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Placement in Mainstream Schools

Children with ALN all have learning difficulties or disabilities that make it harder for them to learn than most children of the same age. These children may need extra or different help from that given to other children of the same age.

Children with ALN may need extra help because of a range of needs, such as:

  • in thinking and understanding, physical or sensory difficulties
  • emotional and behavioural difficulties
  • difficulties with speech and language
  • how they relate to and behave with other people.

Many children will have ALN of some kind at some time during their education.
Schools and other services can help most children overcome their difficulties, but a few children will need extra help for some or all of their time in school.

Identifying children’s needs

Early education settings and schools place great importance on identifying additional learning needs early so that they can help children as quickly as possible.

The graduated approach recognises that children learn in different ways and can have different kinds or levels of ALN. If it has been decided that your child has ALN specialist expertise can be brought in to help the school with the difficulties that a child may have.

The school will tell you when they first start giving help to your child because your child has ALN. Your child might need help for only a short time or for many years, perhaps even for the whole of their education.

Your child’s teacher is responsible for working with your child on a day-to-day basis but may decide, with your input, to write down the actions or help for your child in an Individual Development Plan (IDP).

The IDP will say:

  • what special help is being given
  • how often your child will receive the help
  • who will provide the help
  • what the targets for your child are
  • how and when your child’s progress will be checked
  • what help you can give your child at home.

Your child’s teacher will agree the IDP with you and your child.