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Cardiff Council

Getting help from school

​​​Most of the time a child or young person’s difficulties can be recognised and have their needs met by the school.  

All schools consider the individual learning needs of their pupils, and teachers will offer additional support, such as:

  • adding more steps to a task,
  • visual prompts to help children organise themselves,
  • apps for learners to work at their own pace,
  • allowing extra time for tasks to be completed,
  • catch up groups or small group work with specific support for maths and literature, and
  • wellbeing support.

Some learners will need more or different help than that provided universally for all children. 
All maintained schools in Wales have legal duties to support learners with additional learning needs (ALN).

Nurseries, schools and colleges have clear duties under the ALNET Act 2018 and the ALN Code Wales 2021 (the code). The code contains guidance on what they should be doing to identify and support children and young people with ALN.

Schools must decide if a learner has additional learning needs and give them the support they need to help them learn. The ALN code says that the school have to consider providing help if there is a concern about their progress. 

Whilst teachers are often the people who decide if a learner needs some help, the code says that anyone who knows the learner and is concerned can let the school know.  This recognises that parents and carers and other professionals often have vital information that can confirm or add to the school’s view.

The ALN code says that schools should try to recognise a learner’s difficulty early, so that they can have the right kind of help at the earliest opportunity. 

All schools must have an additional learning needs co-ordinator (ALNCo). The ALN Act makes having an additional learning needs co-ordinator a legal requirement in schools. Previously, having a special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCo) was not a legal requirement.

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 provided by us or other agencies. For example: 

  • Specialist Teacher, 
  • Educational Psychologist, 
  • Speech and Language Therapy (SaLT), or 
  • Health Professional(s).​

© 2022 Cardiff Council