It will be ‘challenging’ to amend legislation to progress the additional educational needs code this year, says the education minister.
Julie Edge said her department will be working with schools to ensure they are applying the requirements the students need in schools from September 2023.
An individual who has additional educational needs if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for them will be classed as AEN.
Children with AEN can face extra barriers to education and learning, making it more difficult to achieve their full potential. This was addressed in a consultation in 2020.
Ms Edge said: ‘Implementation is intended to be delivered within a phased approach, within available resources to allow for realignment and delivery.
‘This plan is continuing to be scoped.’
With the consultation having taken place three years ago, Mr Ashford wanted to know if it was still the department’s intention to bring this forward, saying that parents want ‘less talk and more action’.
‘We have to ensure that when we bring the legislation in we also have all the resources in place to deliver on the code at that point,’ she said. ‘It’s in the region of £14 million that goes into this area.
‘We have had some additional funding for this area for the next financial year to help us build resources to deal with the concerns that we have within our schools.’
The minister explained that an implementation plan will be brought forward this year.
She said: ‘We need to do these amendments to the legislation and that probably is going to be a challenge before September, however we will be working with our schools to make sure they are applying the requirements the students need in our schools from September 2023.’