All posts in “Policy”

Education Minister announces delay in elements of the ALN implementation

Jeremy Miles, Minister for Education and the Welsh Language has today announced, that despite significant progress being made in preparation for the implementation of the new ALN system,  it has become clear that the impact of the pandemic cannot be ignored.   

The message consistently being shared is of the need for further space and time to manage and plan for aspects of this important programme of reform alongside the new set of expectations for education settings from September in relation to Covid.

The Ministers announcement means that children newly identified as having additional learning needs (ALN) will still move to the new ALN system from 1 September 2021.

However, for those children who attend a maintained school (including a PRU) and who have already identified SEN via school action or school action plus, the new system will apply from 1 January 2022, instead of 1 September 2021.

The delay is to provide EY’s ,schools and FE’s the period between  September and January to reflect on guidance, make preparations , and to engage those with already identified SEN in School Action or School Action Plus with their transition to the new arrangements.

To support the implementation, the WG will publish technical and practitioner versions of the implementation guide, which will help people to navigate the processes and requirements for transition to the new system.

These materials will be published early in the Autumn Term together with an additional guide for parents and families.

Written Statement: Additional Learning Needs and Educational Tribunal Act 2018 Implementation (14 July 2021) | GOV.WALES

Datganiad Ysgrifenedig: Gweithredu Deddf Anghenion Dysgu Ychwanegol a’r Tribiwnlys Addysg (Cymru) 2018 (14 Gorffennaf 2021) | LLYW.CYMRU

30 PARK PLACE invite you to the Welsh Education Law Conference 2021

30 PARK PLACE Chambers is running their hugely popular Welsh Education Law Conference again this year. The conference will take place online, covering eight areas of insight for local authorities, the general public, schools, health authorities and lawyers – including the impact of new legislation.

The annual conference usually takes place in person but this year, due to the current Covid- 19 restrictions governing events in Wales, Legal News Wales will support chambers in hosting the event, split across two lunchtime sessions on the 16th and 23rd June 2021 (1-2:45pm).

Donations for SNAP Cymru

In lieu of an attendance fee this year, 30 PARK PLACE are very kindly asking all those that can make a donation to SNAP Cymru to support the work we do. (Recommended donation fee of £5 pp). To make a donation, please visit:

We are very grateful for every single gift that we receive. 30 PARK PLACE’s support and any donation received will go a long way to help us help families, children and young people with additional learning needs.

Programme & Speakers

Day one: 16th June, 13:00 – 14:45

Overview of the new legislation  what has come into force and when it will be implemented: Laura Shepherd, Barrister, 30 Park Place

The new legislation – what schools have to do – including fee paying schools: Melissa Jones, Barrister, 30 Park Place

The new legislation – what local authorities have to do: Laura Shepherd, Barrister, 30 Park Place

Day two: 23th June, 13:00 – 14:45

The new legislation – what education professionals have to do (ALNCOs and EPs): Melissa Jones, Barrister, 30 Park Place

The new legislation – what parents have to do: Abla O’Callaghan, Barrister, 30 Park Place

The new legislation – what FEs have to do: Michael Imperato, Partner & Head of Public & Administrative Law, Watkins & Gunn

The new legislation – what health authorities have to do: Abla O’Callaghan, Barrister, 30 Park Place

The new Education Tribunal regulations: Mark Allen, Barrister & Head of the Education Team, 30 Park Place.

WELC 2021 will be hosted via Zoom, by Legal News Wales. Useful information on the platform and accessing the event is listed below.
for more info see Welsh Education Law Conference 2021 | 30 Park Place Chambers
Book your place here

Working in Partnership through a pandemic!

SNAP Cymru has always believed in partnership working.  Whether through government initiatives or through Third sector partnerships, we have always strengthened our ability to plan and deliver successful services for children and young people with additional learning needs by working with others.   

Working together helps us to support many more children, young people and families.  Working together means we can raise funds, share expertise, skills and reputation and help meet priorities for Welsh families, whether that’s by improving children and young peoples experience and opportunities, improving the skills of young people and families or ensuring people receive the help they need to when they need it

Who would have thought we would be living through a pandemic. None of us expected it and none of us were prepared, for many children and families it has been frightening and emotionally jarring time. 

Coronavirus restrictions has left many feeling  ‘extremely isolated and without access to services and support.  Closures and reductions of education, health and provision during the pandemic also increased the pressures on families who say they were already struggling to cope beforehand. 

Our team and volunteers have been able to continue to offer important emotional and practical support to families throughout this crisis, but we couldn’t have done his without the support of our partners.  Funding has also meant we have worked remotely with children and young people to help improve their wellbeing, help elevate their worries and help them be better prepared to manage change and uncertainty.

We are particularly grateful to the following, who’s generous funding has meant we can continue to respond to ensure children and families are actively involved in decisions and to help elevate family worries about future planning and provision for their children.

ICF Covid response Capital Grant

Third Sector Capital Investment Fund 2020

Comic Relief Voluntary Services Emergency Fund (VSEF)

Equipment bought with this generous funding continues to make a difference to many families in Bridgend ,The Vale and Wrexham. Thank you so much.

“You’ve been doing a fantastic job all the way through lockdown and now in these very strange times have been so supportive. The regular contact has been so helpful even though we haven’t been able to do much knowing there is someone there I can use as a sounding board is amazing. I don’t feel alone with this and that means a lot.” Parent

“I am writing this to express my gratitude to SNAP Cymru in these unusual times, for being so caring and supportive. It has truly helped me and I honestly don’t know what I would have done without them.  SNAP Cymru have helped me feel supported with regular phone calls, vitual meetings and offering help wherever I needed and wherever it was possible” Parent

Denise Inger 1952 – 2020


With great sadness we announce the unexpected death of our Chief Executive Denise Inger.  Denise left us with the grace and simplicity that she brought to all her endeavours and leaves a bigger than human hole in our hearts and our plans.

Denise was a founder member of the SNAP Cymru team from volunteering to developing then managing services she became our Chief Executive more than 20 years ago.  During her time, she pioneered the now accepted partnership style of working, the excellence of advice-giving and achieving with her staff the Specialist Advice Giving award from legal services over more than 10 years – the only non-legal service in Wales to achieve this.  In the Diamond Jubilee year SNAP Cymru was awarded the Queen’s Award for Volunteering.


Most recently she reaped the rewards for her forward thinking in equipping and skilling the workforce to be able to transfer to working through IT, and then set about upgrading all the equipment to enable fast, efficient and data safe working from home or office for staff and volunteers.  When Covid 19 hit the charitable sector she and her team had already ensured that we were ready.

‘Denise and her team’ is our watchword.  Denise has stepped off the stage but her legacy of thousands of: children supported , families informed, schools given information and support, this legacy is alive and well and her team will continue the SNAP Cymru work and take forward the service into whatever the future throws at us.

We, her colleagues and friends, will miss her and as this message goes outwards more and more of those she met will come forward to express their sense of loss and their huge admiration.  Her legacy of the complex, evolving entity that is SNAP Cymru will continue to grow and be that lifeline, that empathetic listening ear, that source of knowledge, that voice of partnership.  Denise has stepped aside but the legacy, that she was so proud to be part of, lives on.

New Welsh Government guidance for supporting vulnerable and disadvantaged learners returning to school for the new autumn term

The Welsh Government has produced new Guidance for supporting vulnerable and disadvantaged learners returning to school for the new autumn term.

This guidance provides advice and expectations for local authorities, schools and settings (which include learning centres and work-based learning), as well as other partner agencies for the support they provide for vulnerable and disadvantaged learners for a range of scenarios.  The WG has chosen to consider a wide range of children within this group: 

  • learners with special educational needs (SEN)
  • learners from minority ethnic groups who have English or Welsh as an additional language (EAL/WAL)
  • care-experienced children, including looked after children
  • learners educated other than at school (EOTAS)
  •  children of refugees and asylum seekers
  • Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children
  •  learners eligible for free school meals (eFSM)
  • young carers
  • children at risk of harm, abuse or neglect.

The guidance covers Education other than at school (EOTAS), Special educational needs (SEN), Transport, Young carers and gives detailed information on preparations from September 2020, including operational guidance and information on preparing for a further lockdown or blended learning approach if that became necessary.

Learners with Special Educational Needs

Unlike in England, the Welsh Government chose not to use emergency powers to change the law on Special Educational needs in Wales in order to relax the statutory duties of local authorities in respect of special educational needs (SEN).

The statutory duties of local authorities, in respect of SEN in Wales are unchanged.

The duties of local authorities arising from the Education Act 1996 and the Education (Special Educational Needs) Regulations (Wales) 2002 remain in force, and the Special Education Needs Code of Practice for Wales 2002 still applies.

The local authority still has a duty to arrange the special educational provision specified in the statement.  

Learners with statements of SEN must continue to have their needs met. Local authorities must ensure that the special educational provision specified in the statement is made by the school or setting.

Allied health professionals, such as speech and language therapists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists, may have been using the NHS Wales Video Consulting Service rather than meeting clients face-to-face during the lockdown.   However, this support should be able to return to face-to-face from September 2020 subject to appropriate risk assessment.

Local authorities, schools and settings must continue to ensure the individual needs of learners are fully considered and that the needs of individual learners remains the primary consideration.

Provision too must be based on individual need. It is not appropriate to apply ‘blanket policies’.

The guidance says that

 “Local authorities, schools and settings must be mindful not to restrict the access to professionals that learners with SEN may benefit from. To do so could be a breach of statutory SEN duties”. 

There is a clear expectation that services for learners with SEN must be maintained.

Reviewing the statement of SEN

The duty on local authorities to review statements of SEN has not changed. Statements of SEN are reviewed at least annually.

The SEN statutory assessment process

The duties of local authorities and schools and settings in relation to statutory assessment remain in place as do the timelines.

Learners with individual development plans (IDPs) or individual education plans

The new additional learning needs (ALN) system, which involves learners with ALN having individual development plans (IDPs), is not yet in force. Some local authorities and schools and settings have begun to use IDPs, although statutory requirements relating to them do not yet apply. Some local authorities have, however, prepared IDPs with the agreements of parents/carers. 

Many learners with SEN do not have statements. They should have an individual education plan (IEP). Both IEPs and IDPs should outline the needs of the learner and what steps the school will take to meet those needs.

A mainstream maintained school’s governing body must use their best endeavours to secure the special educational provision required by a learner with SEN

Rights to appeal decision regarding SEN

Parents/carers and learners still have the same rights of appeal. In the first instance, parents/carers should seek to resolve concerns directly with the school and/or local authority. Local authorities are obliged to make arrangements for parent partnership services. These provide parents/carers with advice and information relating to SEN. In addition, local authorities must make arrangements for disagreement avoidance and resolution services and independent advocacy services.

Related content

Operational guidance for schools and settings from the autumn term (version 2)

  • School transport guidance to provide greater clarity.
  • Revised detail on food in school and catering arrangements to provide further clarification.
  • Self-isolation advice and Track Trace Protect (TTP) advice updated to reflect the change in self isolation from 7 to 10 days in line with the UK.

How your feedback and fundraising helps

SNAP Cymru exists to make Wales a place where children and young people with additional learning needs have the same opportunities as everyone else. We provide support, information and advice to thousands of families each year to families like Kian, Kayah’s and Gabriella’s

Gabriella’s story

Dear SNAP Cymru
I am writing this to express my gratitude to SNAP Cymru in these unusual times, for being so caring and supportive. It has truly helped me and I honestly don’t know what I would have done without them.

Who would have thought we would be living through a pandemic. None of us expected it and none of us were prepared, it has been frightening and emotionally jarring. I especially have felt anxious as I became a new mother just before lockdown.

However SNAP Cymru have helped me feel supported with regular phone calls, offering help wherever I needed and where it was possible.
I was sent a wonderfully put together activity pack to keep my Son Kian busy, and to help him better understand his emotions about the situation we all find ourselves in. He is becoming a wonderful big brother to his little sister Kayah and I feel that teaching him the ability to talk about his emotions has helped. There were techniques I wouldn’t have thought of in the pack.

Before the pandemic my son was demonstrating difficult behaviour at school. The headmaster of that school said that my son wasn’t suited for their school. As a parent I felt I needed to move him to a different school. I moved him to a different school but the behaviour continued. I looked everywhere for help and was told about SNAP Cymru by my Health visitor. I had support from SNAP Cymru before and at every meeting, which was amazing.
A lady called Teresa knew absolutely everything about the procedures and how the school could help my son to move forward. Without her I would have been entirely lost. I admired how informed she was and how she would pose question to myself and the school staff and explore options for us all. I needed SNAP Cymru and I know I will need them even more so in the future when we find ourselves faced with our ‘new normal’.

Without funding, SNAP Cymru wouldn’t be there to help parents like me face daunting situations. I am entirely unaware of my rights as a parent and the rights of my son or what support he is entitled to. They’re hard working, professional people and are fantastic at what they do. Thank you SNAP Cymru for everything you are doing and have done for me and my little family.
Yours Sincerely,

Miss Gabriella Elliott

We love hearing from our families. If you’d like to help more people like Gabriella and Kian please get in touch with us at or follow the buttons below to find out how to volunteer or fundraise for us

Related content

Something for everyone

Everyone’s reason for volunteering is unique, from meeting people to learning new skills and making a difference. Our volunteers come from all backgrounds and we have a range of roles to suit everyone.

If you’re interested in volunteering with us please complete and submit the application form, or for more information please see our volunteering page

Read more about how some of our volunteers in Mid Wales help SNAP Cymru to help our families

Return to Welsh schools in September

New guidance published on how Welsh schools should operate when pupils return full-time from September.

The Welsh Government yesterday (13/07/20) published updated guidance to support schools. To read the guidance in full go to

Literacy, numeracy and digital learning along with health and wellbeing must be the priority for next term, Welsh Government guidance for schools re-opening full-time in September says.

The guidance, published on Monday afternoon, is separated into two documents: one on how schools can operate safely and the other on what children should be taught and how.

Although contact between individuals should be minimised, keeping pupils in contact groups of 30, as suggested in scientific advice to Welsh Government, may not be possible.

In secondary schools, “groups” may mean several hundred in whole years or half years of pupils, the guidance suggests. “In secondary schools, particularly in the older age groups at key stage four and five, the contact groups are likely to need to be the size of a year group to enable schools to deliver the full range of curriculum subjects and for learners to receive specialist teaching. If this can be achieved with small groups, they are recommended.”


Will I be penalised if my child be penalised for not sending my children to school?

No, Parents will not be fined for not sending in their children although this will be reviewed after half term.

Term will start on September 1 but schools can prioritise years such as exam years before everyone is expected to return on September 14.

Schools and settings are told to keep a record of attendance. If you feel for any reason that your child can’t attend, you should tell the school and explain the reason for this. This will help the school, settings and local authorities plan for, and understand any barriers there may be for learners returning to school and identify any further support needed.

If you have any doubts about whether your child’s health condition means they should not be attending their school or setting, the guidance says families should take advice from their GP or hospital doctor.

Children with Additional Learning Needs

My child has special educational needs, will they be able to attend?

The guidance says that some learners with special educational needs (SEN) will need specific help and preparation for the changes to routine that this will involve, so teachers and Special Educational needs coordinators (SENCOS) should plan to meet these needs, for example using social stories.

The guidance says “Special school staff should consult parents and carers about specific support needs, and use their discretion flexibly in agreeing the way forward for specific learners. Parents should be fully involved in this process.

The legislation in relation to Special Educational Needs has not changed please see:

Coronavirus and Additional Learning Needs – update

“Schools and settings may need to consider what adjustments are needed to their behaviour policies to respond to this.”

“Specialists, therapists, clinicians and other support staff for learners with SEN should provide interventions as usual.”

Schools should consider how to manage other visitors to the site, such as contractors and ensure site guidance on social/physical distancing and hygiene is explained to visitors on or before arrival. Where visits can happen outside of school hours, they should. A record should be kept of all visitors.

Lunches at School

School kitchens are “expected” to be open.

School transport

The legal duties around school transport have not changed.  If your child has transport provided it should continue unless you agree to other arrangements being made.   Schools, LA’s and relevant transport providers should work together to put in place arrangements which meet WG guidance on social distancing. 

Pupils won’t have to wear face masks, but this guidance may change.

Breakfast clubs and after-school provision

These should re-open.

“Local authorities should work with schools to consider resuming any breakfast and after school provision, where possible whether this is provision offered by the school or run out of the school by a private provider.”

Hygiene, cleaning, social distancing, classrooms and corridors

The guidance recommends desks should face forward, but this may not always be possible and that Staff should maintain distance from learners and other staff as much as possible.

All staff should be trained in how to put on and remove PPE safely and in the correct order. PPE is not usually necessary but may be in cases of first aid, intimate care or if someone is believed to be infected.

Action to minimise Covid-19 risk

  • Anyone unwell or with Covid-19 symptoms must stay at home
  • Increased hand-washing and hand-washing facilities
  • Increased cleaning regime
  • Active engagement with Wales’ Test, Trace, Protect scheme
  • Formal consideration of how to reduce contacts and maximise distancing between those in school

What if there is a second wave of Covid-19 or a local outbreak?

All schools must have a plan to return to full-time remote learning.

What if there’s an infection at the school?

The guidance says a school does not have to shut if someone tests positive for Covid-19.

“A positive test on site [therefore] does not require closure of that site”, the guidance says. “The process of testing and contact tracing is part of the ‘new normal’ and where schools and settings follow these guidelines carefully, there is no cause for alarm.”

  • But schools must engage with the Test, Trace, Protect strategy, and;
  • No one with Covid-19 symptoms can attend
  • No one living with someone who has symptoms of Covid-19 or has tested positive to Covid-19 in the past 14 days can attend
  • Those showing symptoms should be kept separate until they can be collected and taken home
  • Confirmed cases of Covid-19 in a school are to be flagged by local contact tracing teams

What’s the risk?

The guidance insists children are less likely to transmit Covid-19.

“The latest published evidence in relation to the transmissibility in learners under the age of 12 seems to be particularly low. Children under the age of 18 make up 22 to 25 per cent of the population, but consistently make up less than 2% of the total Covid-19 caseload in every country.”

The Welsh Government yesterday (13/07/20) published updated guidance to support schools prior to the return of all pupils in September. To read the guidance in full go to :

Coronavirus and Additional Learning Needs – update

The Coronavirus Bill, has now been passed and is now Legislation under the Coronavirus Act 2020. You can find the whole act here

Currently all local authorities remain under obligation to comply with the law and regulations regarding Special Educational needs. There is no immediate change to the duties on local authorities

The Coronavirus Act 2020 does however provide for the possibility of a temporary relaxation of duties on local authorities.  The relevant part for our purposes is Schedule 17, part 1, “Notices temporarily removing or relaxing statutory provisions”.

Under the Coronavirus Act 2020, the Secretary of State/Welsh Minister has the power to modify this requirement so instead rather than an absolute duty, Local Authorities are able to use ‘reasonable endeavours’ to deliver the provision.

In order for any of these situations to come into force, Schedule 17 of the Act has created a power for the Secretary of State/Welsh Minister to issue a notice dis-applying or modifying the existing statutory provisions for up to one month at a time, but there can be repeated notices.

Hayley Mason, SEND Lawyer at SEN Legal says that

When issuing such notice, the Secretary of State/Welsh Minister must take reasonable steps to bring the notice to the attention of those likely to be affected. (The reasons must relate to the incidence or transmission of coronavirus.)

Even when a Notice is issued, this does not mean that local authorities can simply do nothing.  What it means is that the duties are to be treated as discharged if the LA has used ‘reasonable endeavours’ to discharge the duty.

Exactly what ‘reasonable endeavours’ will amount to in this context is as yet unclear as it has not been defined in the recent legislation and no guidance has been issued to local authorities.

In reality this will probably involve looking at creative options to provide for delivery. Several LA’s are using video conferencing for example

No notice has been issues currently so the duties on local authorities remain the same.

The modifications if announced will apply to the following:

  • Education Act 1996 Section 324 (statement of special educational needs)

Any duty imposed on a person by section 324(5)(a) or (b) is to be treated as discharged if the person has used reasonable endeavours to discharge the duty.

  • Learning and Skills Act 2000 (Statement of special educational needs)

Any duty imposed on a person by section 324(5)(a) or (b) is to be treated as   discharged if the person has used reasonable endeavours to discharge the duty.

  • Section 140 (duty on the Welsh Ministers to arrange an assessment of a person with SEN in particular circumstances)

Any duty imposed on a person by section 140 is to be treated as discharged if the person has used reasonable endeavours to discharge the duty.

  • Education Act 1996 Section 19 (exceptional provision of education in pupil referral units or elsewhere)

Any duty imposed on a person by or under section 19 is to be treated as discharged if the person has used reasonable endeavours to discharge the duty

  • Education Act 1996 Section 328 (review of educational needs)

Any duty imposed on a person by or under section 328 is to be treated as discharged if the person has used reasonable endeavours to discharge the duty.

Do the LA still need to carry out statutory assessments?

All current duties apply, the local authority are still required to comply and must still accept request for statutory assessments and continue those which are in process

Understandably everybody is in a difficult position at the moment. Many people are having to work from home for the first time, looking after children and trying to make it work and that includes LA officers who may not have access to their databases in the same way as us. 

The government may be seeking to amend regulations on the timescales for the statutory processes where this is appropriate because of COVID-19 as yet, no order has been passed to this effect. 

Several LAs who have indicated that they will not be carrying out any statutory assessments. Legally, this is not an option nor has the government indicated any intention to suspend the duty to consider requests for assessment or to carry out the same. Any LA’s suspending the process are not acting lawfully.

On a practical basis, a LA’s ability to comply with deadlines may be hampered by staff absence and the way assessments are conducted may be affected by the availability of staff and restrictions on face to face contact and working from home.  However, LAs have wide powers in the way they obtain information and advice.

Decisions about whether or not to assess will continue to be made solely on current legal tests.  If a LA refuses to assess, then it must continue to send out the statutory notification (along with notice of appeal rights and deadlines) to the parents or young person.

If a school is being named in a statement, that process may continue despite the school being currently closed.

Annual Reviews

Time limits have not been extended yet.  However annual review deadlines are likely to be one area which may be relaxed – in practice deadlines will slip slightly and we will all need to be pragmatic and sensitive to the prevailing situation.  If AR do not take place the existing provision will remain in place.

What is happening to SENTW Appeals?

Appeals in respect of refusals to assess, refusals to issue, and against the content of issued Statements can also still be lodged with the First-tier Tribunal SENTW.  The FTT is preparing to put measures in place to attempt business as usual. It is holding case management hearings and appeals by telephone and video link. 

What are children and young people with SEN’s entitlements when schools are closed?

All schools have been ordered to effectively close, retaining a skeleton staff to provide education for the children of ‘key workers, and ‘vulnerable children’.

Vulnerable children include those who have a social worker, who are ‘looked after,’ require safeguarding and those with a statements of special educational need. The children with SEN, who receive SEN Support at school but do not have a statement, would be expected to stay home unless they have a social worker or a parent or carer who is a key worker. In certain local authorities unless both parents are keyworkers the children would be expected to stay at home. Many areas are looking at having cluster hubs where children will be brought together- the advice on this is emerging.

The Government has released further guidance for schools, colleges and local authorities setting out their approach to maintaining educational provision. This includes a full list of key workers.

If my child has a statement, does the LA still have a legal duty to provide what’s in the statement?

From a legal perspective this is the case However, given the likely significant disruption and staff sickness , it may be very difficult for schools or LAs to deliver the exact provision,

 An alternative may be to question whether some of the provision can be delivered at home?  Certain therapists for example have provided support through video link.

If you are concerned about your child who may be vulnerable regarding safeguarding, mental health or because of concerns regarding their violent behaviour please contact your social worker if you have one or your local authority duty social work team. 

For further information please contact the SNAP Cymru Helpline or use the enquiry form on our website which both remain open

0808 801 0608

SNAP Cymru Coronavirus Contingency Plan

Changes in our service provision

SNAP Cymru will continue to provide services during the Corona Virus outbreak and review this daily following advice and announcements from Public Health Wales

Most offices will be closed as we are following PHW and government advice regarding self-isolation and working from home in order to protect high risk staff and to contribute to the attempt to slow down the rate of transmission. 

We have secure referral system on our website and helpline will continue as normal, as will all SNAP Cymru services.

Our organisation is well resourced and has developed excellent IT systems to enable remote working for all staff and volunteers.

Our CMS is cloud based and secured to safe harbour standards and our staff have smart phones and laptops to continue to provide services. 

Our staff have all received Data protection training and are aware of our Lone working and Working from Home policies

We will be able to offer advice, support and casework over the phone, by electronic methods and if safe to do so, face to face. Throughout this crisis staff and volunteers will do their utmost to help vulnerable families alongside our statutory and third sector colleagues, sharing information, resources and expertise.

We have an internal intranet which hosts a library of information that can be shared with staff, professionals and families

Our IT department is initiating all means possible for video conferencing and file sharing including Microsoft Team etc

We will be keeping in close contact with our LA’s and with the SENTW and responding to their contingencies

Front line face to face services are now extremely limited however, there are many ways SNAP Cymru can continue to support people

  • We have a dedicated helpline which is staffed from 9.30 – 4.30 daily.  This is based on a rota system of our all Wales staff team and supported by a team of volunteers. 
  •  All staff have smart phones and laptops.  Our staff are having regular contact with their clients to reduce stress and anxiety
  • We are providing advice and self-help guides and templates to families and professionals as well as access to our website of resources and ongoing signposting to good practice and advice via our Facebook
  • Our key working staff are diarising phone calls on their outlook calendar’s as they would visits to ensure that all families receive contact.

Response in the event of serious concerns over people in our caseload.

All Staff to review their cases for any serious concerns and to update Line Managers with concerns in line with our usual safeguarding procedures.  Any families that our Officers feel are particularly vulnerable will be brought to the AD’s attention for additional help

Our contingency plans if staffing levels are significantly depleted

We have an all Wales team and local volunteers who can provide helpline advice and support.  A degree of cover for face to face/ essential meetings in line with public health guidlines.

Identified exit routes for those still needing support that we are unable to continue to work with

  • Staff are identifying self-help materials to share with families directly and social media. Hard copy will be made available for families without good access to a mobile and or printer
  • We are providing alternative caseworkers where necessary e.g.staff sickness.
  • We also want to ensure people are enabled to make informed choices so we will be sharing important announcements from Public Health Wales through social media and one to one discussions

Help SNAP Cymru could provide in the wider response to the crisis

  • SNAP Cymru will be flexible, forward thinking and responsive to the needs of families in each Local Authority. Senior staff will liaise with lead professionals to respond to coordinated efforts to meet local needs. 
  • We will seek funding for practical resources for families and to possibly fund  the  extension of the telephone services we offer. Listening, supporting, and giving appropriate advice.  
  • Now that school premises and settings are mostly closed we will be offering suggestions for families to help deal with the stress and anxiety that is happening right now and are particularly vigilant regarding safeguarding. A listening ear from a trusted source to calm some of the worry and stress.
  • Where projects are supporting families through Early Help Key working SNAP Cymru are offering tips with behaviour management and anxiety but also practical support with the completion of benefit requests and other paperwork.
  • A diarised rota is being kept for close contact with families
  • Staff and volunteers will do all they can throughout the crisis within public health guidance

Coronavirus Information and resources for families

Everyone at SNAP Cymru want to support children and young people during this emergency which could see families at home for long periods. We understand that this is a very worrying time for everyone.

We will be regularly updating social media so please follow us if you do not already

Whilst our offices will be closed to all visitors. Don’t worry – we’ll still be here supporting you!

The SNAP Cymru Team will be working from home, your calls will be diverted and we’ll have access to e-mails and database.

We will maintain contact with families via telephone or other electronic methods as usual. We will work with individual families and professionals to hold face to face meetings and support services if it is safe to do so, in accordance with Public Health Wales.

If you do need support please contact our normal help and support line.

0808 801 0608

or to make a referral

Thank you for your continued and valuable support and if we can do anything to help you during these challenging times, just let us know and look out for our regular briefings. Keep well

We’ve tried to gather some useful information and resources for you for what will undoubtedly be a difficult time. Thank you to all the charities and organisations that have put together some of these important resources.

Talking to children and families regarding COVOID 19

With so much out there about Covid-19 (coronavirus) and confusion about the virus and its impact on families here are some of the most useful

  • Contact, previously known as Contact a Family, is a national charity that supports families with disabled children, bringing them together and helping families take action for others. C Coronavirus Welfare benefits and Money
  • The Children’s Commissioner for Wales has an information hub for families and children to explain what is going on. If you or your children have any questions then you can tweet, email or Facebook message them.
  • Learning Disability Wales – Coronavirus: resources for people with a learning disability including some good easy read guides, for people with a learning disability in Wales. As the situation progresses they are adding new information and advice on a daily basis.
  • RNIB support PlansRNIB plans to publish regular online guidance in response to the crisis, with resources and ideas about supporting your child. This will be available at by Friday 27th March and will be updated regularly.  They are also planning online drop in /sign up sessions where we can support over specific topics or provide an opportunity for questions and answers to the CYPF Education team.

Easy read guides and advice

Easy read posters

All Photosymbols’ coronavirus posters can now be downloaded here

Books, posters and colouring in to download

For children with ALN

Chatter –the best List of FREE Speech, Language, communication and SEND resources for schools and parent/carers – (free to download for individual use copyright restrictions apply)

Communication and interaction Resources to help parents, carers and families support pupils with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Speech, Language and Communication Needs during the period of school closures.

Sensory Stuck at Home is a Facebook page where parents of autistic children share ideas of activities to do in the house.

BBC CBeebies for special needs
Resources and help for children with additional needs from the BBC, including Mr Tumble!

ITV Signed Stories
Signed Stories help improve the literacy of deaf children from infancy upwards. The website also provides useful advice and guidance for parents, carers and teachers of deaf children, and for the deaf parents of hearing children.

The Letterbox Library
Catalogue of disability-related books for disabled children and their siblings, and for use in school or other settings, that promote understanding and explain ‘difference’ for all ages from babies to eleven years old

Worksheets in Braille – BrailleWeek 

http:// The Educational Psychologists and Learning Support Team in Swansea have put together a series of resources for parents/carers of primary and secondary age pupils in the following areas of need and some that are more general

Resources to support those with – Visual impairment

A list of resources to support learners with Down Syndrome and their families – Down Syndrome 

Dyslexia friendly – free, fun resources – Crossbow Education 

Dyslexia AssistBy Parents for Parents : By Children for Children

CrickerSoft – Reading and writing software for all abilities – Free during this period

FREE downloadable inclusive resources – Inclusive teach 

Sight word practice

Advice, learning activities and recommended toys, books, and resources for children with SEND – SEN resources blog 

Free apps to support students who are blind, visually impaired, deaf, have reading difficulties – Accessibite 

Phonic reading games for all children, including those who cannot read or have dyslexia. Email: for 20% off using cv2020  – Trugs

Sensory Project – List of online, sensory learning resources

Free access to Clicker at home during this period – CrickSoftware 

Life skills challenges – A programme for young people with SEND

SEN – Free SEND resources

Occupational Therapy resources

TTS – A curriculum-focused independent learning resource with over 40 home learning activities all planned and all prepared!

Twinkle Home Education Resources

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, we’re offering everyone Twinkl Ultimate free for a month, to help keep children learning at home.

Visit and enter the code PARENTSTWINKLHELPS to set up your free month of Twinkl Ultimate.

Chatter pack  A list of free, online, boredom-busting resources!

For older children, here are 50 free revision resources for 11+, GCSE’s and A-Levels

Resources & support services for families of children with additional needs during the COVID 19 (Coronavirus) pandemic– CWM Taf health board area Rhondda; Taff Ely; Merthyr; North Cynon; South Cynon; Bridgend East; Bridgend West, and Bridgend North.

Sleep Advice for children with Autism -Sleep Advisor

Relaxation and well being

For help with coping and feeling anxious visit the NHS website’s tips on dealing with anxiety.

The Guardian newspaper has also written a piece specifically about managing anxiety around coronavirus.

And the NHS has top tips on maintaining wellbeing – vital for parent carers.

Childline has a ‘calm zone’, with videos, activities, games, and calming activities to help children who are worried about anything

Cerebra – Emotional wellbeing for parents and carers of children with a learning disability
This site was created for young people, carers and professionals to pool together lots of helpful resources from across the internet that are available to help support your mental health and well-being. 7 tips for helping children

Seven tips for helping children keep calm
simple relaxation and mindfulness activities together and help your child learn to calm down when they feel stressed or anxious.

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has produced this activity pack that has fun things to do at home.


  • Stop Breathe Think – Check in with how you’re feeling, and try short activities tuned to your emotions. 
  • Headspace – mindfulness tools for your everyday life  
  • Stay Alive App from Grassroots Suicide Prevention 
  • CalmHarm Self harm support app 

Survivors Network a master-post of online resources, from mental health self-care to ways you can feel like you’ve left the house. We hope they help. Online resources available during social distancing and self-isolation

Online learning resources

With most children out of school, there are lots of apps and websites to help to still support their learning and development.

This list has 15 suggestions for various age groups and this list is of apps that help and support children and young people with autism.

Khan Academy
Prodigy Maths
Mathseeds -Mathseeds teaches kids aged 3-9 the core maths and problem solving skills needed to be successful at school with fun, highly interactive and rewarding lessons.
IXL is here to support you during school closures. Get resources for at‑home learning no


Explorify which is focus on science:

Brainpop quiz:

Learn to code at home for free with Code Camp World. You can learn how to use JavaScript, find out about html and even create your own websites and games. 

There are more coding challenges on Barclays UK’s Youtube. Their Coding Playground Live series teaches basic coding skills using Scratch.

If you want to find more ideas with Scratch then their website has loads more ideas to get you into coding. Create a game, learn to make a character fly and animate letters. After that it’s only your imagination that can stop you.

For help with maths for 4-11 year olds National Numeracy has you covered. Their activity pack is available to donload and contains 28 activities to try out. They also have loads of links to places to test your maths skills even further.


Emily Weston – 16 activities that children can use to aid their home reading, or their reading in school. It has a range of skills included such as prediction, summarising and inferenc

The reading lesson. Book- By Michael Levin and Charan Langton.
Reading Eggs.
Wild Literacy
Reading eggspress
Borrow Box. – libraries of Wales borrow box
Scholastic 100 lessons books.

Phonics Play



Over 200,000 people joined Joe Wicks online for his first live PE lesson on Youtube. Happening every week day at 9.00am, it’s a great way to get you moving and ready to start your day.

You can work out with a Team GB athlete every Wednesday with their Workout Wednesday. Previous athletes have included gymnasts Max Whitelock and Aimee Fuller, climber Shauna Coxsey and freestyle skier Rowan Cheshire.


  • Oddizzi.  Oddizzi is an online, subscription-based geography resource
    The Geogrpahy Book by Caroline Arnold
    Scholastic – 100 Geography lessons
  • National Geographic Kids: Activities and quizzes for younger kids. 


Horrible Histories! The books, the series. Super engaging!
Scholastic 100 History lessons
60 second Histories  

BBC Newsround has helpful information for children about the coronavirus, including explainer videos. They also have a ‘happy news’ section to brighten the day

While all of our museums, theatres and cultural venues are closed to the public, there are still lots of things you can do online.

Many major museums and organisations in the UK and abroad are running virtual tours, for example the British Museum.

Learn how to draw with official World Book Day illustrator Rob Biddolph. Lessons happen every Tuesday and Thursday at 10.00am. You can follow them live on his Twitter page or watch them back on his website.

Practice your drawing skills with the Natural History Museum’s Nature Drawing Club. They will post a new topic every Friday on their Twitter page and then it’s up to you to draw or paint.

To find out more about the Natural History Museum you can use their take part and education resources. Learn about their collections, the nature around you and the science that is carried out everyday at the museum.


Online Lego workshop, Gruffalo workshop, and lots more. Plus stories read by Tony Ross, author – 7 stories, Facebook 

If you are looking to learn more about money then the Royal Mint have new activities for kids based around money and the coins we use everyday. You can even design your own coin, though we don’t think you will be able to go shopping with it.

Learn to touch-type – Free access

Learning with MineCraft – Education MineCraft

Vroom – Helping learning during shared moments, such as bath time

Toy Theatre – Fun educational resources

The Scouts have launched a new initiative called The Great Indoors. All of the activities are designed to be done in your house so there is no excuse not to try it out. Activities are aimed at 6 to 14 year olds but anyone can have a go. Once you have had a go at these you can use their activity finder to find even more things to do

Living Paintings (UK)
Free postal library supporting blind and partially sighted adults, children and young people. They make tactile versions of pictures that come to life when fingers feel them.

Virtual toursThis website allows you to visit museums from the comfort of your home.

100 things to do indoorsYou can download this book free of cost and make staying indoors fun and use the time to help yourself and others.

Keep exercising – On this page you can find movement and mindfulness videos to keep you children active.

Best virtual museums

Virtual tour of museums family tours

Swansea Library has online e-books and magazines

A long list of educational resources

For those who like structure. Various celebrities are offering for free daily to help with their children education while schools are closed (from Skint dad)

9:00amPE with Joe Wicks

10:00am Maths with Carol Vorderman

11:00amEnglish with David Walliams

12:00pm Lunch (cooking with Jamie Oliver)

1:00pmMusic with Myleene Klass

1:30pm Dance with Darcey Bussel

2:00pmHistory with Dan Snow (free for 30 days)

4:00pmHome Economics with Theo Michaels (Mon/Wed/Fri)

Other YouTube Sites that may be of interest:Chris Packhams – Youtube – Bird Club

Oti Mabuse is doing dancing classes’ each day at 11:30 on facebook

Maddie Moate – youtube – Let’s go Live with Maddie and Greg

More to Keep Your Children Occupied & Learning

Cardboard Spaceships: A place to share free online teaching, education and entertainment ideas for children at home 

Homeschooling UK: Emergency group set up by teachers to help families 

Will Sliney gives daily drawing challenges for children using #wewilldraw and shares tutorials 

“Boogie Monsters” (a live rock and pop band for children under 7) are doing daily live keyboard request videos each day at 4.30pm for the whole family – access them through their Facebook group

Khan Academy: Especially good for maths and computing for all ages but other subjects at Secondary level. Note this uses the U.S. grade system but it’s mostly common material. 

BBC Bitesize. No TV licence required except for content on BBC iPlayer. 

BBC Learning: This site is old and no longer updated and yet there’s so much still available, from language learning to revision. No TV licence required except for content on BBC iPlayer. 

Seneca: For those revising at GCSE or A level. Tons of free revision content. Paid access to higher level material. 

Blockly: Learn computer programming skills – fun and free. 

Scratch: Creative computer programming 

Ted Ed: All sorts of engaging educational videos 

The Kids Should See This: Wide range of cool educational videos 

Crash Course: You Tube videos on many subjects  

Crash Course Kids: As above for a younger audience 

Paw Print Badges: Free challenge packs and other downloads. Many activities can be completed indoors. Badges cost but are optional. 

Tinkercad: All kinds of making. 

Prodigy Maths: Is in U.S. grades, but good for UK Primary age. 

Cbeebies Radio: Listening activities for the younger ones. 

Nature Detectives: A lot of these can be done in a garden, or if you can get to a remote forest location! 

British Council: Resources for English language learning 

Oxford Owl for Home: Lots of free resources for Primary age 

Big History Project: Aimed at Secondary age. Multi-disciplinary activities. 

Geography Games: Geography gaming! 

Blue Peter Badges: If you have a stamp and a nearby post box.  

The Artful Parent: Good, free art activities  

Red Ted Art: Easy arts and crafts for little ones 

The Imagination Tree: Creative art and craft activities for the very youngest. 

Toy Theater: Educational online games 

DK Find Out: Activities and quizzs A small collection of anti-oppressive, anti-racist homeschool curriculum ideas and resources. Very American focused, but a good list of non-online stuff to do with children towards the end!  

Cincinatti Zoo are holding livestreams at 7pm UK time every day that the US schools are closed:  

Live cameras at San Diego Zoo 

school when school is closed reception year 1 & year 2

Craft ideas to survive coronavirus lockdown

COVID-19 homeschool and isolation ideas