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Pencoed Primary School Working together for each and every child

Additional Learning Needs

Additional Learning Needs (ALN)

As a school we ensure the needs of all children are met through high quality teaching and learning provision. Our Universal Provision includes:


  • whole class teaching
  • effective differentiation
  • collaborative group work
  • individual and small group interventions
  • appropriate and reasonable adjustments to enable access to the school environment, curriculum and facilities.


During their time at Pencoed, most children will make expected progress in their learning from their starting points.  If a child is not progressing, we will gather observations, use assessment data and seek to work in collaboration with outside agencies / professionals to identify any additional learning needs. A wide range of evidence will be gathered over time, including:


  • assessment tools, frameworks and questionnaires
  • standardised assessments
  • observational data
  • formative assessments of day to day learning
  • monitoring progress over time
  • assessments from other agencies e.g., Paediatrician, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapist


A child not moving forward in their learning is characterised by progress which:


  • is significantly slower than that of their peers starting from the same baseline,
  • does not match or better previous rate of progress,
  • does not close, or widens, the attainment gap between the child and their peers, despite the provision of support aimed at closing that gap.


Identification of Additional Learning Needs (ALN)

  • When pupils do not make the expected progress with Universal Provision and following thorough investigation and evidence gathering, a child may be identified as having ALN.


What are Additional Learning Needs (ALN)?


  1. A child has additional learning needs if he or she has a learning difficulty or disability (whether the learning difficulty or disability arises from a medical condition or otherwise) which calls for additional learning provision, beyond the Universal Provision provided for all learners.


   2. A child of compulsory school age that has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she - 

     (a) has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or

     (b) has a disability for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010 which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities for education or training of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream-maintained schools.


    3. A child under compulsory school age has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she is, or would be if no additional learning provision were made, likely to be within subsection (2) when of compulsory school age.


    4. A person does not have a learning difficulty or disability solely because of the language (or form of language) in which he or she is or will be taught is different from a language (or form of language) which is or has been used at home.


The same considerations apply with regard to children with healthcare needs.  It will be necessary to establish whether a child has a learning difficulty or disability which calls for Additional Learning Needs Provision (ALP).  There will be many circumstances where an individual with healthcare needs does not have a learning difficulty or learning disability or where this is the case, the learning difficulty or disability does not require ALP.


The Individual Development Plan (IDP) is the document that contains a description of the ALN that acts as a barrier to the learner in achieving their educational potential and the ALP that is necessary to overcome or mitigate this barrier. It is created through collaboration with the learner and the learners’ parents/carers in conjunction with any other professionals that might be involved. 


The very few learners who do not make good progress through universal school provision may be identified as having ALN and require ALP. Where this is the case, the school will need to prepare and maintain an IDP that details the barrier to learning and the ALP it will secure to address the barrier. The IDP will detail the strategies and interventions that are additional to or different from what is normally provided for others of the same age.


Additional Information

For additional information regarding ALN, follow the links below:


Bridgend County Borough Council


Additional Learning Needs in Wales – What is happening in Wales?


A Parent / Carers guide to Additional Learning Needs:


Most of our support for pupils who have special educational needs occurs in class. That is, the class teacher will plan a differentiated set of activities which cater for the child’s individual needs. This is supported by the work of our Learning Support Officer(s) who delivers activities for specific pupils. This may involve withdrawing pupils to our well appointed Reading Resource Area for individual tuition on a specific aspect of their work. There is always a close liaison between the Learning Support Officer(s) and the Class Teacher.


The school also benefits from an observation class for Foundation Phase pupils with additional learning needs and two Key Stage 2 special support classes for pupils with mild learning difficulties. The pupil/teacher ratio(s) in these classes means that work is closely planned for specific individual need. Pupils enter these classes after consultation between the teacher, SENCO, Head Teacher, Educational Psychologist and parents.


Mrs Alice Brennan is our ALNCo and she co-ordinates all the school provision for supporting children who have additional learning needs. If you have any concerns about your child or you would like an informal chat with Mrs Brennan, please contact the school office