Additional needs code in place by September 2023

By Siobhan Fletcher   |   Reporter   |
Monday 8th August 2022 10:00 am
@siobhanfletcher
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The Education Minister says the island’s additional educational needs code should be in place by September 2023.

Julie Edge was asked about the code’s implementation in Tynwald sitting by Douglas North MHK David Ashford.

Ms Edge said: ‘The Department of Education, Sport and Culture has produced an aspirational Additional Educational Needs Code of Practice in consultation with schools, unions, parents and other relevant stakeholders to address a range of issues.

‘Implementation of the code is dependent upon appropriate budgetary provision. If budget is secured, an implementation plan will be devised with schools and other relevant stakeholders with a view to having an interim AEN Code in place from September 2023.

‘Statutory elements of the AEN Code will be brought into force once the first Education Amendment Bill has received Royal Assent.’

In response, the former Treasury Minister questioned the time it has taken to put the code into practice - citing a consultation regarding the code which was open in October 2020 – and why there has been no budget allocated yet.

He said: ‘What I am specifically asking is, assuming things go to plan for the department, when it would be expected that an AEN will be in place; because this has been dragging on for a long time now.

‘Parents and carers are getting frustrated going round and round the same circle. So what I am asking is when is it likely to come forward and be actually implemented, and I am wondering if there is an actual timescale.’

Ms Edge confirmed that the AEN code should ‘hopefully’ be in place for September 2023.

Pupils who come under the AEN definition include looked-after children, newcomers, school-age mothers, travellers, Roma, children of service personnel, pupils who have been suspended or expelled and those who have been educated outside traditional schools.

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