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.

Update: January 2018

The Welsh Assembly has approved the new law, but is still working on the guidance and regulations that will outline the detail of how the new system will operate.
The National Deaf Children's Society Cymru is pleased that steps have been taken to address a number of our key concerns. In particular, there will now be a national template for an Individual Development Plan.
We still have reservations about how the new system will work in practice. We will continue to liaise with Welsh Government officials as they draft the guidance and regulations to try and address these concerns. 
 More information on the changes is available on the Welsh Government website.  

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.