A recent meeting of the National Assembly for Wales' Cross Party Autism Group focused on Education, with contributions from the Minister for Lifelong Learning and the Welsh Language, Alun Davies AM, as well as Emma Carver, Assistant Head of Ysgol Y Deri, in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Cross Party Autism Group.

Since its establishment in 2002, the Cross Party Autism Group has had a key role in bringing autistic people, their families, friends and carers together with professionals and Assembly Members, to discuss services and support available in Wales. 

The Group’s Chair, Mark Isherwood AM was joined by fellow officer Dai Lloyd AM in welcoming the Minister to update the group on the progress of the proposed Additional Learning Needs (ALN) and Educational Tribunal Bill. The Minister outlined his ambitions for the new Bill and the Welsh Government’s overall programme of transformation aimed at ensuring every child has the opportunity to access the educational support they need.

The Minister took questions from group members about the how the ALN Bill will support learners in Further Education, as well as details about the proposed Individual Development Plans and staff training.

The group also heard from Emma Carver, Assistant Head of Ysgol Y Deri, who presented a new resource aimed at supporting practitioners to develop their skills and expertise in working with autistic pupils. The iBook Practical Autism Toolkit is currently being used across schools in the Local Authority and beyond, even as far away as Latvia and New Zealand.

Our charity provides secretariat to the Cross Party Autism Group. Meleri Thomas of NAS Cymru said:

“This meeting saw some 60 autistic people, parents, professionals and politicians come together to focus on support in Education, which for autistic learners and their families is too often a cause of concern.

“Following issues raised in recent meetings, we are hugely grateful to the Minister, Alun Davies AM, for attending and answering questions from the group. We’d also like to thank Emma Carver for sharing a really useful resource which we hope will be of benefit to professionals supporting autistic pupils across Wales.”

You can find the minutes form this meeting, as well as more details about the Cross Party Autism Group on our website.

The Cross Party Autism Group will next meet on Friday 8 September 2017, in Bangor, North Wales.