and young people with ALN are supported in Ceredigion:

Support in Ceredigion

The ALN Pupil and Family Support Co-ordinator is a free and confidential service and they are able support and provide information on matters relating to additional learning needs by telephone or meet with you face to face. For more information contact the ALN Pupil & Family Support Co-ordinator by telephone on 01545 570881 or email at pps@ceredigion.gov.uk or visit our Additional Learning Needs page.

For more information about the rights of children, young people and their parents visit the Welsh Governments Additional Learning Needs (ALN) system: parents' rights page (Link to an external website).

The school Additional Learning Needs Coordinator (ALNCo) will provide information about how decisions about additional learning needs are made. They will explain all about the Individual Development Plan (IDP), who will maintain it, and the young person’s rights including their right to consent or object to ALN decisions and their IDP.

They will give information and help to ensure that the young person is able to understand the possible consequence of decisions so that they can make an informed decision about their ALN and IDP.

We will ask the young person:

  • What you think about your IDP?
  • Do you agree with the plan?
  • Do you consent to the plan going ahead?
  • Who are you happy to share your information with?

If the young person does not consent to a decision about ALN being made or a plan being prepared or maintained the school or local authority must take all reasonable steps to secure the additional learning provision (ALP) called for by the young person’s ALN. This means the extra help needed to help the young person learn.

Everybody involved must do everything they can to help the young person to make their own  decision.

Where the young person is not able to (doesn’t have capacity to) make decisions about their individual development plan, parents can act as their “representative”. This means parents can exercise the young person’s rights under the ALN Code. Where this is the case it is important to involve the young person as much as possible in decisions being made, taking into account their thoughts, wishes and feelings before making a decision on their behalf.

If the young person or their representative needs support to express their views and wishes, and exercise their rights they can ask an advocate to help.

An advocate is someone who speaks up for someone else. They can make sure people know what children and young people think. And how they are feeling.

Local authorities have partnership services which give independent support to families and any young person can access the support of an independent advocate to support them throughout the transition process. Find out more information about these on the SNAP Cymru website (Link to an external website).

For more information about young people’s right to consent

Watch the animation:

Or visit The Mental Capacity Act page (Link to an external website) on the Mencap website.

Young people (aged 16) can legally leave school at the end of June in the school year of their 16th Birthday (usually, year 11). This means that they have completed their compulsory education and are no longer required to attend school by law. They can choose what they would like to do next.

From year 9 onwards, there will be opportunities to find out more about choices during annual IDP review meetings. Careers Wales will support learners with their options and at IDP reviews the learner and their parents will be supported to put forward their views and thoughts and to ask questions. The school and the local authority (LA) will listen and take these into consideration when advising on the available pathways for the learner.

There are different options available to consider when compulsory schooling has been completed. Options include:

  • Further education in a school
  • Continuing their education in a further education college (FEI) e.g. Coleg Ceredigion
  • Employment
  • Get ready for Work – Jobs Growth Wales +/Training
  • Apprenticeships
  • Voluntary Work
  • Day Service Provision

For more information about the options available and support making decisions visit Careers Wales website (Link to an external website).

Ceredigion is one of the most inclusive local authorities in Wales. We have no special schools, just a small number of specialist resource centres attached to mainstream schools. This means that the majority of our learners are educated within mainstream schools. From year 9 onwards there will be opportunities to find out more about choices should you want to stay in school during annual IDP review meetings. For some young people this may mean moving schools. The ALNCO will support learners with their options and at IDP reviews the learner and their parents will be supported to put forward their views and thoughts and to ask questions. The school and the local authority (LA) will listen and take these into consideration when advising on the most appropriate school provision post-16 for the learner.

Most young people who have additional learning needs attend a FE (Further Education) college course or training programme when they leave school. This will continue to be the case and they will be supported to transition successfully.

FE colleges in Wales provide a wide range of courses to meet the needs of learners. Young people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities entering college will usually have their needs met through provision that is available to all learners. This is called universal provision. Learners who can achieve their desired education/training outcomes through universal provision will not need an individual development plan (IDP).

From September 2023, learners who will need additional learning provision (ALP) will transfer from school to college with their IDP and the college will work with each young person to make sure the support is appropriate for them within their chosen course. Colleges provide a wide range of ALP to meet the needs of most learners. For more information on college provision, visit the ALN Pathfinder website (Link to an external website).

Local authorities will use the ALN Code as their guide when deciding how to meet the needs of young people who have ALN. The Code states that, wherever possible, young people should be able to attend their post-16 education and training locally.

Find out more information about your local college by watching the following YouTube video:

Or you can visit Coleg Ceredigion's Additional Learning Needs page (Link to an external website) or their Learning Support page (link to external website).

In a very small number of cases, a learner may not be able to achieve their desired education and training outcomes locally. This might be because their needs are so complex that appropriate local setting cannot be found.

Until now Welsh Government and Careers Wales have jointly managed the applications for young people whose needs can only be met within an independent special post-16 institution (ISPI). From September 2022, the local authority (LA) will work with year 11 learners and their parents to consider available options which will meet the young person’s learning needs. This may include provision in a specialist post 16 provision.

Until responsibility transfers to the Local Authority, Careers Wales will continue to work with young people who remain under the SEN system to submit applications to the Welsh Government where it is agreed that the young person’s needs can only be met through provision in an ISPI.

Where a learner has health or social care needs, local authority education officers will work in partnership with health boards and social care departments to secure appropriate care and support to enable them to access their education.

If you have any questions about this process, you can contact your local authority by emailing aln@ceredigion.gov.uk.

Ceredigion Association of Voluntary Organisations CAVO (Link to an external website) promotes & supports voluntary community action throughout Ceredigion.

Hyfforddiant Ceredigion Training (HCT) (Link to an external website) offers a range of vocational courses to prepare people of all ages for the workplace by providing skills training.

Visit our Learning Disabilities page.

Do you need support to get a job or get a better job? Our Employability Support Team can help if you are. Visit our Ceredigion Employability Support page.

If you would like to work now or in the future and are aged 16 years or over, have autism, a learning disability or both the Local Supported Employment Initiative can support you with a personal mentor. For more information email getinvolved@pembrokeshire.gov.uk or phone 01437 776609. (This initiative supports people in Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire).