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Additional Learning Needs

In Wales, we want to transform expectations, experiences and outcomes for children and young people with additional learning needs (ALN).
To do so, the Welsh Assembly have developed the additional learning needs (ALN) transformation programme, which transforms the separate systems for special educational needs (SEN) in schools and learning difficulties and/or disabilities (LDD) in further education, to create a unified system for supporting learners from 0 to 25 with ALN.

The transformed system aims to:
• Ensure that all learners with ALN are supported to overcome barriers to learning and achieve their full potential
• Improve the planning and delivery of support for learners from 0 to 25 with ALN, placing learners’ needs, views, wishes and feelings at the heart of the process
• Focus on the importance of identifying needs early and putting in place timely and effective interventions which are monitored and adapted to ensure they deliver the desired outcomes. New legislation and statutory guidance is only one aspect, albeit a fundamental one, of the wider package of reforms needed. The ALN transformation programme also focuses on skills development for the education workforce, to deliver effective support to learners with ALN in the classroom, as well as easier access to specialist support, information and advice.
(Please note: The new system for supporting children with additional learning needs will be rolled out during a three year period, commencing September 2021)

Parents Guide to ALN: 

ALN stands for Additional Learning Needs. At CCYD School we recognise that all pupils come to school at different stages of development and with different needs.

Whilst many factors contribute to the range of difficulties experienced by some children, we believe that much can be done to overcome them by parents, teachers and pupils working together.
CCYD school values the abilities and achievements of all its pupils. All children are valued, respected and nurtured. We endeavour to provide the best educational opportunities for each child and strive to maximise their potential in a ‘can do’ learning culture.
Pupils who meet the locally agreed criteria for having ALN will be supported by class teachers, teaching assistants other adults and their learning environment.

The ALN aims of the school:
• To meet the needs of all pupils through excellent teaching strategies, classroom organisation and differentiation.
• To have a whole school Universal Provision that addresses the needs of all pupils.
• To ensure that all pupils have access to a broad and balanced curriculum.
• To ensure that early identification of a pupil’s needs is made, wherever possible.
• To ensure that ALN pupils take as full a part as possible in all school activities.
• To adopt a Person Centred Practice approach where the pupil, parents, school staff and outside support agencies are involved from the beginning, in planning actions and ways forward to support pupils with ALN.
• To ensure that parents are kept regularly informed of their child’s progress.
• To ensure that ALN pupils are involved, where practical, in decisions affecting their future

ALN provision.
• To work in partnership with parents, pupils and other agencies e.g. Educational Psychologist, Speech Therapists, Social Workers, School Nurse etc.

Information re: the ALNET Act

The aims of the ACT:
The introduction of the term Additional Learning Needs (ALN) The Act replaces the terms ‘special educational needs’ (SEN) and ‘learning difficulties and/or disabilities’ (LDD) with the new term ALN.

Parents Guide to ALN:

A 0-25 age range 
There will be a single legislative system relating to the support given to children and young people aged between 0-25 years who have ALN. This is instead of the two separate systems currently operating to support children and young people of compulsory school age who have SEN; and young people in further education who have LDD.

A unified plan
The Act will create a single statutory plan (the individual development plan (IDP)) to replace the existing variety of statutory and non-statutory SEN or LDD plans for learners in schools and further education.

Increased participation of children and young people
The Act requires that learners’ views should always be considered as part of the planning process, along with those of their parents. It is imperative that children and young people see the planning process as something which is done with them rather than to them.

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High aspirations and improved outcomes
The emphasis of IDPs will be on making provision that delivers tangible outcomes that contribute in a meaningful way to the child or young person’s achievement of their full potential.

A simpler and less adversarial system
The process of producing and revising an IDP should be much simpler than is currently the case with statements of SEN.

Increased collaboration
The new system will encourage improved collaboration and information sharing between agencies, which are essential to ensuring that needs are identified early and the right support is put in place to enable children and young people to achieve positive outcomes.

Avoiding disagreements and earlier disagreement resolution
The new system will focus on ensuring that where disagreements occur about an IDP or the provision it contains, the matter is considered and resolved at the most local level possible.

Not happy with the support you’re getting at school?

Clear and consistent rights of appeal
Where disagreements about the contents of an IDP cannot be resolved at the local level, the Act will ensure that children and young people entitled to an IDP (and their parents in the case of those that are under 16 years) will have a right of appeal to a tribunal.

A mandatory Code
The Code will ensure that the new ALN system has a set of clear, legally enforceable parameters within which local authorities and those other organisations responsible for the delivery of services for children and young people with ALN, must act.

Reasons behind the proposed changes:
• Learners have the right to equity of access to education that meets their needs and enables them to participate in, benefit from and enjoy learning.
• The current system for supporting children and young people with SEN and learning
difficulties and/or disabilities is based on a model introduced more than 30 years ago that is no longer fit for purpose.
• Under the new system planning will be flexible and responsive; professionals will be more skilled and confident in identifying needs and deploying strategies to help learners overcome their barriers to learning.
• The learner will be at the centre of everything that is done.

Online Training:
An online training course outlining the new unified system for supporting learners with ALN has been published on the Welsh Government’s Hwb platform. The interactive training course gives an introductory overview of the new ALN system, and will help all those involved in the system understand the new legislative duties, and the rights it confers to children, their parents/carers, and young people. We would encourage staff in all sectors who work with children and young people, including school support staff, to undertake this short course. The course may also be of interest to parents and carers.

For further information or guidance please consult the BCBC Website’s ALN Page: