ALN – Wales

Children and young people have a right to receive a suitable education. A good education will prepare children for life and allow them to achieve their full potential. Children and young people with additional learning needs (ALN) and/or disabilities may require additional support and be provided a placement at a particular school in order to make sure that they are able to reach their full potential.

The best way to ensure that your child or young person’s needs are identified and met are through an Independent Development Plan (IDP).

What is the Education Tribunal for Wales?

The Education Tribunal for Wales (ETW) handles disputes and appeals in relation to:

  • IDPs
  • Claims of disability discrimination
  • Statement of special educational needs

Parents and young people can appeal to the Tribunal about:

  • A decision by (i) a further education institution or (ii) a local authority about whether a child or young person has ALN
  • In the case of a young person, a decision by a local authority about whether it is necessary to prepare and maintain an IDP
  • The description of a person’s ALN in an IDP (including planned start, review, and end dates)
  • The additional learning provision (ALP) in an IDP, or the fact that the ALP required is not in an IDP
  • Whether an IDP says that ALP should be provided in Welsh
  • The school or institution, or board and lodging, mentioned in an IDP for the purpose of meeting the child’s reasonable needs for ALP
  • The school named in an IDP for admission, or if no school is named in an IDP for admission
  • A decision by the local authority not to change an IDP when a child, child’s parent, or young person has asked the local authority to reconsider an IDP maintained by a maintained school
  • A decision by the local authority not to take over responsibility for an IDP, which a school maintains, when the child or their parent, a young person or the governing body of that school has asked the local authority to maintain it instead
  • A decision to stop maintaining an IDP
  • A refusal to decide a matter because there is no change in needs, or no new information that materially affects the previous decision

The Tribunal may also make recommendation to an NHS body regarding the exercise of their functions.

How can I appeal to the Education Tribunal for Wales?

Parents and young people must bring an appeal within:

  • 8 weeks of a local authority’s decision; OR
  • If you are using the local authority’s disagreement resolution services (DRS), an additional 8 weeks may be granted

A case statement will need to be submitted setting out the facts and evidence in support of your appeal. It is important to include all relevant facts, legislation and evidence to support your case as the local authority will be provided an opportunity to respond to your case.

When making an appeal to the ETW, it is essential to make your case clear and provide supportive evidence. Our ALN lawyers are here to help you through each stage of the Tribunal process. Our team of dedicated solicitors is equipped with the knowledge and experience necessary to provide practical advice, representation and support. We strive to ensure that students’ rights are protected, that fair processes are followed and that children with additional learning needs receive the support they require.

Contact us today for a free initial consultation, where we can discuss your specific situation and provide guidance on how our education law services can assist you.

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