WQ86545 (w) Tabled on 03/11/2022

What steps is the Government taking to reduce the waiting list for additional learning needs assessments by health boards in Mid and West Wales?

Answered by Minister for Education and the Welsh Language | Answered on 15/11/2022

Whilst it may be helpful, a medical diagnosis is not required to receive additional learning provision. The ALN Act creates a unified legislative framework to support learners aged from 0-25 with ALN, and strengthens the right to a statutory individual development plan for all learners with ALN. The new individual development plans will enable a person-centred approach to early identification of needs, putting in place effective support and monitoring and adapting interventions to ensure they deliver desired outcomes.

The Welsh Government is committed to a £20 million package of investment for the ALN transformation programme. We are working closely with providers, parents, learners and other stakeholders to support our work to monitor implementation of the new system.

We are aware of the increasing demand and waiting times for assessment and diagnosis of all neurodevelopmental conditions. The new ALN system intends to increase collaboration between Education, Health, and Social Services to ensure the needs of children and young people are appropriately met. We commissioned an independent demand and capacity review (summary report) which has confirmed swifter access to support and assessment is needed. Deputy Minister Julie Morgan has announced actions we will be taking to improve waiting times, services and support for families. Welsh Government is investing £12m to support a new national improvement programme for neurodevelopmental conditions in addition to £11.5m already invested. A link to the Deputy Minister’s statement is attached here.