Siân Phillips – ALNCo – Additional Learning Needs Co-ordinator

What are Additional Learning Needs?

About one in five children will have Additional Learning Needs at some time during their school life.
The law states that a child has Additional Learning Needs ( ALN) if he or she has learning or behavioural difficulties that require special help.

Your child has learning difficulties if they :

  • find it harder to learn than most children of the same age
  • have a disability which makes it difficult to use the local school

Learning difficulties may be caused by:

  • a physical disability
  • a problem with sight, hearing, speech and language
  • a developmental delay
  • emotional and or behaviour difficulties
  • a medical problem
  • specific difficulties with reading, writing or mathematics

The child’s class teacher, ALNCo or the Headteacher will always discuss any concerns parents may have about their child.

Most of the needs can be met in the mainstream school by the child’s class teacher. Sometimes, support will also be given by other specialists.

These are some examples of areas of difficulties a child with special educational 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

FAQ’s – Special Educational Needs (SEN) – Ceredigion County Council

Changes to the ALN System?

The SEN system is changing.  The Welsh Government have developed the ALN transformation programme, which transforms the separate systems for special educational needs (SEN) in schools and learning difficulties and/or disabilities (LDD) in further education, to create a unified system for supporting learners from 0 to 25 with ALN. The transformed system will:

  • ensure that all learners with ALN are supported to overcome barriers to learning and achieve their full potential
  • improve the planning and delivery of support for learners from 0 to 25 with ALN, placing learners’ needs, views, wishes and feelings at the heart of the process
  • focus on the importance of identifying needs early and putting in place timely and effective interventions which are monitored and adapted to ensure they deliver the desired outcomes.

The ALN transformation programme also focuses on skills development for the education workforce, to deliver effective support to learners with ALN in the classroom, as well as easier access to specialist support, information and advice.

Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Act

Follow the link to watch a video about the upcoming changes

For further information on the Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Act please click on the links below.

Additional Learning Needs (ALN) Transformation Programme (

The Additional Learning (ALN) Transformation Programme – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) (

Plascrug School is also an autism friendly school after completing the Learning with Autism Primary School programme, which is accredited by ASDinfoWales. Thank you to all the teaching and support staff, admin team, lunchtime supervisors and school governors who have undertaken the autism awareness training and certification scheme and to the pupils who have taken part in the autism aware lessons and signed the charter.