Do disabled children and young people have equal access to education and childcare?




Information on the inquiry is also available in Microsoft Word format.

The Children, Young People and Education Committee is conducting an inquiry into childcare and education access for disabled children and young people and the extent to which childcare providers, schools and local authorities meet their duties under the Equality Act 2010.

In this inquiry, the Committee would like to understand how children and young people who are neurodivergent, have physical, sensory or learning disabilities are able to access all aspects of education and childcare.

In particular:

  • The extent to which children and learners are currently able to access all parts of childcare and education provision, including the way in which the curriculum is taught and extra-curricular activities.
  • The extent to which children and young people have been excluded from aspects of education or childcare due to their disability or neurodivergence.
  • The extent to which families and children feel that they have been affected by direct, indirect or discrimination arising from disability.
  • The impact of any lack of or limited access on a child or young person’s mental health and well-being and educational outcomes.
  • The barriers for schools and childcare providers in offering accessible provision
  • How well disabled and neurodivergent children and their families are consulted or informed of the choices in education or childcare available to them.
  • Whether parents of disabled and neurodivergent children and the children themselves receive effective information and support from local authorities and schools
  • Whether disabled and neurodivergent children and parents of disabled and neurodivergent children have the same level of choice as other children and parents and what issues affect choice or school or childcare.
  • The extent to which there is adequate provision for children with different types of disabilities.

This work is being framed within United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Disabled People.

Evidence gathering

During the coming months we will be holding oral evidence sessions and stakeholder events, where we ask questions of people during a Committee meeting. This is where we often hear from organisations. We will also be going on visits across Wales to meet people where they live and to hear directly about their experiences.

The Committee visited four schools across Wales, Members talked to staff, pupil, parents, and governors. A note from each visited was produced: School note 1 (PDF 166KB), School note 2 (PDF 163KB), School note 3 (PDF 136KB) and School note 4 (PDF 142KB).


The Committee launched a call for written evidence on 11 May 2023. The consultation closed on 29 September 2023. All responses have been published.

The Committee is also conducting a Senedd long inquiry into the implementation of education reforms this includes looking at the implementation of the ALN reforms. Evidence submitted to this inquiry that relates to the ALN system will also be considered as part of the educations reforms inquiry.

We want to make sure that we are being as inclusive and accessible as possible. We are open to your ideas about how you would like to share your views with us. Please contact us and we can have a chat about the best way for you to get involved.

We also want to hear from you if you feel we have created any inadvertent barriers to you being involved. We want to make sure we are being as inclusive and accessible as possible, and if this isn’t happening, we want to hear how we can change this.

Business type: Committee Inquiry

Reason considered: Senedd Business;

First published: 24/02/2023