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What are Additional Learning Needs (ALN)?


A child will be identified as having additional learning needs if he/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.


At Capcoch Primary we aim to meet the learning needs of all children through high quality teaching and learning provision. Our Universal Provision includes:


  • whole class teaching

  • effective differentiation of curriculum

  • collaborative group work

  • individual and small group interventions: such as ELSA, Lego Therapy and Literacy Launch Pad

  • appropriate and reasonable adjustments to enable access to the school environment and curriculum.


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


  • assessment tools including: WELLCOMM, Language Link and Skill-Teach

  • standardised assessments (Literacy, Numeracy, Reading and Spelling)

  • formative assessments of day to day learning

  • monitoring progress across the curriculum over time.


A child showing cause for concern with the progress in their learning is characterised by :


  • is significantly slower than that of their peers starting from the same baseline

  • does not match 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.


Here at Capcoch Primary our main objective is to identify and assess whilst providing targeted support for all children with additional learning needs. However, our main consideration is the welfare and happiness of our pupils. Success at Capcoch is measured in many ways but the measure that brings us most pleasure and satisfaction is how a child achieves in spite of their barriers to learning. 


In Wales, nearly a quarter of learners have some form of special educational need (SEN), and their educational outcomes are poor compared to other students – in part because the current SEN system in the country is over 30 years old and considered out of date.

The Welsh Government has now published its ALN Act 2018, which will replace the existing SEN system from September 2021.


The Additional Learning Needs (ALN) Act sets out the new statutory support system in Wales for children and young people with special needs.


The term ALN will replace ‘special educational needs’ (SEN) and ‘learning difficulties and/or disabilities’ (LDD), covering all children and young people with additional needs, regardless of how complex or severe they are.

This means ALN will cover a whole spectrum of needs, from so-called ‘high functioning’ autism, through dyslexiadyspraxia and ADHD, to serious global learning delays/difficulties and major physical disabilities.


The ALN Act aims to help children and young people with ALN overcome barriers to learning and reach their full potential.

Under the new system, school SENCos (special educational needs coordinators) will be renamed or replaced by ALNCos.


The named ALNCo at Capcoch Primary is Mrs. Burrows. If  you have any concerns regarding your child or require any additional information please do not hesitate to contact her.




Additional Information

For additional information regarding ALN, follow the links below:


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


A Parent / Carers guide to Additional Learning Needs:

An introduction from the ALNco

My name is Mrs Burrows and I am the ALNco here at Capcoch.


I have worked within the Early Years sector for over 18 years, however began a new role as ALNco at Capcoch 4 years ago.


The ALNco role is fundamentally to identify and support those children who have specific needs, whether it be learning, physical or medical, who require additional support to access education and reach their full potential.

I work closely with parents, staff and external agencies, all of whom have the best interests of the child at the heart of what we provide. Partnership working like this has shown to be greatly beneficial in empowering children to achieve and to be confident self-assured learners. 


Within school, I manage a variety of interventions put in place to improve and enhance children’s learning experiences. These are either led by myself or our wonderful support staff. Each child at Capcoch is an individual, all of whom have unique skills and abilities, and so intervention targets are set based on those. Each child is encouraged to take ownership of their learning and to take an active role in setting learning targets. 

I have been fortunate to work alongside many families during my time at Capcoch and look forward to supporting many more in the future. If you have any concerns or worries, please do not hesitate to contact me. 
Best wishes, Mrs Burrows 😊








RCT Educational Psychology Service

The Welsh Government is committed to transforming the expectations, experiences and outcomes for children and young people with ALN and has created an ambitious and wide-ranging Additional Learning Needs Transformation Programme. This revolutionises the separate systems in schools and further education, to create a unified system for supporting learners age 0 to 25 with ALN.


In addition to new legislation and statutory guidance, the Transformation Programme centres on skills development for the education workforce, to deliver effective support to learners with ALN in the classroom, as well as easier access to specialist support, information and advice.


The new legislation will commence on a phased basis in September 2021. For more information please visit

Welsh Government Transformation Programme: September 2021

Additional Learning Needs (ALN) is changing in Wales from September 2021. This page will have information for parents and children. Please click on the below links to understand how these changes may affect you or your child in our school. - link to RCT's Access and Inclusion page. 

A Parent's Guide to Additional Learning Needs

Resources for children and young people


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