Almost 25% of students in Wales have additional learning needs (ALN). It is known that outcomes for these students are poor when compared with the rest of the student population. The ALN Transformation Programme seeks to improve outcomes for these vulnerable young people by delivering a unified system from 0-25yrs.
The programme acknowledges the importance of creating regional partnership projects. Education, health and social services will now work together to deliver Individual Development Plans (IDPs) and take a holistic approach to meeting ALN. Tute supports this approach and is already contributing to regional level, multi-agency working through our network of online schools which receive students via multiple referral routes.
The ALN transformation plan vision to deliver a fair and inclusive education system for all learners, is shared by Tute. In addition to improving outcomes for students with ALN, our online schools deliver wider impact through intervention, catch-up, enrichment and complete course delivery and support the TRAC, Cynydd and Aspire 2 Achieve projects. Our programmes also reinforce the Literacy & Numeracy Framework and the Digital Competence Framework by enabling interaction and collaboration and lessons are available in Welsh, too.
Learners with ALN and their parents and carers will be involved in the creation of IDPs. The importance of parental engagement to improve outcomes for vulnerable learners is championed by our partnered charity, Achievement for All and is now also directly supported by Tute. Our affordable online tuition brings education into the home and whilst it can be purchased directly by parents, the opportunity to exploit this quality assured extension of the curriculum has not gone unmissed by schools. By investing their PDG funding in the bulk purchase of seats to allocate to parents and carers, enables schools to strengthen relationships with vulnerable families by empowering them to support their children with learning at home.
The ALN transformation programme will also invest in workforce development. Core skills training will equip existing staff to support ALN in their setting. Additional Learning Needs Co-ordinators (ALNCos) will replace current Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENCOs) and a national workforce planning system will enable local authorities to provide specialist skills and support services to education settings.
The Welsh Government has already acknowledged interventions delivered by Tute Education as an effective investment of the newly called Pupil Development Grant. This recommendation was published in a report shared with schools throughout Wales. Tute therefore makes a robust addition to any ALNCo’s toolkit. We can deliver interventions directly or train existing school and local authority staff with ALN expertise to deliver online lessons themselves. Our platform can also be used to share best practice and deliver CPD at regional and national level.
Tute’s platform is fully SEND compliant and helps overcome numerous barriers to education. We are already helping students everywhere to achieve their full potential and are delighted the ALN transformation plan presents so many opportunities for us to continue to make such a valid contribution to student outcomes. You can visit each of our regional online schools here:
- The Cardiff City Online School
- The South East Wales Online School
- The West Wales Online School
- The North Wales Online School
Looked after children, young offenders and learners presenting social, emotional and mental health needs, have been intrinsic to my education career from classroom teacher, to head teacher, to taking the lead on alternative provision here at Tute.
Outside of work, I volunteer for projects run by Gloucestershire Constabulary to support vulnerable young people in the community. I’m also a volunteer trackside marshal at Prescott Speed hill Climb, I swim all season at Cheltenham Lido and enjoy getting cold, wet and muddy in the Cotswold countryside before relaxing in front of my log fire.