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Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Act 2018

Section 69 - Independent advocacy services

153.Section 69 requires local authorities to make arrangements for independent advocacy services providing advice and assistance to a child, a young person or a case friend (see section 85) who is making, intending to make, or considering making, an appeal to the Tribunal or taking part in, or intending to take part in, arrangements for the resolution of disagreements made under section 68. There is also a duty to refer such children, young people and case friends (where the local authority is responsible for the particular child or young person - see section 85) to the advocacy service provider. A local authority is responsible for a child or young person if the person is in the authority’s area (see section 99(4)) and by virtue of section 68(8), local authorities’ arrangements under this section will also apply to children it looks after, but who are not in its area. This allows such looked after children to access the advocacy arrangements of the local authority that looks after them, or those of the local authority in whose area they are.

154.Local authorities must have regard to the principle that the independent advocacy service arrangements should be independent of any person who is the subject of appeal or involved in the appeal (subsection (3)).

155.Local authorities are also required, under section 9, to take reasonable steps to ensure that various people, including children (and their parents), young people and governing bodies in their area, are made aware of these arrangements.

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