Transition from school to post-16 education and training
for young people with ALN
Transition from school to post-16 education and training is a very important life stage for every young person.
As part of the Welsh Government’s Additional Learning Needs (ALN) Act Implementation plan, some arrangements for young people entering post-16 education and training are changing.
What happens after leaving school?
Most young people in Wales who have ALN attend a Further Education (FE) college or training programme.
FE colleges provide a wide range of courses to meet the needs of learners.
There is universal provision for all learners and many young people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities will have their needs met in this way.
Currently, learners who can access education and training through universal provision will not need an Individual Development Plan (IDP).
But, from September 2023, all learners who need additional learning provision in college will need an IDP to help them transition from school to post-16 education and training.
What is an Individual Development Plan?
An IDP is a legal document which describes a child or young person’s additional learning support needs, and the outcomes they would like to achieve.
- Ideally, children who have ALN will be able to discuss future transition from Year 9 onwards, during their annual IDP review meeting. Here, they can find out more about the opportunities and pathways available to them and will be able to ask questions. Careers Wales and college staff may also attend to support learners and their parents at these meetings.
- The school and LA will be available to advise on the available pathways for the learner.
- Where appropriate, learners will transfer to college with their IDP, and the college will work with each young person to make sure the plan is suitable for them within their chosen course.
Choosing a suitable college for young people with ALN
When advising on a suitable college for a learner with ALN, schools and LAs will use the ALN Code as their guide when deciding how best to meet their needs.
The Code states that, wherever possible, young people should be able to attend their post-16 education and training locally.
In some cases, a learner may not be able to achieve their desired education and training outcomes locally. This might be because their needs are so complex that appropriate local provision cannot be found. They may then attend an Independent Special Post-16 Institution (ISPI).
For more information on college provision, visit the ALN Pathfinder website.
If you have any questions about this process, you can contact your local LA by:
- Checking their website
- Contacting them by phone
- Sending an email
Other support services – SNAP Cymru
SNAP Cymru offers free and independent information, advice, and support to help get the right education for young people with additional learning needs and will help them through the transition process. You can find out more information on their website.