I am finding it difficult to convince anyone that there are other less conventional approaches, developed from more recent research that can be used to help ALN pupils learn more effectively. I am concerned that any observation or suggestion will be interpreted as criticism.
During governor meetings with the ALNCo I have tried to establish, with specific questions (as advised by the Governor Support Service), the school’s position in regards to numbers, assessment and interventions but as yet have not been provided with answers.
This case study focuses on supporting Additional Learning Needs (ALN) requirements within the school and how assistance can be best received to help the school staff. The school will have a policy to follow in conjunction with the SEN /ALN Code of Practice.
Special educational needs: code of practice
The Additional Learning Needs Code and regulations
Many governors will have specific responsibility for key areas of work. One way of doing this is via link governors joined to a curriculum area, year group or specific area. This helps to share the workload and assists governors in fulfilling their strategic role. Each school will appoint a governor to have specific oversight of the school’s arrangements and provision for meeting additional learning needs. It is important to have a clear brief for this role so everyone is clear about the expectations from the outset. Do have a look at any information from your Local Authority, along with Governors Cymru Services’ link governor for SEN/ALN publication.
Having a governor with extensive expertise such as this would be invaluable to a school. It would be a good idea to set up a meeting with relevant staff and agencies as appropriate, to establish the parameters of how the governor’s expertise can be used effectively, as well as looking at how everyone can work together in the best interests of pupils.
Discussing the questions and information that will be needed will be key to success, all in line with school policy and governor visits. The link governor can then submit a report to the governing body as an update.
Examples of useful questions (some are general) that can be asked are provided here.
Please note that the roll out of the Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Act commenced in September 2021. For pupils being assessed for the first time from September 2021, schools must follow the process set out in the ALN Code of Practice. There is a three-year period of transition (until summer 2024) during which time existing statements of SEN, individual education plans, and learning and skills plans will be converted into individual development plans (IDPs). This will be done in a mandatory phased approach on the basis of particular age-based cohorts. During this time, the ALN system will operate in parallel to the SEN system. Further information can be found below:
Additional learning needs transformation programme