Powys Local Authority

We’re here to help!

Our helpline is available Monday to
Friday between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm.
Tel: 01597 826437


What is provided?

It is our aim to be honest, open and transparent in all of our practices. We want families to feel that we are approachable and that they can make contact to ask for advice and guidance. We encourage communication with the ALN & Inclusion team as early as possible should support or advice be needed.

It may be that as a family you would prefer to have independent advice and support. In order to meet this request Powys engage the services of SNAP Cymru. SNAP Cymru provides information, advice and support for parents, children and young people who have or might have Additional Learning Needs and/or disabilities, as well as support for children, young people and families where fixed term and permanent exclusions have been issued. The service provided by SNAP Cymru is impartial, confidential and free to families.

Additional Support for Schools

Schools within Powys have access to a range of resources and specialist professionals in order to help them meet the additional needs of children and young people.

ALN Management and Administration with Powys Local Authority

The local authority has a management team that leads on specific areas of ALN:

  • Senior Manager for ALN & Inclusion
  • ALN Manager: Vulnerable Learners with a specialism in ALN/SEN
  • ALN Manager: Vulnerable Learners with a specialism in Safeguarding
  • ALN Manager: Vulnerable Learners with a specialism in Behaviour and Attendance
  • Education Manager for Looked After Children

Educational Psychology Service

The Educational Psychology Service (EPS) supports children and young people from 0 to 19 years of age. The role of the EPS is to help raise educational standards and to facilitate educational inclusion through the use of psychology. The work of the authority’s educational psychologists can be divided into five main categories:

  • the support of children’s development and education;
  • supporting school improvement;
  • strategic role; contribution to early identification;
  • statutory assessment work.

The EPS is also available to provide training courses to school staff and to undertake project work or psychological research. The Powys EPS also provides “critical Incident” support to schools e.g. bereavement

Special Educational Needs Advisory Teachers

The team of advisory teachers will work with children and young people 0—19 with SEN within the authority to ensure they have the best possible opportunities to reach their individual potential. The posts will be line managed through the system leader team to ensure a focus on school improvement. The work of the team will be coordinated through a central referral system. The role of the Advisory Teacher is to:

  • facilitate educational inclusion within mainstream settings;
  • support schools in the raising of educational standards for all pupils;
  • provide training and support to increase the capacity of schools to address the needs of pupils with SEN.

The Education Welfare Service (EWS)

The Education Welfare Service (EWS) supports children and young people of statutory school age (5 to16) to ensure they take the best advantage of the educational opportunities on offer in schools and educational placements in Powys. The role of the EWS is, more specifically, linked to the attendance of children and young people of statutory school age who are registered pupils at Powys schools; this includes pupils who are educated outside of the mainstream setting in a Pupil Referral Unit or otherwise by the Local Education Authority. The work of the Education Welfare Officers (EWSs) comprises of:

  • promoting the regular attendance of children at school or other educational provision;
  • assessing the needs of pupils with poor attendance, and taking action to improve this and maintain their well-being

Sensory Service

The Sensory Service provides support for children and families/carers from point of diagnosis. The vast majority children/young people with hearing, visual or multi-sensory impairment will have been referred to the Education Department by the Health Authority prior to the child entering school. Support for these children /young people will be based on the partnership between the Sensory Service, the Educational Psychology Service, parents and organisations such as the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS), Royal National Institute for Deaf (RNID) and Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB). When school entry is imminent, the Sensory Service will liaise with the Head teacher and teaching staff in order to prepare for the hearing or visually impaired child’s admission. This will include any reports or information on the child and advice regarding the management of physical environment for the child within the classroom and throughout the school environment Powys Local Authority aims to meet the needs of all pupils with Sensory Impairment.

ALN Group Consultation

A professionals meeting facilitated by an educational psychologist and an ALN advisory teacher. Professionals bring particular challenges/cases and good practice is shared.

Specialist Services & Provision

For children and young people that have more severe and complex needs there is specialised provision that might prove to be appropriate in providing wraparound care and support that may not be able to be met within a mainstream school.

Specialist Centres

Specialist Centres are divided between four regions within the county: Brecon, Llandrindod, Newtown and Ystradgynlais.

Individual specialist centres have a primary focus for the support they deliver. These broadly fall into the following categories:

  • Pre- School Assessment Centre
  • Primary ASC (Autistic Spectrum Condition) Centre
  • Secondary ASC Centre
  • Primary MLD (moderate learning difficulty) Centre
  • Secondary MLD Centre

Special Schools

Powys maintains three special schools:

  • Ysgol Cedewain, Newtown;
  • Ysgol Penmaes, Brecon;

These schools provided for pupils aged 3 -19 years whose needs are:

  • profound and multiple learning difficulties;
  • ASD ( with associated challenging behaviours);
  • severe learning difficulties.

Brynllywarch Hall School, Near Newtown

Brynllywarch provides for pupils in the 8-19 years age group and is designated to meet the needs of pupils with moderate learning difficulties and/or social, emotional, behavioural difficulties. The main focus of the schools is social, emotional, behavioural difficulties.

IDPs, Statements, Assessments and Reviews

Choose a category below to find out more about a specific area:

Individual Development Plan (IDP)

The Individual Development Plan (IDP) is the new, simpler and more responsive system of meeting the Additional Learning Needs of children and young people in Wales.

The IDP will replace the existing Statement of Special Educational Needs over a phased period and be used for learners from the age of 0 to 25. The IDP will be a single plan with a common format which will be developed through using a person centred planning approach. All IDP’s will include an Action Plan plus the evidence for the actions. It will encourage key-working where needed and use flexible processes.

All learners who are currently at School/Early Year’s Action, School/Early Year’s Action Plus and those with Statements of their Special Educational Needs, with medical needs or who have a disability will be transferred onto an IDP or be provided with one following identification of additional learning needs.

The Welsh Government proposes to move away from education services being the lead, to one of a full partnership between education, health and social services. To reinforce this multi-agency approach, the Welsh Government is intending to impose a ‘duty to collaborate’ upon the relevant bodies in respect of Additional Learning Needs provision.

Once a need for an IDP has been identified, the process will be started by the Additional Learning Needs Co-ordinator (ALNCo) within the school or setting. This could also be a Health Visitor/Lead professional in Early Years settings. Children, young people, parents and all appropriate professionals will all contribute relevant information. A meeting will be arranged by the ALNCo, which will include the Child, young person, parents and all appropriate professionals to contribute to the IDP. Where possible the child/young person would help decide who will attend. SNAP Cymru will be available to provide information, advice and support at all stages of the process. The meeting will follow a person centred approach and draw up an agreed action plan which will be reviewed annually or sooner if required.

Assessments and Reviews - Graduated Response

In most cases the difficulties for children and young people can be assessed and met within a school’s resources and expertise. Within Powys, each school is given a delegated budget in order to provide the support for all children and young people with ALN. Schools can apply for extra funding if they feel they have utilised all of the delegated funding.

Schools consistently assess children/young people via different methods from the moment that enter school. These different assessment help school to know what additional learning needs children/young people may have. It is widely documented that a child’s difficulties should be recognised at the earliest possible opportunity. If it is felt that a school has not recognised a need it is important that parents make an appointment to speak with the school ALNCo to have a discussion.

Schools are responsible for any initial assessment and help that a child/young person receives. Schools should follow a graduated approach to meeting the needs of a child/young person. Below is the structure of the different stages of help that could be provided via a graduated approach (until September 2020, when they will be replaced by the IDP).

School Action (SA)

This describes the help that may be given to a child/young person at the early stage of the graduated approach.  Some of the reasons could be:

  • Little progress is being made, despite help from the school with a particular area of weakness
  • There may be emotional or behavioural difficulties which are not improving despite all that the school is already doing to try and help
  • A physical difficulty, sensory difficulty or a need for a special piece of equipment
  • A communication difficulty, for instance, finding it difficult to make friends or speak with other children or young people

It is important that the school (in particular the ALNCo) decides on what the difficulty is and how to help; this must be done in consultation with parents. It is essential that a plan (IEP-Individual Education Plan, until September 2020) is created that describes the:

  • Support needed
  • Outcomes for achievement
  • Monitoring and reviewing

If at review it is thought that there isn’t any appropriate progress then it may prove important to move onto the next stage.

School Action Plus (SA+)

If a school feel that they have implemented all the strategies that they can and appropriate progress is still not being made, then they can get extra help from a professional outside of the school. This could be an Educational Psychologist, the Speech and Language Therapist, or an advisory teacher. This professional may suggest specific strategies to use or might help with programmes of support. A child/young person will move to School Action Plus if they are experiencing difficulties that can’t helped at School Action.

Statutory Assessments

If a child/young person continues to experience significant difficulties despite receiving support and interventions from school and outside agencies or if they have a severe and/or complex need then a statutory assessment may be requested. This can be requested by parents, schools or other professional (although these will have to have parental consent). It is the responsibility of the Local Authority (Powys County Council) to carry out a statutory assessment if I is deemed necessary.

When Powys is asked to consider beginning a statutory assessment on a child/young person we will take a little time (6 weeks) to decide whether a full re-assessment is necessary. We will then let parents and school know of the outcome. The decision whether to proceed to a statutory assessment is made by a statementing panel, consisting of professionals including those from within the fields of education, health, children’s services, psychology.

To make a decision on whether to proceed or not to make a full statutory assessment the panel will look at the information received from the school and parents (which may include information from other professionals). The panel will want to know how the school has helped the child/young person.

If the panel decide to proceed with an assessment then we will send you a letter informing you and will ask you if there is any more information that you want to add. It is important that you let us know what you feel your child’s/young person’s needs are and how you think their needs can be met.

Statements (until September 2020)

A statement of Educational Needs is a legally binding document that sets out the needs of a child/young person, how they need to be met and by whom.

If the statutory panel has agreed to proceed with a statutory assessment and gathered all of the relevant information, they will need to decide whether to issue a statement or not. The main question that the statutory panel will ask is if the help needed for the child/young person cannot be reasonably met by the school.

If the statutory panel decide that a child/young person needs a statement they will use all of the information gathered to write a draft statement and send to the parents for consideration, along with the copies of the information gathered during the assessment process.

We want to ensure that parents and families are happy with the proposed statement and that they understand the decision making that took place.

Once discussions have taken place regarding the proposed statement and all parties are happy a final statement will be issued.