Petition Make shorter school holidays for children with additional needs

This petition is to make some changes for children with Additional Learning Needs. School holidays can be challenging for most children with the lack of structure and routine but even more so for children with ALN. Although parents try hard to maintain routines, it is not always possible. For example, parents have to work, weather, cost of events, limited spaces, limited places children can go for sensory reasons or a safety aspect, lack of resources or disabled access.

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Children who don’t have Additional Learning Needs can attend day nurseries for holiday club but most of these nurseries don’t cater for children with ALN due to the lack of training, spaces or cost of staff as they would need certain staff/ child ratio. For example, in Wales the staffing ratio for children between 3-7 years is one staff member to eight children and for children between 8-12 years is one staff member to ten children. This would not be possible for a child with ALN, nor would it be ethical. Children with ALN need more routine and structure but are expected to just adapt during the school holidays. What about parents who work also, they can’t take six weeks or more off work, so where does their child go? If holidays can’t be made shorter surely there needs to be additional funding to establish ALN holiday clubs for these children to attend, just as there are for children without ALN. This is where equality and the rights of the child should be considered.

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