Skip to main content

Ceredigion County Council website

Additional Learning Needs (ALN)

  1. I am worried my child is having difficulties, what can I do?
  2. What are my rights and responsibilities?
  3. How will the school provide for my child?

I am worried my child is having difficulties, what can I do?

If you think your child may have a difficulty that has not been identified you should talk to their class teacher straight away.

You will be able to chat about your concerns and this will often help to quickly sort out worries and problems.

The closer you work with your child’s teachers, the more successful any help for your child will be. Sometimes, additional support will be needed for your child.

At first, the class teacher will turn to the school ALNCo or Headteacher for advice.

Ceredigion Parent Partnership Service offers information, impartial advice and support on Additional Learning Needs (ALN) for children, young people and families in Ceredigion.

We can: 

  • support with information on the ALN Code and on how Ceredigion schools support learners with ALN;
  • meet with parents and carers and attend school meetings;
  • support on building and maintaining good working relationships with professionals.

We are also committed to supporting families through SNAP Cymru - an all-Wales children's charity who work with families on issues regarding additional learning needs and disabilities. For more information, visit SNAP's website:

back to top

What are my rights and responsibilities?

  • you should always ask for advice without delay
  • you should be consulted about all the decisions that affect your child
  • you have a vital role in supporting your child’s education
  • your views should be taken into account
  • the school must tell you when they first start giving extra or different help for your child
  • you should be consulted about all the decisions that affect your child
  • where appropriate the wishes of your child should be listened to
  • you are entitled to have a copy of your child’s Individual Development Plan (IDP)
  • if you want to talk to someone who is independent and knows about special educational needs, you can get help and advice from the local parent partnership service or, from national or local voluntary organisations.

back to top

How will the school provide for my child?

In Ceredigion, we place great importance on identifying special educational needs as early as possible so that your child can receive the most effective support available.

The Graduated Response recognises that children learn in different ways and have different kinds and levels of special needs and that all teachers are teachers of additional needs.

The Graduated Response contains 3 levels of support or intervention.

Firstly the school will make full use of all available classroom and school resources to make sure your child has every opportunity to be taught the way they learn best.

The school will carefully monitor and review your child’s progress as evidence to show what has been done.

If your child’s progress continues to cause concern additional support and / or expertise can be brought in as part of a continuous cycle of planning, action and review.

Your child might need help through the Graduated Response for just a short time or, for many years.

The range and style of this support can be increased or reduced according to your child’s progress and individual needs.

All Ceredigion schools have access to a range of support services, so that they can identify learners who are having difficulties with their learning and provide them with the additional support.

If your child is not yet in school, please refer to our Nursery Education for 3-4 year olds section.

Where a school or setting feels they need more support, they may contact the local authority ALN service for advice and support from one of the services:

  • The Educational Psychology Service
  • Advisory Teachers
  • Sensory Support team
  • Early Years ALN Lead Officer (EYALNLO)
  • Post-16 Support

back to top

The ALN Code gives guidance for Local Authorities as to how to organise and deliver the best possible provision for pupils with additional learning needs.

Ceredigion’s Principles and Expectations document is based on this guidance.

The authority is committed to raising the achievement and narrowing the gap for children and young people with ALN so that they achieve the best possible standards, well-being and long-term life chances.

The authority believes that improving outcomes for pupils and young people with special educational needs is everyone’s responsibility.

It works in partnership with schools, parents and other agencies to ensure that all children in Ceredigion, whatever their need, are valued, experience success in their learning, achieve their potential and personal goals and maximize their chances of a full and meaningful life.

Ceredigion aims to provide:

  • an inclusive education as close to home and the local community as possible
  • early and accurate assessment of needs
  • a broad, balanced and relevant range of learning opportunities
  • a range of mainstream, enhanced and specialist provision
  • high quality support, advice and training for schools
  • timely, accurate and relevant information for parents and carers
  • resources and services that are appropriate, effective, equitable, transparent, consistent, efficient and accountable
  • access to social and leisure activities within the community

Healthcare Needs Policy

The Welsh Government Guidance, ‘Supporting learners with healthcare needs’, places a duty on local authorities and governing bodies to create and maintain effective healthcare needs policies.

This model healthcare needs policy has been prepared for Ceredigion schools and settings to adopt.

This policy has been created through collaboration with head teachers, ALN Coordinators and education settings, parents and carers, health and social services colleagues, adhering closely to the advice contained in the Welsh Government Guidance.

Access to the Welsh Government guidance document can be obtained from the following website address:

Healthcare Needs Policy

Additional Learning Needs (ALN)

Children and young people learn at different rates and there may be factors in their lives that can also affect their rate of learning.

Children and young people with Additional Learning Needs may need more support to learn than the majority of children and young people of the same age. With some children and young people these additional learning needs are short-term whereas for others, the additional learning needs will be present throughout their time in education and will need the input of the school, parents, the child/young person and the local authority (and other agencies where appropriate) to plan, implement and review any additional support or provision they need.

These are some examples of areas of difficulties a child with additional learning needs may experience.

  • reading, writing, number work
  • understanding information
  • expressing themselves or understanding what others are saying
  • making friends or relating to adults
  • behaving appropriately at school
  • organising themselves
  • difficulty in hearing, seeing, or moving around which may affect their learning

One of the principles of the  ALN Code is inclusive education where children and young people are supported to participate fully in mainstream education, wherever feasible, and a whole-setting approach is taken to meet the needs of learners with ALN.

The Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal Act (2018) says that a child or young person aged 3 to 16 years has Additional Learning Needs if he or she:

  • has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age or
  • has 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

A child under compulsory school age (0 to 3 years) has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she is accessing additional learning provision (for children under 3 this means educational provision of any kind).

The new ALN system puts the learner at the heart of everything that happens, and schools, colleges and local authorities must take a person-centred approach to planning for and supporting children and young people. This means that the views, wishes and feelings of children/young people and their parents must be considered at all stages by giving them a voice in the way children’s needs are identified, assessed and supported throughout their time in schools and settings.

Universal (Inclusive) Learning Provision

All Ceredigion schools are expected to develop inclusive teaching approaches to support all learners including those with ALN. This is known as Universal (Inclusive) Learning Provision (ULP) and is available for all pupils, focusing on:

  • Good teaching, learning and targeted differentiation
  • Targeted teaching strategies to support different areas of need
  • Standard Targeted Interventions (interventions that are generally made available for all pupils of the same age which help identify emerging needs).

Additional Learning Provision

Additional learning provision (ALP) for children aged 3 years or over means educational or training provision that is additional to, or different from, that made generally for others of the same age.

Additional Learning Provision (ALP) can take many forms; it might include any support that takes place inside or outside the mainstream classroom, where it is additional to, or different from, that made generally for others of the same age. ALP might also be delivered in settings outside of the school or college in some circumstances and/or by external professionals.

Additional learning provision (ALP) for a child aged under 3 years means educational provision of any kind.

Support for Learners with ALN

Timely intervention, and well-planned support is essential to achieve the best outcomes for children and young people with ALN. This may also require collaboration with other professionals.

Class teachers, supported by the senior leadership team in schools including the ALNCo, should make regular assessments of progress for all pupils. These should seek to identify pupils making less than expected progress given their age and individual circumstances.

School staff should talk to you and your child about this, and then decide together if your child needs Additional Learning Needs support. If a young person is 16 or older the school should involve them directly.

Sometimes you may be the first to be aware that your child has some Additional Learning Needs. If you think your child may need ALN support you should talk to your child’s teacher or to the Additional Learning Needs Coordinator (ALNCo).

Education in Ceredigion is changing. 

To find out how education in Ceredigion is changing, watch this short video

Ceredigion is one of the most inclusive local authorities in Wales. We have no special schools, just a small number of specialist resource centres attached to mainstream schools. This means that the majority of our learners are educated within mainstream schools. This video describes the benefits of Inclusive education from the point of view of the parents of a child as well as the professionals involved.