Home Page

Additional Learning Needs

At Whitestone, we pride ourselves on our strong inclusive community. We recognise that many learners throughout their full time education will experience occasions when they need support, in addition to the education provision made generally for all pupils. We offer a range of support for a variety of Additional Learning Needs (ALN) both for our pupils within mainstream classes and within our Specialist Teaching Facilities (STF's) 


The system for supporting children and young people with special educational needs and disability in Wales is changing. The Welsh Government is bringing in a new more flexible and responsive system to meet the needs of children with special educational needs or disabilities. Find out more:

Additional Learning Needs in Wales - what's happening?

How Additional Learning Needs is changing in Swansea

The transformed system aims to:


  • Ensure that all learners with ALN are supported to overcome barriers to learning and achieve their full potential.
  • Improve the planning and delivery of support for learners from 0 to 25 with ALN, placing learners’ needs, views, wishes and feelings at the heart of the process.
  • Focus on the importance of identifying needs early and putting in place timely and effective interventions which are monitored and adapted to ensure they deliver the desired outcomes.
  • New legislation and statutory guidance is only one aspect, albeit a fundamental one, of the wider package of reforms needed. The ALN transformation programme also focuses 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 system will be brought in gradually over the next few years (2021 -2024) in accordance with Welsh Government guidance. Here are some of the key messages about these changes and what they may mean for you and your child.


Key Messages


  • The term Additional Learning Needs (ALN) will replace the terms Special Educational Needs (SEN) and Learning Difficulties and Disabilities (LDD). The Act replaces the terms ‘Special Educational Needs (SEN)’ and ‘Learning Difficulties and/or Disabilities (LDD)’ with the new term ‘Additional Learning Needs (ALN)’. All children and young people with ALN regardless of the severity or complexity of their learning difficulty or disability will be entitled to a statutory support plan called an ‘Individual Development Plan’ (IDP). Children and young people with ALN will receive support called ‘Additional Learning Provision’ (ALP) which will be set out in their IDP.


  • Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENCos) in schools will now be called Additional Learning Needs Coordinators (ALNCos)


  • The mandatory ALN Code for the new system will cover children and young people aged 0-25. This means that early years and further education colleges will have duties under the Act, but this does not include higher education or apprenticeships.


  • If your child is on School Action / School Action Plus or they have a Statement of Special Needs, this will change over the next 3 years.  All children and young people with an identified Additional Learning Need (ALN) that requires additional learning provision (ALP) will have an Individual Development Plan (IDP). The IDP will replace Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and Statements of SEN.


  • Most Individual Development Plans will be the responsibility of the school but in some circumstances, they may be maintained by the Local Authority. IDPs for children under compulsory school age, who require them, for example in the Early Years will be the responsibility of local authorities.


  • The ALNET Act expects that everyone involved with your child e.g. Childcare settings, Education, Health and Social Care will work in collaboration to support children and young people with ALN.


  • There will be increased opportunities for children, young people, parents and carers to contribute to Individual Development Plans.


  • It is expected that working together more closely should help to avoid disagreements.


Advice, Support and Resources