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Additional support in Wales

All children have the right to access education and to have their needs met, this includes children and young people with all types and levels of deafness.

Understanding the additional support your deaf child can get in early education, school and beyond, can help you make sure that your child gets the most out of their education.

We have more information about your child's rights in education in Wales.

Additional learning needs (ALN)  

Your child may have ALN if they need extra support to learn which is not normally given to other learners their age. This includes learning difficulties or a disability that makes it harder for them to learn if they are not given extra support.  

Deafness is considered an ALN in Welsh Government guidance on the new ALN system. Most, but not all, deaf children may be viewed as having ALN and needing additional learning provision (ALP) (extra support). 

The law 

The Additional Learning Needs and Educational Tribunal (Wales) Act aims to make sure that children and young people aged 0-25 with additional learning needs (ALN) are supported in education in Wales to achieve the best possible outcomes.

This law means that your local authority should: 

  • provide an education that allows your child to achieve the best possible outcomes 
  • have arrangements in place to support children with ALN 
  • identify a member of staff to act as an Early Years Additional Learning Needs Lead Officer (EYALNLO) or additional learning needs coordinator (ALNCO)
  • listen to you as a parent, make sure you’re involved in all decisions about your child and give information to you on how the provider will support children with ALN 
  • make sure that your child gets help from specialist education services as quickly as possible 
  • work together with other professionals, such as Teachers of the Deaf (ToD) and the local authority. 

Additional learning provision (ALP)

Children with additional learning needs (ALN) will receive additional learning provision (ALP) (extra support) in education.

If the EYALNLO or ALNCO agrees that your child has ALN and would benefit from ALP (extra support) they will invite you and the professionals who support your child to a meeting to discuss your child’s needs. You should be included in discussions around your child’s ALN and ALP at every stage.

If you need communication support for these discussions (such as a spoken or sign language interpreter), this must be provided.

If your child has ALN, their ALP may be laid out in an Individual Development Plan (IDP).

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