How can the school help my child?

Every child is individual. They all develop and learn at different rates. Some children find learning easy and some find it hard. With the right help all children develop at their own pace. This means that within a classroom, different teaching styles will be needed, taking into account the abilities, strengths, weaknesses and interests of the children. These different approaches to learning will help most children make progress. Some may, however, need more support. 

If you or the school are concerned that your child is not making progress, it is possible that they may have a special educational need. The Special Educational Needs (SEN) Code of Practice sets out a step by step approach which recognises that children learn in different ways and can have different kinds of special educational needs. 

The School's Additional Learning Needs Co-ordinator (ALNCo) will help to decide if your child has special educational needs. They can also carry out assessments of your child's particular strengths and weaknesses and provide advice and support to other members of staff who are involved with your child. 

ALN Coordinator 

All schools have an ALN Coordinator (ALNCo). In a small school the Head Teacher or Deputy may take on this role. In larger schools there may be an SEN team. 

The ALNCo co-ordinates the special educational needs support within the school and will keep a record of the children with SEN and monitor their progress. They will advise you of how the school can/will meet your child’s needs. 

They will try to ensure that your child has their needs met as fully as possible so it is important that they have a good understanding of your child's needs and requirements. 

The ALNCo will also take responsibility for the operation and implementation of the school's SEN policy which is available to view at the school should you wish. 

Teaching Assistants (also known as Learning Support Assistants) 

There are a number of ways in which your child’s needs can be met within school such as the use of Individual Education Plans, assessments, different teaching, approaches, small group work and other targeted support. 

One way in which schools can support pupils is through the use of Teaching Assistants (TAs). TAs are people who can assist a teacher in meeting the special educational needs of a child. 

They will: 

  • assist the teacher by helping the child with individual work
  • help the child take part in the work of the class
  • help the child with self help and social skills
  • help with the preparation of work and materials for the child.   

Educational Psychology 

Educational Psychologists work closely with teachers and parents to help children who are having difficulties with learning and general development (including reading, writing, spelling and numbers), emotions and behaviour, or difficulties with making good relationships with other children and with adults. 

They can help the school: 

  • to get more details about a child's special educational needs
  • plan individual work programmes
  • teach a child individually, or in a small group, or supporting a child within the whole class
  • by suggesting materials and equipment which are more appropriate so that a child is able to have access to the full curriculum
  • by giving advice to a child's teachers.  

Specific Learning Difficulty Teachers 

These are teachers who have specialist knowledge and experience in working with children who have specific learning difficulties. 

They can help the school:

  • to get more details about a child's special educational needs
  • to plan individual work programmes
  • by teaching a child individually, or in a small group, or by supporting a child within the whole class
  • by suggesting materials and equipment which are more appropriate so that a child is able to have access to the full curriculum
  • by giving advice to a child's teachers