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Children & Young People with Additional Learning Needs

Policy Framework for Children with Special Educational Needs (SEN)

The aim of this policy, and the practice which it informs, is to maximise the educational opportunities of all Flintshire's pupils who are identified as having special educational needs. This will be achieved by offering all children a relevant and worthwhile education, which is designed to enable them to be included, and participate fully in, the society to which they contribute and from which they benefit.

Policy Framework for Children & Young People with Additional Learning Needs (SEN)


Additional Learning Needs

Children have additional learning needs if they have difficulties with learning, communication, behaviours (social and/or emotional), and/or a sensory (visual or hearing) and/or physical disability.  Schools have a responsibility to identify if a child has an additional learning need, to then notify the parents and to provide the child with the appropriate support that the child needs.

What to do if you think your child needs help in their learning (the Graduated Response)

If you have concerns about your child’s progress, you need to speak to your child’s class teacher to share those concerns.  The class teacher will ensure that all learning tasks that are set are appropriately differentiated to enable your child to access the learning.

In the event of your child not making appropriate progress, the class teacher will share their concerns with both you and the school’s Additional Learning Needs Co-ordinator (ALNCo). If your child needs something that is ‘in addition to or different from’ that of your child’s classmates, an Individual Education Plan (IEP) will be agreed with you that will target specific areas of difficulty that your child experiences and that will be reviewed regularly as your child’s needs change.  Your child will now be at the ‘School Action’ stage of the Graduated Response.

If, over a reasonable time, the school feel that your child is still not making expected progress, they will ask your permission to consult with specialists who will advise the school how best to meet your child’s needs.  Your child will now be at the ‘School Action Plus’ stage of the Graduated Response.

If, over a reasonable time, your child is still not making expected progress, the school will ask your permission to request a Statutory Assessment of your child’s needs.  This assessment may involve specialist observations, tests, medicals and interviews with yourself and other specialists.  If the assessment shows that your child has significant difficulties, the Local Authority may decide that your child needs a Statement of Special Educational Needs that will clearly identify what your child’s needs are, what help your child should receive and how your child should receive it.

Parent Partnership

Parent Partnership are there to support you if you think that your child has ALN or if you have been notified by school that your child has ALN. 

They will explain your rights within the ALN process and will make sure that you have all of the information that you need to make informed decisions.  They can even attend meetings with you.  Their contact number is 01352 706840.

Special Educational Needs (SEN) Code of Practice and SEN reforms

Reforms to current SEN legislations is underway and the Code of Practice is included in these reforms. 

A draft ALN and Education Tribunal (Wales) Bill provides an outline of the plans for the legislative changes to be implemented across Wales although the date of the changes has not yet been confirmed.

The draft Bill sets out the proposals for a new legislative system for supporting children and young people (aged 0 – 25 years) who have ALN.  The new system will replace the existing system surrounding SEN and the assessment process for children and young people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities.  More information is available on the Welsh Government’s website.


How will I know if my child has additional learning needs (ALN)?

School has a responsibility to monitor your child’s progress and if they feel that your child has additional learning needs they will notify you.

If your child needs something that is ‘different from or in addition to’ their classmates, then the school will invite you to discuss that your child requires an Individual Education Plan (IEP) that will identify how your child’s needs can be met through SMART target-setting (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-oriented).  You will be invited to contribute to the target-setting and will be asked to sign the IEP.  The IEP will be frequently reviewed in order to move your child’s learning forward.

Does my child need 1:1 support if they have ALN?

Not necessarily.  On occasions children do require 1:1 support or ‘shared’ support in order for their needs to be met.  However, depending on a child’s needs, access to a small group situation or a specific programme suited to a child’s needs may be of more benefit.  It is important that a child is provided with the opportunity to achieve their potential both socially and academically.  Therefore all children will be encouraged to develop their independence skills.

Will my child have to go to a special school if they have ALN?

Only a very small percentage of children with ALN attend a specialist provision.  In most cases their needs can be met in a mainstream school.

What is a Statutory Assessment?

This is a multi-disciplinary assessment that involves a child being assessed by relevant specialists, having a medical and interviews taking place with the parents to gather information about the child’s needs.

My child has a diagnosis of ASD/ADHD/Dyslexia.  Do they need a Statement?

No, not unless your child needs to access specialist provision or a high level of support.  All schools have a responsibility to meet a child’s needs and receiving a diagnosis does not actually change the child’s needs.  Similarly a child does not require a diagnosis in order to have their needs fully met.  A diagnosis can, however, enable a school to access additional training in that specific area if the school feels that it would benefit the child and the staff to do so.

My child has ALN and I want to be sure that their needs are being met in school.  What should I do?

You should speak to the class teacher find out what is being done to address your child’s needs.  If you feel uncomfortable about doing this, contact Parent Partnership and they will advise and support you to do this.  If after speaking to the class teacher you are not satisfied, request a meeting with the ALNCo.  If following this you are still dissatisfied, ask to meet with the Head Teacher of the school.  The school wants all of its pupils to be happy and to achieve their potential, whatever that might be, and if the school feels that specialist support/advice is needed, they will discuss this with you and ask you to consent to a referral being made to the relevant agency.

Email: SEN@flintshire.gov.uk

Behaviour & Attendance Support Service

Positive Behaviour Support in Schools

Promoting positive behaviour in schools will depend on a range of factors, all of which can be promoted systematically by schools. These relate to the leadership of the headteacher, staff and governors, the extent to which the broad and academic curriculum caters for the needs of all pupils, the school’s ethos, the sense of community within the school, and the loyalty and trust towards the school engendered in pupils and parents. More specifically:

  • All pupils should have access to a broad and balanced curriculum of the highest standard. It should be differentiated to take account of learners’ different starting points, abilities and needs so that it motivates them, raises their self esteem and gives them a sense of achievement.
  • Schools should have in place a range of activities, for example cultural, communal or sporting which foster its ethos and sense of community, designed to involve and support all pupils including those who may have emotional or behavioural problems.
  • Each School should have a behaviour support policy and review it regularly. The policy should include a framework of rules and expectations that and are regularly and consistently applied across the school. The policy should value and protect individual pupils and include measures to counter bullying.
  • All teachers should have appropriate skills in positive behaviour management. Additionally it would be helpful if some staff had more advanced skills in behaviour support. Schools should make training available as necessary.
  • Schools should work constructively with parents. This should include systems for regular communication such as homework diaries and home-school agreements, as well as early communication and collaboration regarding emotional, behaviour, social or attendance problems.
  • Pupils with recurring or more serious emotional or behaviour or social problems should be supported through measures laid out in the Code of Practice, through an individual education plan (IEP).

 Tel: 01352 703916

Educational Psychology Service

What is an educational psychologist?

We are psychology graduates who have qualified and worked as teachers and have gained further professional qualification as educational psychologists. We are all chartered by the British Psychology Society or eligible to be chartered. Our assistant educational psychologist has a similar background but has yet to gain professional qualification. We are concerned with all aspects of children and young people’s learning, behaviour, social and emotional development.

What do we do?

Each educational psychologist acts as a ‘named’ psychologist for a number of schools and other educational settings in Flintshire. A large proportion of our time is spent working with them on issues they have prioritised.

We work with

  • staff in educational settings
  • parents
  • personnel from other support agencies
  • officers from the Education Directorate and
  • children and young people.
  • We work on a consultation basis helping adults focus on possible solutions to the problems and concerns they have regarding the young people in their care. 
  • We work directly with children and young people both individually and in groups: e.g. carrying out observations and assessments, therapeutic interventions, helping young people express their views.
  • We provide training to staff in educational settings on aspects of learning, behaviour and child development.
  • We give advice to the local authority on various policies and initiatives and generally support the authority in carrying out its duties and responsibilities, including statutory assessments of children with special educational needs.

Some members of our team have a proportion of their time set aside for work in specialist areas such as:

  • behaviour, emotional and social difficulties
  • early years work
  • autism.

What if things go wrong?

If you are unhappy or concerned about the service you have received from us or have a complaint:

  • Contact the educational psychologist concerned.
  • If this does not resolve matters to your satisfaction contact the Principal Educational Psychologist.
  • If this does not resolve matters to your satisfaction contact the Director of Education and Children’s Services, and Recreation.

How to contact us

If you wish to speak to a member of the service please contact us by phone, by letter or alternatively submit your enquiry via the link below and we will reply to you as soon as we are able.

Education Psychology Service
County Hall,

Tel: 01352 704102

English as an Additional Language

The E.A.L. service operates mainly in English medium schools, offering English Language support to minority ethnic pupils. The service deals exclusively with isolated learners i.e. there may be only one child in the school from his/her language community or heritage group.

The vast minority of the pupils were born in the area and will spend their lives here. Others have arrived on a temporary basis and will stay and for up to 5/7 years because of parents work commitments.

Bilingualism in Wales is valued and is an advantage, intellectually, socially and culturally. This applies equally to being bi-lingual in English and a non-European language as well as English and a European language. Recent research has shown that bilingualism can benefit children’s overall academic and intellectual progress.

The number of languages spoken in the area obviously fluctuates, but the EAL service has, over the years, supported pupils speaking the following languages:

First Languages

Africaan, Arabic, Assamese, Bengali, Cantonese, Danish, Dutch, Filipino, French, German, Greek, Gujerati, Hakka, Hausa, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malayalam, Mandarin, Msenga, Murati, Panjabi, Polish, Portuguese, Pishtu, Russian, Singhalese, Spanish, Swedish, Sylhettii, Tami, Thai, Turkish, Uranian, Urdu, Vietnamese, Yoruba.

More Information

If you require any further information about the English as a Additional Language Service please contact:

English as a Additional Language Service, Flintshire County Council, Mold, CH7 6ND

Tel: 01352 703916

Education Welfare Service

The Education Welfare Service exists to ensure that every child and young person within the County of Flintshire is adequately cared for and receives maximum benefits from the educational opportunities provided, (including education otherwise than at school) in order that they may realise their maximum potential. The Service aims to offer, professional and quality welfare support to young people, their parents, their families and their schools.

The Education Welfare Service is an integral part of Flintshire County Council’s Inclusion Service.

Service Provided

Flintshire’s Education Welfare Service, (IWO’s) is part of the Authority’s provision of a full and flexible response to the welfare needs of children.

The Service has a duty under the 1996 Education Act and Children Act 1989 to consider the welfare of children and their families and support "children in need”. The Service focuses upon early intervention, with parents and schools, to prevent harm and disadvantage arising from a wide range of educational and social problems and it holds a responsibility to work with other agencies in the protection of children and young people from abuse.

The manager and administrative assistant are based at County Hall to ensure the maximum accessibility and responsiveness to schools, parents and pupils. The EWO’s are each based at the high schools, from which they deliver services to the feeder primary schools and children from the catchment area who attend special schools and Pupil Referral Units.

Referrals are accepted from school staff, other agencies or directly from pupils or parents.

Whole School Support

The EWO’s provide:

  1. Consultation, guidance and support re LEA and NAfW guidance and policies on promotion of the best levels of school attendance, punctuality and inclusion also an annual Attendance Survey is collected for analysis.
  2. Assistance in promoting a consistent ethos that values good school attendance and the development of the full potential for all pupils.
  3. Work in partnership with schools and other agencies to promote pupil welfare.
  4. Help and advice to schools in the implementation of their individual discipline policies.
  5. Assistance to schools in the implementation of Home - School Agreements, as outlined in the 1997 Education Act.

Individual Support and Direct Work with Parents and Pupils

Parents have the duty to ensure that their children receive education. The EWO role is to support them in any aspect of pupils’ welfare and attendance. The broad areas of operation are as follows;

Direct work with parents and pupils on problems affecting attendance

School strategies having failed to bring about an acceptable level of attendance, the EWO’s may intervene to advise, assist and befriend parents to remove personal or social problems at home or in school that may threaten an escalation in, or the development of, disaffection and poor attendance. Parents’ permission may be needed if an EWO is to work with pupils.

Interventions may include: home visits, facilitating meetings between parents, children and teaching staff, individual support to pupils and parents and empowerment of pupils and parents to access appropriate support from other agencies and services.

Court action is taken as part of a process rather than at “the end of the line”. The decision to prosecute is based on evidence and arises from EWO’s professional concern. The objective is to have children in school who are receptive to education and in a fit condition to learn. Court action is the LEA’s responsibility (ESWs and County Secretary).

Pupils with Special Educational Needs - help in identification and assessment of children who may have SEN and, where appropriate, support parents and pupils in the process of assessment and review.

Pupils with Emotional and Behavioural Problems - assist school staff, parents and pupils with the early recognition and/or management of behaviour problems.

Exclusion of Pupils -

  • Help school staff, parents and pupils and LEA support services to prevent exclusion.
  • Ensure school staff, governors, parents and pupils are aware of their duties, rights and responsibilities when exclusion from school is being considered and/or administered
  • Help secure such temporary education as is deemed reasonable by the LEA and expedite permanent provision for pupils without a school place.

Bullying - support to schools, parents and pupils, whether they be victim or perpetrator.

Children Educated Otherwise than at School (EOTAS) by the LEA

  • Provide advice and assistance to schools, parents, pupils and LEA on assessment and provision for children who cannot be maintained in a mainstream school because of exclusion, school refusal/phobia, sickness or in need of an assessment prior to placement.
  • Give assistance to parents, home tutors, schools and LEA officers to reintegrate children in a full time placement as required.
  • Provide advice, assistance and support for Looked After Children in accordance with Welsh National Assembly Circular 2/2001.

Employment of Pupils

  • Advise pupils, parents and employers on the application for licences for pupils involved in performances and permits for those in employment.
  • Investigate reports of illegal employment of pupils and take the appropriate action.
  • Investigate applications for matrons licenses re children in entertainment.

Inter Agency Community Work

  • To be involved in activities recognised by the LEA, which promote educational achievement and/or social well being amongst young people their parents and families.
  • To participate in multidisciplinary working groups recognised by the LEA and promote strategies that benefit children and young people, e.g. young carers, juvenile crime, drug and solvent abusers.

Monitoring the Movement of Children Within and Between Counties

  • Investigate the whereabouts of missing children and families in or outside the county.
  • Advise and assist in the educational provision to children new to the County.
  • Facilitate or assist the passing on of education or child protection information to other Authorities or the dissemination of such information from such Authorities.
  • One half day per week is set aside for an EWO to work with Travellers.

Statutory Responsibilities include:

Child Protection
Children in Employment

Child Protection

  • Help identify children who may be neglected or in need or at risk of abuse.
  • Follow the All Wales and Flintshire Area Child Protection Committee's procedures. and assist child protection agencies in the protection of children who are “at risk” and attend at case conferences and reviews.
  • Advise, help and support to school staff, parents and children before, during and after Children’s Services involvement and, when appropriate, act as an advocate for the child.
  • To provide training as and when required.
  • To follow National Assembly Guidance Circular 2000/2001 on the Education of children Looked After by the Authority.
  • N.B Poor attendance is placed in the neglect or self harm continuum by the IWO’s.

 Tel: 01352 704137

North East Wales Sensory Support Service (NEWSSS)

The North East Wales Sensory Support Service (NEWSSS) is a regional provision which supports children and young people with a hearing or vision loss, their families and schools across Wrexham, Denbighshire and Flintshire.

This joint Service is led by Flintshire County Council: The team comprises of 1 learning adviser, 6 advisory teachers and 4 outreach workers.

The team works with children and young people from birth to age 19.

Specialist skills tuition is provided for those children and young people with a significant sensory loss with support, advice and guidance being provided for families, schools and other agencies to provide a seamless approach to meeting the needs of identified individuals.

Tel: 01352 703917 

Communication and Language Advice and Support Service

The Communication and Language Advice and Support Service work with pupils who have significant speech and language difficulties in a number of targeted primary schools. It is made up of an advisory teacher and a number of specially trained NNEBs. The advisory teacher undertakes assessment of the educational implications of the speech and language difficulties and provides advice, support and training for class teachers. The team is based at Flintshire County Council, Mold.

Tel: 01352 703916

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