Additional Learning Needs (ALN) Special Education Needs (SEN) Overview

Children have Special Education Needs (SEN) / Additional Learning Needs (ALN)  if they have difficulty with learning, communication, behaviour or disability (hearing, visual, physical). Teachers have a responsibility to identify children with SEN / ALN and provide them with the extra support they need.

ALN transformation programme

The system supporting children and young people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities is changing.

Find out more about the ALN transformation programme (external website)

What to do if you think your child needs help

If you are concerned about your child’s progress, speak to the school directly. Your child’s class teacher will:

  • Provide extra support for your child and will review this regularly to see if any further support is required.
  • Get further advice and support from the schools Additional Learning Needs Coordinator
  • Get advice from specialists, such as an educational psychologist or a speech therapist.

If the Additional Learning Needs Coordinator identifies long term learning needs, they may consider that your child requires a statutory assessment of SEN / ALN. This assessment may involve observation, tests, medicals and interviews with your child and SEN / ALN specialists.

Parent Partnership Service

If you think your child has SEN / ALN, or if you have been informed they have SEN / ALN, you can contact the Parent Partnership Service provided by SNAP Cymru. 

The Parent Partnership Service will help you to understand your rights within the SEN / ALN process, and will make sure you have the right information and support to make informed decisions about your child’s education. You can get support and advice from The Parent Partnership Service, even if you child does not have an SEN / ALN diagnosis.

Find out more about the SNAP Cymru Parent Partnership Service (external website)


We delegate funding to schools to support pupils who have ALN.

The amount of money delegated to schools is agreed by Headteachers at the School Budget Forum as a percentage of the overall school budget. Denbighshire delegates the majority of the education budget to schools.

Moderation meeting

To ensure that the funding is appropriately allocated to individual schools, an annual Moderation Meeting takes place between the Headteacher, the school ALN Coordinator and Specialist Advisors from the Local Authority.

Quality assurance

We undertake a quality assurance activity with schools to ensure that the provision noted for the pupils with ALN is in place and that the impact is being monitored effectively. We also provide training and support in how to accurately record the additional support pupils with ALN have for schools.

More information

For more information on supporting pupils with ALN in mainstream Denbighshire schools, please contact the ALN Coordinator at the school.

Find contact details for a school to contact an ALN Coordinator.