UK-first study set to shed new light on experiences of service children with Additional Learning Needs

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

A first of its kind UK-based research project has been commissioned by the WLGA’s Supporting Service Children in Education Cymru (SSCE Cymru) team to bring a fresh insight into the unique experiences and needs of children of Armed Forces personnel who have Additional Learning Needs (ALN).

Funded by the Ministry of Defence, the Welsh Institute of Health and Social Care in partnership with Arad Research will conduct the study which will explore the challenges of identifying, assessing and implementing support for children of Armed Forces personnel with ALN in Wales, and to examine the potential impacts Welsh Government’s proposed ALN code of practice may have for Service children living in and moving to Wales

Chris Llewelyn, Deputy Chief Executive of the WLGA said:

“Through the work of the SSCE Cymru project we know that Service children who move frequently with their parents’ postings can experience emotional and educational challenges as a result. Very little is known about those children with Additional Learning Needs, particularly around the challenges of assessing and providing appropriate support.”

He added: “With the proposed new Additional Learning Needs legislation this is a timely opportunity to examine the experiences of Service families with ALN children in Wales.  We are very pleased that both the MoD and Welsh Government have recognised the need for research of this kind to be undertaken and that Wales is leading the way in this area in the UK.”

The study, which commences this summer, will compare other codes of practice in the UK and conduct interviews to explore the perspectives of key people in service children’s lives, including family members and school staff.

The research was launched as part of the inaugural All Wales Supporting Service Children in Education conference held at Cardiff City Stadium on 16th May. Chaired by Colonel Lance Patterson, Deputy Commander for 160 Brigade, Wales and attended by the Cabinet Secretary for Education Kirsty Williams AM, as well as delegates from across Wales working in education and family support sectors.

For more information on the Supporting Service Children in Education Cymru project please visit or contact

For more information on the ALN research please contact Dr Mark Llewellyn or Brett Duggan


For more information contact: Dilwyn Jones


The Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) represents the interests of local government and promotes local democracy in Wales.

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