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Home Resident Education, Children and Young People Additional Learning Needs Service What to do if I think my child needs help in school

What to do if I think my child needs help in school

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If you are concerned about your child’s progress, speak to the school directly. Your child’s class teacher will be able to discuss your concerns with you and may:

  • Provide extra support for your child and will review this regularly to see if any further support is required.
  • Get further advice and support from the schools Additional Learning Needs Coordinator
  • Get advice from other professionals, such as an Educational Psychologist or a Speech Therapist.

If the Additional Learning Needs Coordinator feels it is possible that your child has long term learning needs, they may consider that your child requires an ALN Consideration. This consideration may involve observation and assessments of your child over time, and/or consultation with and advice from other professionals.  It will always include working with the child/young person to gather their views and to set objectives jointly.

For children who are of compulsory school age, the class teacher or Additional Learning Needs Coordinator is the first point of contact. They will be able to listen to your concerns, and if requested, begin to consider if your child has Additional Learning Needs. This decision will be made within 35 working days, unless the school requires further specialist advice through the Local Authority or Health Services, in which case a further 12 weeks may be required.
In most cases, the help and support that children need can and should be provided at a ‘Universal Level’.  Universal Provision is the name given to the provision, which is routinely available to all children and young people and may be provided at a whole class, small group or individual level. It is monitored and tracked in line with school procedures and could be a short or longer term provision.

If a child or young person does not appear to be making progress with universal provision, then additional learning provision (ALP) may be required. This will involve the needs of the pupil being identified and agreed through a person centred review process and could lead to enhanced and alternative provision being provided to support the pupil in making progress. Children and young people who access ALP are classed as having ALN and will have an Individual Development Plan for as long as they need any ALP.

An Individual Development Plan, or IDP, replaces Statements of Special Educational Needs (SEN) and in some cases Individual Education Plans. These plans are developed with the child or young person at the centre of agreeing their own individualised outcomes and planning their provision.

IDPs are being phased in until August 2025, when all Statements of SEN will cease. IDPs will be reviewed at least annually and will be created with the child or young person and their parents/carers or advocate. They can also be reviewed should information or needs change at the request of the child, young person or parent/carer.

These IDPs are designed to outline the ALN of a child or young person, their aspirations and targets to achieve these. Any child or young person who receives ALP requires an IDP. The majority of these IDPs will be written and maintained by schools, in some more complex cases, however, schools may request that the Local Authority consider the needs of the child or young person. If these needs are found to be complex and require specialist input, the Local Authority may write and then either direct the school to maintain the plan or maintain it themselves.

You can also ask that school carry out an ALN Consideration yourself. Contact the school’s ALNCO who will be able to help you make this request, or the form below can be used and given to school. You don’t have to use this form, but it is the easiest way of giving school as much information as possible about your request.

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