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Additional Learning Needs

Additional Learning Needs Provision in Birchgrove Primary School

Provision for children with Additional Learning Needs (ALN) has changed.

How are Additional Learning Needs supported?

Most pupil’s needs can be met by provision and resources in school that are ordinarily available. This may include completing work set at their level - differentiation, using resources available to support their learning e.g. scaffolds, planners, physical resources or receiving additional support through an intervention such as Rainbow Readers, Precision Teaching etc. to boost their progress in an area of weakness.

Sometimes, pupils may need a more personal, targeted approach where they spend a short period of time working on very specific difficulties such as spelling, number facts, key words for example. If this is the case, the teacher will meet with parents to create a personalised learning plan called 'My Star Goals'. My Star Goals gives a pupil smart targets that are Specific, Measurable,  Achievable, Relevant and Time related. The plan will outline how school and home are going to support with the development of new skills and how success will be measured.

After the agreed period, the targets are reviewed by the teacher with the parents and pupil. Depending on the progress made, the pupil may receive another set of targets, or will no longer need a plan. This process is very flexible and responsive to the pupil's needs. It may continue until sufficient progress has been made or until further avenues need exploring.

If, after review, a pupil is still making limited progress despite regular intervention, their needs may need to be investigated further to see if they have Additional Learning Needs (ALN). Pupils with ALN will have significantly greater difficulty in their area of need than the majority of others of the same age. They will require provision that is different from/additional to what is being provided for their peers.

Areas of need outlined in the ALN Code of practice are:

  • Cognition and Learning
  • Communication and Interaction
  • Sensory and/or Physical
  • Behavioural, Emotional and Social Development

An investigation into ALN starts a 35 (term-time) day (7 term-time week) process. The teacher will work with the Additional Learning Needs Coordinator, other professionals, the parents and the pupil to decide whether the pupil's needs are significantly greater than their peers. A Person-Centred Meeting (PCM) will be scheduled where evidence will be assessed, and a decision will be made about whether a learner has ALN.

If ALN are identified, an Individual Development Plan (IDP) will be written and the Additional Learning Provision outlined will begin.

If ALN are not identified, then the pupil will continue with My Star Goals where required, and parents will be directed on how to best support their child at home. A parent may appeal the decision with the local authority who have 4-weeks to respond.

For further information, please read the information on our website or visit the ALN section of the Welsh Government website   

Additional Learning Needs and Educational Tribunal (Wales) Act

The Additional Learning Needs and Educational Tribunal Wales (ALNET) Act 2018 is just one aspect of the overarching ALN Transformation Programme in Wales. At the heart of these reforms is a focus on inclusion: putting children and young people at the centre, and ensuring they are supported to reach their full potential.

The overarching aims of the Bill are to create:

  • a unified legislative framework to support children and young people aged 0-25 with ALN in schools and further education,
  • an integrated, collaborative process of assessment, planning and monitoring, which facilitates early, timely and effective interventions,
  • a fair and transparent system for providing information and advice, and for resolving concerns and appeals.

The Welsh Government has set out a timeline for the implementation of the Act

Please find links to Welsh Government documents below:

School Funding for Additional Learning Needs

Cardiff Council has changed the way it funds schools to support children and young people with Additional Learning Needs (ALN).

Please see the 'ALN Funding leaflet for Parents' in the documents section below which has been produced by the local authority to explain the changes.

Further Advice and Support 

If you have any questions about this process or a query regarding individual an pupil, our Additional Learning Needs Coordinator (ALNCo), Mrs Lucy Jones, will be happy to help. Please call on 029 2062 8204 or email directly

You may also like to contact the Local Authority’s ALN Helpline on 029 2087 2731 or email for further information and advice. 

If you would like independent advice, SNAP Cymru offers information, advice and support to children and their parents or carers and young people who have/or may have Additional Learning Needs (ALN). The service can help you with 'one off', straightforward advice or more in-depth support from a caseworker at your local team. They will provide clear, reliable and straightforward information about your options and help you confidently share your views and make informed decisions.  

You can contact SNAP Cymru via the helpline on 0808 801 0608 or by completing an enquiry form on 

You can find out more about SNAP Cymru at