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Additional Learning Needs (ALN)

The Welsh Government is changing the way that children and young people with special educational needs (SEN) will be supported.

The Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Act 2018 makes provision for a new statutory framework for supporting children and young people with additional learning needs (ALN) from the age of 0-25:

“To support the creation of a fully inclusive education system where all learners are given the opportunity to succeed and have access to an education that meets their needs and enables them to participate in, benefit from, and enjoy learning.

The ALN system aims to transform the expectations, experiences and outcomes for children and young people with ALN placing learners’ views at the heart of the process. 

From September 2021, this system began to come into force with a three-year phased implementation period. A series of links and documents below provide additional information on the Act.


If you'd like to discuss anything relating to Additional Learning Needs at Willowbrook Primary Schoolplease contact Paula Bugler - ALNCo.

Welsh Government Guidance


The Welsh Government aims to transform the expectations, experiences, and outcomes for

children and young people with additional learning needs. To do so, they have developed the Additional Learning Needs (ALN) Act, which will transform the separate systems for Special Educational Needs (SEN) in schools and learning difficulties and/or disabilities (LDD) in further education, to create a unified system for supporting learners from 0 to 25 with ALN.


Welsh Government Additional Learning Needs Code: The Additional Learning Needs Code | GOV.WALES

Welsh Government frequently asked questions: Additional learning needs transformation programme: frequently asked questions | GOV.WALES


‘Parents have a fundamental role in helping their child to achieve their potential. The child is far more likely to achieve their outcomes and potential when parents are actively involved and their views, wishes and feelings are taken into account’ (ALN Code WALES 2021).


The links below are aimed at providing additional, accessible information for parents and carers to ensure they are able to play an active role in helping their child achieve their fullest potential.


Welsh Government Parents’ guide: Additional learning needs (ALN) system: parents' guide [HTML] | GOV.WALES

Cardiff Education Services Parent Guide: The ALN Process - Parent Guide | Cardiff Education Services



A Parent's Guide to Additional Learning Needs - YouTube


Information for Children and Young People


The Act requires that learners’ views should always be considered as part of the planning process, along with those of their parents. It is imperative that children and young people see the planning process as something which is done ‘with’ them rather than ‘to’ them.



Additional Learning Needs helpline

Cardiff Local Authority


Families will have access to impartial information advice and support.  This is statutory, which means it must be provided by law.  Every local authority in Wales must have arrangements for providing children and their families and young people with impartial information, advice, and support.

Cardiff Local Authority has created a dedicated helpline where children, their parents and young people can access advice or information about the new Additional Learning Needs (ALN) process and system in Wales.

This contact can also be used if you would like the Local Authority to reconsider a school’s decision about your ALN or content of the Individual Development.

You can contact this helpline on:

02920 872731 or at (monitored weekdays, including school holidays).

The links below will take you to additional Local Authority resources that aim to explain the new system and processes in more detail: