Additional Learning Needs

Page updated on: 23/12/2019

The terms ‘additional learning needs’ (ALN) or ‘special educational needs’ (SEN) refer to children who have learning difficulties or disabilities that make it harder for them to learn or access education than most children of the same age. Many children will have ALN of some kind at some time during their education.

Children progress at different rates and will be supported in different ways according to their needs. Some children may need to focus on certain skills such as reading or social skills. They may need to work in small groups, sometimes with a teaching assistant.

Teachers may seek the support of specialist professionals, for example advisory teachers or an educational and child psychologist. As part of this process your child may be assessed. This is to help decide on the best way to support them with their learning. Parents and children, schools and other professionals can ask for a statutory assessment of a child's needs. 

All schools have an Additional Learning Needs Co-ordinator (ALNCo) who will guide and assist you if you have any concerns about your child’s development. Whilst most of our pupils’ needs can be met in our mainstream schools, a range of special schools and specialist provision has been developed to educate pupils.

We take a partnership approach to working with parents of pupils with additional learning needs. Parent Partnership Services provide support and advice to parents whose children have ALN. We are also aware of the importance of the voice of the child/young person and ensuring that their voice is heard at all times.