What should I do if I think my child has additional learning needs (ALN)?
As a parent you will know your child best. If you have any concerns about your child’s learning or behaviour you should first talk things over with your child’s class teacher, Additional Learning Needs Coordinator, Headteacher, Early Years' Provider, Health Visitor or College.
It is very important that you discuss your worries with school/education provider as a first step.
What happens when a child / young person or parent raises a concern?
When a parent, child / young person raises a concern about a possible additional learning need, the school will begin the decision-making process which starts with gathering evidence and possibly a period of intervention which will be monitored and reviewed.
The school will ask you to come in and join a person centred meeting to talk about your concerns and work with them to help your child / young person.
If your child / young person does not make satisfactory progress with this intervention, then the school Additional Learning Needs Coordinator (ALNCO) will consider whether your child / young person meets the criteria for having an additional learning need using a person centred approach. If your child / young person has an additional learning need that requires additional learning provision, then the school will have 35 working days to prepare an Individual Development Plan (IDP) to support their learning. Your views, wishes and feelings will be included in any decisions.
What happens if my child doesn't have an additional learning need?
If a decision has been made that your child / young person does not have an additional learning need, they may still have a learning difficulty. In schools learning difficulties are supported through a variety of strategies which are accessible to all learners, this is called Universal Provision.
What happens if I disagree?
If you disagree with the school's decision, then ask to speak to the class teacher, Additional Learning Needs Coordinator (ALNCO) or the Headteacher, so they can discuss this with you.
If you have spoken to the school, and the concern or disagreement is not resolved you can ask to speak with a member of the additional learning need team within the Local Authority to seek further advice. You can also speak with an independent ALN Caseworker at SNAP Cymru who can provide you with free, independent information, impartial advice and support.
If your concern has not been resolved, you also have a right to appeal to the independent Education Tribunal of Wales.
Issues that can be appealed include, a decision about whether or not a child/young person has ALN, whether they need an IDP, the contents of the plan, whether provision is in Welsh, and the setting.