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Additional Learning Needs (ALN) and the ALN System: Information for Parents and Carers

What is Person Centred Practice?

The new ALN system in Wales places a duty on all Local Authorities and Schools to ensure the views, wishes and feelings of the child and the child’s parent, or the young person, are at the heart of the decision making process.

This duty reflects the ethos of Person Centred Practice (PCP). A range of resources to support the use of PCP approaches is available on both the Local Authority and Welsh Government websites.

How do we know if a child or young person has ALN?

Children or young people have ALN if they have:

  • a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or
  • a disability which prevents, or hinders, him or her from making use of facilities for education or training of a kind generally provided for others of the same age;

AND this learning difficulty or disability calls for Additional Learning Provision (ALP).

What is Additional Learning Provision (ALP)?

An Additional Learning Provision, or ALP, is:

  • for a person aged three or over: educational or training provision that is additional to, or different from, that made generally for others of the same age;
  • for a child aged under three: educational provision of any kind.

If a child or young person has ALN that requires ALP then they will have an Individual Development Plan (IDP). This will show how they will be supported, and who will provide this support (the ALP provider).

Who supports learners with ALN?

Maintained Schools in Wales have a duty to:

  • identify learners with ALN in the school; schools have a duty to decide if a learner has ALN . If it is decided that a learner does have ALN, schools are required to issue an IDP notice and draft the IDP within 35 school days
  • deliver the ALP to the majority of learners
  • involve and support individual children, their families and young people to participate as fully as possible in the decision making process through the use of Person Centred Practice
  • provide information to learners and parents/carers
  • review and maintain the majority of learners’ IDPs
  • work with external agencies, such as Social Services and Health
  • link with the Local Authority in cases where it is more difficult to decide if a learner has ALN ,or what ALP is required

Neath Port Talbot Council has a duty to:

  • support schools in identifying learners with ALN
  • keep the ALP in schools in NPT under review
  • decide if a child has ALN, if it has been brought to their attention, within a 12 week period
  • maintain the IDPs for those learners who have the most complex or severe needs; who are Looked After by the LA; and who are dual registered (enrolled at more than one school)
  • implement a Person Centred approach and ensure information/ advice is available to schools, learners and parents

Where can I get more information?

Your child's cchool will be able to provide you with additional information about what additional support is available for your child. Schools are able to gain additional support from the Local Authority, if needed, in order to ensure that your child is well supported and their needs are met. School websites also contain useful information.

Our website has additional information about ALN systems and support that the Local Authority is able to provide. You can also telephone on 01639 763143 , email or visit our Facebook page ‘NPT Education Inclusion.

SNAP Cymru are a national charity who aim to advance the education of people in Wales, and support their inclusion. They offer free and independent information, advice and support to help get the right education for learners with ALN. More information can be found on their website or by phoning 0808 801 0608.

Complaints Procedure

If you are unhappy with the provision in place to support your child’s ALN, the first step is to speak to the class teacher, school ALNCo and/or Head Teacher. If this is not possible, or after speaking to them you require further advice and support, then the LA’s Pupil Parent Partnership Service or SNAP Cymru can be contacted. They will listen to your concerns and look to assist you in resolving any issues you have. Contact details are as follows:

However, in the event that a resolution cannot be found and you wish to make a formal complaint, please see the different procedures below:

Complaint to school - Each school has its own complaints policy that you will need to follow. This will usually be on their web-site, or alternatively, a hard copy can be requested directly from your child’s school.

Local Authority - Should your complaint relate to a service provided by the Local Authority , the Comments, Compliments and Complaint Policy and Procedure can be accessed on the NPT website.