If you think your child may have a Additional Learning Needs that has not been identified by the school or early education setting, you should talk to your child’s class teacher, to the Additional Learning Needs Co-ordinator (ALNCo) or to the Headteacher. They will be able to tell you about the school’s policy for Additional Learning Needs, the support and resources that the school can provide and help available from outside the school.
A child with Additional Learning Needs will have a learning difficulty or a disability that will make it harder for them to learn than most children of the same age. A child with Additional Learning Needs may need extra support or help that is different to that given to other children. A child with Additional Learning Needs may need extra help because of a range of needs, such as thinking and understanding, physical or sensory difficulties with speech and language or how they relate to and behave with other people.
All Local Authorities have a statutory duty to provide Parent Partnership Services. It is a free and confidential service which provides impartial information, advice and support to parents and carers of children with Additional Learning Needs.
When a class teacher or ALNCo identifies a child with Additional Learning Needs (ALN) they should provide support that is additional to (or different from) that which is provided as part of the school’s usual differentiated curriculum. The school must tell you when they first start providing extra or different help for your child because of their ALN and they must keep you informed of your child’s progress.
If your child is still not making enough progress in school, the class teacher or the ALNCo should talk to you about seeking advice from other people outside the school. At this stage, the school may seek advice and support from external services, both those provided by the council and outside agencies (e.g. Specialist Teacher, Educational Psychologist, Speech and Language Therapy (SaLT) or Health Professionals).
At least once a year your child’s ID(E)P will be reviewed and a meeting arranged to discuss your child’s progress. This is called an annual review. The purpose of the review is to make sure that at least once a year all the professionals involved monitor and evaluate the continued effectiveness and relevance of your child’s Additional Learning Needs.
An Individual Development (Education) Plan – ID(E)P is drawn up by the class teacher to help the parent and the school identify the child’s needs and to target areas of particular difficulty. ID(E)Ps are usually linked to the main areas of language, literacy, mathematics and behaviour and social skills.
An assessment may be carried out with your child in order to identify their strengths and needs. Working in this way can help the school develop a plan of support and ensure that your child’s needs are being addressed in the most suitable way. Assessments can be carried out by school staff or by Local Authority Education staff (e.g. educational psychologists or advisory teachers).
Different types of assessments can target a range of areas (e.g. reading, understanding, language skills, number skills and self-esteem). The results of these types of assessments are used to plan the way ahead for your child. The assessments may be reviewed from time to time to make sure that the plan of support continues to be suitable for your child.
Parent Partnership Services provide support and advice to parents whose children have Additional Learning Needs. Information and advice is provided by a dedicated team who provide accurate and neutral information.