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  • 2019 Autonomy

    Accepted author manuscript, 134 KB, PDF-document

    Embargo ends: 21/08/20


Wales was the first UK country to incorporate the UNCRC into domestic law and the first to appoint a children’s commissioner. Wales is distinctive in the strong links between education and the promotion of the Welsh language as evidenced in successive Welsh language strategies. With regard to children with special educational needs, the 2018 Additional Learning Needs and Educational Tribunal Act makes provision for children’s voices to be heard in their own right. This paper examines the complexities in hearing the voices of children with severe and profound learning difficulties (SPMLD), and how these can be addressed in the language context of Wales. It concludes that there are cautious grounds for optimism about our ability to hear the views of children with SPMLD, as long as we are prepared to acknowledge the resource implications. However, there is a need for more debate about the potential tensions between the Welsh language strategy and making provision for children with special educational needs in their preferred language. This debate needs to be informed by research on the impact of immersion education on progress, access to the curriculum and inclusion for children with SPMLD, and on their views about all aspects of their provision.


  • Wales, Welsh Language policy, children’s voices, Education, Severe and profound learning difficulties
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)507-518
JournalInternational Journal of Inclusive Education
Issue number5
Early online date21 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - May 2019
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