There are a number of professionals who may be involved with your child or young person if they have Additional Learning Needs. This section looks at some of them. You can also find out more information in your Local Area by clicking on the section for your Local Authority.

Professionals and Agencies who support Children and young people with Additional Learning Needs

Various professionals meet regularly with the Additional Learning Needs Co-ordinator at a local school. They will work closely with the school staff to provide advice on how to  work with individual pupils; they may provide additional specialist assessments or they may work directly with the child. They will also suggest new targets for the child or young person.

Here are some of the professionals who work with children and young people:

ALNCo

All schools, except specialist Additional Learning Needs (ALN) provisions, will need to have an identified member of staff to act as Additional Learning Needs Co-ordinator (or ALNCo for short).

This responsibility extends to accredited child-minders who belong to approved networks. In these settings, the role of an ALNCo can be shared between individual childminders and the network co–ordinator.

The ALNCo has responsibility for:

  • Writing and implementing Additional Learning Needs (ALN) policy.
  • Liaising and offering advice to school staff on ALN issues
  • Managing ALN support staff
  • Determining if a child has ALN in conjunction with outside specialists.
  • Contributing to in-service training for teachers
  • Liaising with parents of children with ALN and arranging review meetings.
  • Ensuring the appropriate individual (or group) educational plan is in place
  • Overseeing the day-to-day operation of the school’s ALN policy.
  • Co-ordinating provision for children with ALN.
  • Managing Learning Support Assistants (LSAs) or Teaching Assistants (TA’s).
  • Overseeing the records of all children with ALN
  • Liaising with external agencies including advisory teachers and educational psychology services, health and social services, and voluntary bodies.

Behaviour Support Teacher

A support teacher who works with schools offering advice and support in developing a wide range of strategies to manage the behaviour of individual pupils and to help reduce the likelihood of exclusion.  Their goal is to promote a positive and productive teaching and learning environment.  They also support, train and work with teaching and support staff in the area of behaviour management.

Children's Social Care Worker

A children’s Social Care Worker supports the needs of communities, families and individuals. They provide services for children and families (as well as adults and those with mental and physical health needs).

Class Teacher

A class teacher is a professional who has responsibility for educating a class of children or young people. The relationship between children and their teachers tends to be closer in the primary school where they act as form tutor and specialist teacher throughout the course of the day. In secondary schools, class teachers specialise in a specific subject area (e.g. Biology or English)

Education Welfare Officer (EWO)

The Education Welfare Officer offers specialist support to parents and schools on pupil welfare and attendance. They work with other agencies to promote attendance and welfare. They have responsibility for ensuring attendance at school of children of statutory school age.

Educational Psychologist (Ed Psych or EP)

Educational Psychologists support schools in the delivery of Additional Learning Needs for children and young people. The work of an Educational Psychologists involves:

  • Assessment
  • Observation
  • Intervention
  • Consultation
  • Training
  • Research

They work mostly in schools, but also in preschool settings and at home. Sometimes Educational Psychologists work with children and young people. At other times, they work with teachers and other adults on the child’s behalf.  Their main task is to help with issues that are causing problems or concerns to children. These can be about learning, behaviour, social interactions or emotional well-being. Through consulting with children, young people and the teachers that work with them, they decide on a plan. This plan will have actions that should lead to a solution. They set a time to review progress to see if the plan is working. Educational Psychologists also play a part in the multi-agency process of identifying significant Additional Learning Needs and recommending how they can best be met.

Family Support Worker

A Family Support Worker offers practical help and emotional support to families experiencing short or long-term difficulties. They are usually employed by the Local Authority’s social services department.  They provide support to families, empowering them to address various challenges, reducing problems and risks and, in some cases, helping to make sure that children can remain with their family.

Form Teacher

A Form Teacher is a teacher whose job involves looking after a particular class of students, and helping them with any problems.  In the primary school, this teacher is usually the same teacher who stays with their class throughout the school day. In secondary schools, a Form Teacher has pastoral responsibility for a particular class of young people.

Health Professional

A health professional focuses upon the health needs of children and young people. This may be a Medical Doctor, a Specialist Practitioner or Nursing Professional.

Occupational Therapist (OT)

A professional employed by the Health Trust to work with the child, parents and teachers. Occupational Therapists use therapeutic techniques (advising on equipment and environmental adaptations where appropriate) to improve a child’s ability to access the physical and learning curriculum.

Multi-Agency Team

A Multi-Agency Team works across various organisations to deliver services to children and young people with multiple needs. They work in collaboration to offer individuals the range of support they require. Multi-agency working seeks to provide a seamless response to individuals with multiple and complex needs.

Paediatrician

A doctor specialising in the needs of babies and children.

All schools, except specialist Additional Learning Needs (ALN) provisions, will need to have an identified member of staff to act as AdditionalLearning Needs Co-ordinator (or ALNCo for short).This responsibility extends to accredited child-minders who belong to approved networks. In these settings, the role of an ALNCo can be shared between individual childminders and the network co–ordinator.

The ALNCo has responsibility for:

  • Writing and implementing Additional LearningNeeds (ALN) policy
  • Liaising and offering advice to school staff on ALN issues
  • Managing ALN support staff
  • Determining if a child has ALN in conjunction with outside specialists
  • Contributing to in-service training for teachers
  • Liaising with parents of children with ALN and arranging review meetings
  • Ensuring the appropriate individual (or group) educational plan is in place
  • Overseeing the day-to-day operation of the school’s ALN policy
  • Co-ordinating provision for children with ALN
  • Managing Learning Support Assistants (LSAs) or Teaching Assistants (TA’s)
  • Overseeing the records of all children with ALN
  • Liaising with external agencies including advisory teachers and educational psychology services, health and social services, and voluntary bodies.

Parent Partnership Officer

A Parent Partnership Officer (sometimes called the Parent Support Advisor) supports parents/carers of children with Additional Learning Needs.  They help support and meet the needs of parents/carers, schools and the Local Authority.

Physiotherapist

A Physiotherapist is a specialist who works with children or young people who have movement difficulties. They can advise parents on suitable exercises for their children.

Psychiatrist

A Child Psychiatrist is a doctor who specialises in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of children with mental illness (or the way they feel and behave).  To compare a psychologist with a psychiatrist: A psychologist is not able to write prescriptions, but may recommend a patient be seen by a psychiatrist in order to receive medication. Similarly,  psychiatrists, often refer patients to psychotherapists and psychologists to receive counselling or therapy.

Specialist Advisory Teacher

A Specialist Advisory Teacher provides an advisory role for schools in a specific additional need, of which they have expert knowledge and experience. They are provided by the Local Authority and are experienced, qualified teachers who provide skilled support for children with communication, behavioural and sensory impairment as well as general learning difficulties.

Sensory Support Service / Sensory Impaired Team

A team of experienced, qualified teaching and non-teaching staff who provide skilled support for children with hearing, vision and multi-needs sensory impairment including hearing or visual impairment. Teaching staff offer a wide range of skills to teach and support children and families from the time of diagnosis in the critical early years and throughout school life.

Speech and Language Therapist (SLT)

A speech and language therapist is a professional employed by the Health Trust to work with the child, parents and teachers. They use therapeutic techniques to support, improve and care for children and young people who have difficulties with communication, or with eating, drinking and swallowing.

Teaching Assistant

A Teaching Assistant (also known as a Learning Support Assistant or General Assistant) (TA/LSA/GA) is a person employed in school to support children’s learning under the direction of a class teacher.

Local Support in West Wales

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.