White Paper on Special Learning Needs

Special Learning Needs – but no consideration for the language needs

DATHLU’R GYMRAEG, an umbrella group of Welsh language organisations, has criticised a Welsh Government White Paper to reform the support for children and young people with Additional Learning Needs.

Penri Williams, Chairman of Dathlu’r Gymraeg stated “Although the proposals are generally sensible, the White Paper is totally lacking in relation to that of language needs. Except for one brief reference to the Government’s Welsh-medium Education Strategy, no other reference is made to the Welsh language in the document.

“Additional Learning Needs is an area where we know from experience that families have difficulties in accessing Welsh language provision. Reform of current legislation offers a golden opportunity to ensure better provision – and for the right to receive services in Welsh. But the Welsh Government has failed to take advantage of this opportunity, or even acknowledge the existing barriers and current demand.

“The complete lack of attention to the Welsh language needs of the children was a shock, and we, as joint organisations, urge the Government to ensure that appropriate references are made in the draft Bill when it is published in the autumn. “