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Additional Learning Needs

Additional Learning Needs at St David's Church in Wales Primary School


     Additional Learning Needs            Acting Additional Learning Needs
  Co-Ordinator (ALNco)                      Co-Ordiantor (ALNco)

St David's C.I.W Primary school is an inclusive school where all staff are committed to the success of every pupil.

All children are valued, respected and welcomed to our school, whatever their needs may be. We fully support children’s learning and aim to ensure they are fully included in all school activities.


If you'd like to discuss anything relating to Additional Learning Needs at St David's C.I.W Primary School, please contact Miss Zoe Morgan (Acting ALNco) Email Address: zmorgan@stdavidsprm.cardiff.sch.uk or use the following telphone number and select option 3: 02920 734308

Additional Learning Needs in Wales - What is happening?

Please watch the video below for information regarding ALN reform and what this means to parents and learners:

The Welsh Government is changing the way that children and young people with special educational needs (SEN) will be supported.

The Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Act 2018 makes provision for a new statutory framework for supporting children and young people with additional learning needs (ALN) from the age of 0-25:

“To support the creation of a fully inclusive education system where all learners are given the opportunity to succeed and have access to an education that meets their needs and enables them to participate in, benefit from, and enjoy learning.”

The ALN system come into force from September 2021 with a three-year phased implementation and aims to transform the expectations, experiences and outcomes for children and young people with ALN placing learners’ views at the heart of the process.

Th Additional Learning Needs Code is issued under the Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Act 2018. The Act, together with this Code and regulations made under the Act, provides the statutory system for meeting the additional learning needs (ALN) of children and young people. It places the learners’ views, wishes and feelings at the heart of the process of planning the support required to enable them to learn effectively and achieve their full potential.

There are massive changes that have been made within ALN, including new terminology, abbreviations and context to decisions made. Please find below some of the important definitions that are crucial to understand when working within ALN:




Information for Parents and Carers

The ALN systems puts young children, parents and guardians at the heart of all decisions made to ensure all learning needs are met and catered for in the most beneficial way for the learner.

Please find below some information posters and videos that provide information regarding ALN reform and what this means for your as parents and guardians but also, for your children.

Information for children and young people

Learners have the right to understand and be a part of the ALN process, therefore it is imperative they are part of the planning process and feel their feelings, opinions and voices are heard. If your child has any questions around ALN, please show them the informative posters and videos below to help them.


Universal, Targeted, or Additional Learning Provision

Universal Provision: What it looks like?

Provision that is available to all where the need arises and where there is a clear need to enhance learners progress

Targeted Provision: What it looks like?

Provision that is available to groups of learners who have been identified as needing some additional, short term targeted intervention to enhance their learning

Specialist Provision: What it looks like?

Provision is available for learners who have a learning difficulty or disability  which means that they have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of their peers, despite universal and targeted provision.

A guide for parents about right under the additional learning needs (ALN) system

For further information, please use the document attached which has been written and shared by the Welsh Government to provide additional guidance and support for parents, children and young people around the ALN system.

The document includes:

  • How children and young people with additional learning needs (ALN) will be supported under the ALN system.
  • How the ALN system works.
  • What parents can do if they disagree with a decision made by organisations providing support for their child.
  • The rights children, their parents and young people have under the ALN system.

How the ALN Implementation looks at St David's

As we transition over to the new ALN act, the following information outlines how this works/will look within the time scales provided by the Welsh Government.

If you know or have children or young people with SEN or learning difficulties/disabilities, they may have:

  • an individual education plan (IEP); 
  • a statement; or
  • a learning and skills plan

What will change?

Many of these children and young people will continue to have their needs met through high quality and routine classroom practice. There will be a few children and young people who have a learning difficulty or disability that calls for additional learning provision (ALP). This is provision that is additional to or different from that made generally available for others of the same age. These children and young people will have an individual development plan (IDP). Please see above for definition and detail.


The new ‘Decision Making Duty’ on the school

When a school is made aware that a child or young person at the school may have ALN, it must decide whether that child or young person does have additional learning needs unless: 

  • an IDP is already in place;
  • a decision has already been made that the child or young person does have ALN and their needs have not changed; or
  • in the case of a  young person, they do not consent to the decision being made. 

Reconsideration of decisions

A child, their parent(s)/carer(s), or a young person can ask the local authority to reconsider the decision of the school regarding the child/ young person’s ALN.

The local authority must then decide whether the child or young person has ALN or not. When this happens, the local authority must inform the school of the request and ask for further information from them. The local authority may or may not uphold the school’s decision. In the event that the local authority does not uphold the school’s decision, it may direct the school to write an IDP.

If a child or parent/ carer, or young person is unhappy with the IDP, they can request the local authority to reconsider the plan.  The local authority may revise the plan, tell the school to revise the plan or confirm the plan is appropriate. 

Where the plan is maintained by the school, a child, their parent(s)/ carer(s) young person or school can also request that a local authority take over responsibility for maintaining the plan from the school. 

The local authority must decide whether to take over the plan (unless it has previously decided and the child or young person’s needs have not changed significantly and there is no new information to affect the decision). Where the local authority decides that it will not take over the plan, the child and parent(s)/ carer(s) or young person must be informed of this in writing.


Avoiding Disagreement and Conflict Resolution

Children and parent(s)/ carer(s) or young people will be involved in writing their IDP. Working in this way will provide opportunities to discuss concerns and enable issues to be addressed and settled at an early stage.

From time to time, disagreements can arise. The new ALN system and IDP process and the duty on schools and local authorities to consider the views, wishes and feelings of the child, parents or young person is intended to help overcome many disagreements.   It is essential that problems are dealt with as quickly as possible and for children, parent(s)/carer(s), and young people to have access to impartial information advice and support.

Where a concern regarding health or social care provision is raised, a child, their parent(s)/ carer(s) or young person will be able to discuss this with the health or social care professional.  Where it would be beneficial for the local health board to be involved in avoiding and resolving disagreements within education, the local authority will contact the Designated Clinical Lead Officer (DECLO) for advice. 

For children and parent(s)/ carer(s) or young person, there are a number of ways that can help prevent problems or misunderstandings arising as follows:

  • Talk to the school: Always speak to the school's ALNCo as soon as you have worries or concerns and share all the information you have. They will listen and take your problem seriously, explore all issues and concerns and gather information in order to create a plan moving forward.

  • Named officer within the local authorityIf you disagree with a school or local authority decision on anything relating to your child’s ALN provision or placement you should contact a named officer at the local authority Inclusion Service.  They can help you unpick problems, gather further information, provide impartial advice and support and reconsider school decisions. 

  • ALN Independent Information, Advice and Support - SNAP Cymru: This platform will also provide impartial information, advice and support regarding making informed decisions, understanding ALN law, entitlements ad process through clear and straightforward information and be a point of contact between various professionals.



Disagreement Resolution / Mediation 

Sometimes it is difficult to reach an agreement. In this area, independent disagreement resolution is provided by SNAP Cymru.  The service can help, children, their parent(s)/ carer(s), young people, schools, and the local education authority when there is a dispute about ALN decisions and ALN provision. 

An experienced mediator will meet with parent(s)/ carer(s) and school or local education authority staff. The mediator does not take sides but will listen and find out what has been happening. The aim is to find a workable solution that everyone can agree with. 

Children and parent(s)/ carer(s) or young people who want to know more about this service can speak to SNAP Cymru on 0808 801 0608 or email: DRS@snapcymru.org or for referral and more information on: DRS - https://www.snapcymru.org/mediation/  


Disagreeing with Health provision

For disagreements related to health decisions and provision that have not been resolved through earlier discussions, you may use the “Putting things Right” process.

Link to health board “Putting things right” process



Education Tribunal Wales


You have a right to appeal to the Education Tribunal for Wales. The Tribunal is independent and will consider appeals where there is disagreement with the local authority’s decisions.

An appeal can be made by a child, their parent(s)/ carer(s) or young person on the following: 

  • a review of the decision made by a school whether a child/young person has an ALN;
  • a decision by a local authority, in the case of a young person, as to whether it is necessary to prepare and maintain an IDP;
  • the description of the person’s ALN;
  • the additional learning provision in an IDP;
  • the school named in the plan or if no school is named;
  • a decision to revise an IDP;
  • a decision not to take over responsibility for an IDP, following a request to do so;
  • a decision to cease to maintain an IDP; or
  • a refusal to decide a matter.

If you do decide to appeal to the Education Tribunal, you should let the named officer within the local authority know as soon as possible and continue to discuss your concerns. SNAP Cymru can also help you continue to resolve your disagreement

ALN Workshop - Collaborating with parents and guardians

Thank you to all of the parents who joined us for our ALN workshop on the 10.10.23. We were so pleased with the turn out and hope you found the information from our ALNco and the Local Authority beneficial. Please find a copy of the PowerPoint shared below. 

Dyselxia Bronze Award

Following our recent training and hard work from all staff, we have been awarded the Dyslexia Bronze Award. Da iawn pawb!

Contact Details - ALN

SNAP Cyrmru:

Telephone: 0808 801 0608         Email: DRS@snapcymru.org
For referral and more information on: DRS - https://www.snapcymru.org/mediation/  


ALN Helpline for Parents/Carers:

Tel: 029 20872731        Email: ALNHelpline@cardiff.gov.uk



Special Educational Needs Tribunal for Wales:

Telephone: 0300 025 9800        E-mail: Tribunal.Enquiries@gov.wales 

Resources for parents, guardians, children and young people around ALN

Links to some of our recommended external sites where you can find further information:

SNAP Cymru

Free and independent information

Dewis Cymru

Information or advice about your well-being

Cardiff Family Advice and Support

Advice and assistance for children, young people and their families in Cardiff.

BBC Bitesize Age 7-11 (KS2)

New lessons daily

BBC Bitesize Age 11-16 (KS3)

New lessons daily

Funding Information For Parents

The Index

The Index is Cardiff’s voluntary register for children and young people with disabilities or additional needs which work alongside a range of support services and professionals to ensure that families of children and young people with disabilities or additional needs are kept up to date with information that is both relevant and beneficial to them. In addition, it assists the planning and co-ordination of services supporting those children, young people, and their families.


LINK: The index - Cardiff Family Advice and Support : Cardiff Family Advice and Support (cardifffamilies.co.uk)