ALN Reform

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 and Education Tribunal Wales (ALNET) 2018 Act that provides new legislation for supporting children and young people with ALN. The aim of the new approach is as follows:

‘To support the creation of a fully inclusive education system where all children and young people are given the opportunity to succeed and have access to an education that meets their needs and enables them to participate in, benefit from, and enjoy learning.’

The new statutory framework is underpinned by the following key principles and aims:

A rights-based approach where the views, wishes and feelings of the child, young person and their parents / carers are central to the planning and provision of support; and the child, young person and their parents / carers are enabled to participate as fully as possible in the decision-making processes. This can be achieved through the implementation of Person-Centred Practice (PCP).

Early identification, intervention and effective transition planning where needs are identified and provision put in place at the earliest opportunity.

Collaboration where services work together to ensure ALN are identified early, and appropriate co-ordinated support is put in place to enable children and young people to achieve positive expectations, experiences and outcomes.

At Cwmafan Primary 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 through collaboration between parents, teachers and pupils working together. Cwmafan Primary 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.

For the purposes of the Act, the use of the term ALN relates to individual children and young persons who have “Additional Learning Needs” i.e. they have a learning difficulty or disability calls for Additional Learning Provision (whether the learning difficulty or disability arises from a medical condition or otherwise) which. Pupils who meet our criteria for having ALN will be supported by class teachers, teaching assistants other adults.

Many children and young people are likely at some point to experience short term issues with their learning, for example because of a period of absence from an education setting caused by a temporary illness, or because they have suffered a bereavement or some other trauma. In these circumstances, schools may need to take action to help the child or young person catch up and / or to prevent the issue from escalating. These situations would not ordinarily amount to ALN on their own; but it is possible that in some cases, this could result in a difficulty in learning which calls for ALP.

As a school we identify support for Pupils under the following:

School Action (SA)Support for Pupils identified as School Action lies within our School.Inclusive Learning Provision (ILP)Differentiated teaching strategies and /or other targeted interventions designed to address an attainment gap.
School Action Plus (SA+)Those who are identified as School Action Plus will have the additional support and/or advice of external agencies such as Speech and Language, Behaviour Specialist teachers or Educational PsychologistsAdditional Learning Provision (ALP)An enhanced targeted package of support may be needed so that they can make progress and achieve their potential. This may include intervention and support using school-based expertise or through external agency support.
Statement of SENPupils with statements are provided with provision to meet their needs by the Local Authority, who take responsibility for this Statement.Individual Development Plan (IDP)An IDP is a statutory plan maintained by a school, FEI or local authority that sets out a description of a child or young person’s ALN, the additional learning provision (ALP) called for by their learning difficulty or disability, and other associated information.
Local Authority Individual Development Plan (LA IDP)Local authorities rather than schools will maintain IDPs where the child or young person has ALN that calls for ALP it would not be reasonable for the governing body to secure.

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 Inclusive Learning Provision (ILP) 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.
  • To ensure that ALN pupils take as full a part as possible in all school activities.
  • To use a Person Centred practice 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.