Additional Learning Needs Review

The Welsh Government is changing the way in which learner support needs are assessed and planned for.

Many deaf children receive a Statement or an Individual Education Plan to outline the support they need at school.

The Welsh Government is bringing in a new law, which will mean children and young people with additional learning needs will have a different plan instead, called an Individual Development Plan (IDP). The plans will be available to those aged 0-16 and to those aged 16-25 who are in further education.

About the reforms

We've created a factsheet, Additional Learning Needs Reform in Wales: Questions and answers.

The Welsh Government is still drafting guidance and regulations on the changes, so some of the points outlined may change. As such, this factsheet will be updated from time to time. Please check back for the latest information.

You can also find more information on the Welsh Government website.

Update: December 2018

The Welsh Government has launched a consultation on a new draft of the Code of Practice. This guidance outlines how the new system will work in practice.
The National Deaf Children's Society Cymru will be reading through the draft Code very closely to see how it works for deaf children, young people and their families.
We would encourage families to respond to the Welsh Government consultation and will be providing more information to help you do this in the New Year, so please watch this space! 
The Welsh Government will also be running a series of consultation workshops on the new system for families and professionals in February. To book on to one of these events, please visit 

When will the system change?

The new law is not yet in force. The Welsh Government is planning a phased introduction of the new system from September 2020, and anticipates that the new system will be in place for everyone by the end of 2023. 

We're aware that some local authorities are already using IDPs. It is important families understand that they still have the right to request a Statement as this continues to be the legal document at present.

Get in touch

If you would like more information or have any concerns about the changes, please get in touch at

You can also contact our Helpline for support and advice on your child's support plan.