Primary School

Relationships. Wellbeing. Achievement.

ALN - What's new? An overview

The ‘Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Act 2018’, and a new code of practice ‘Additional Learning Needs Code for Wales’ sets out new legislation and statutory guidance.  Lansdowne Primary School, along with all schools in Wales, has adopted this new system from September 2021. 


This means that the current system for identifying and supporting pupils with special educational needs is changing.

There are many important changes which will be gradually introduced over the next 3 years. 
These include:


The language we use is changing.  Pupils who have learning difficulties or a learning disability will no longer be referred to as having ‘special educational needs’.  The new term is ‘Additional Learning Needs’ and will often be shortened to ALN


The school, where appropriate, will have responsibility for deciding whether a pupil has ALN.  Under the new system there is a change to the definition of ALN.  This means that some pupils who are currently considered to have SEN, may not necessarily be considered to have ALN. 

The definition, as outlined in the code, states:

A learner has ALN if he or she has a learning difficulty or disability which calls for additional learning provision (ALP). A child of compulsory school age or person over that age 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 or mainstream institutions in the further education sector.

A child under compulsory school age has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she is likely to (or would be likely to if no ALP were made) have significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of their peers when they reach compulsory school age.


Pupils who are identified as having ALN will have an Individual Development Plan (an IDP) prepared for them, and this will replace any other plan that may have previously been written, such as an IEP (Individual Education Plan). If this applies to your child, Mrs Sullivan will contact you to arrange a meeting to develop an IDP.


There will be an increased level of participation of children, young people and their families.  We have adopted a ‘Person-Centred Practice’ approach and the staff at Lansdowne will ensure that the children and their families are included in the development of  IDPs and given opportunities to ask questions and express concerns. 


Statements of Educational Need will continue to be operational and will be transferred to an IDP at a later date.  If your child has a statement, no changes will be made to your child's provision or current level of support at this stage.  We will contact you when this change is introduced.