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Needs Code February 2017

Draft%20Additional%20Learning%20Needs%20Code%20February%202017

Initial Considerations

Initial Considerations – Welsh or English as an additional language 6.32 A person will not have a learning difficulty or disability – and, therefore, will not have ALN – solely because the language (or form of language) in which they will be taught is different from the language (or form of language) which is, or has been, spoken at home 27 . 6.33 Those with Welsh or English as an additional language might need extra support to achieve their potential, but will not necessarily have ALN. That said, when a child or young person has English or Welsh as an additional language and makes slow progress (despite differentiated teaching to support them), consideration should be given to whether there is a wider issue. 6.34 Identifying and assessing ALN for those whose first language is not Welsh or English requires particular care. All aspects of a child or young person’s learning and development need to be considered to assess whether their difficulty is the result of the challenge of learning Welsh or English as an additional language or if it arises from ALN. The school, FEI or local authority should look carefully at all aspects of a child or young person’s performance in different subjects to establish whether any difficulties they have are due to limitations in their command of the language that is used, or if it arises from ALN. 6.35 A full assessment should be made of the exposure the child or young person has had in the past to each of the languages they speak, the use they make of the languages currently and their proficiency in them. Information about language skills obtained in this way will form the basis of all further work with them, both in assisting to understand their needs and in planning any additional language support required. Where this analysis has taken place and it is determined that external support is required, this information should be shared with them. Initial Considerations – More Able and Talented 6.36 The term ‘more able and talented’ encompasses learners who are more able across the curriculum, as well as those who show talent in one or more specific areas. Those children and young people who are considered more able and talented should not be considered as having ALN solely on the basis of their enhanced ability or talent. These children and young people require enhanced opportunities and challenge in order to reach their full potential, which should be provided as part of differentiated learning. 27 Section 2(4) of the Act. Page | 36

6.37 A child or young person could, however, be more able and talented and have ALN. For example, a child or young person may be very proficient in one part of their education but have ‘significantly greater difficulty in learning’ than the majority of others of the same age in other parts of their education, or they may be performing well across the curriculum, but still have significantly greater difficulty in learning and fall under the definition listed above. Initial Considerations – Healthcare Needs 6.38 The Welsh Government recently consulted on supporting learners with Healthcare Needs. 28 Schools and local authorities should make arrangements to support learners with healthcare/medical needs; this is outlined in the guidance Access to Education and Support for Children and Young People with Medical Needs 29 . However, not all children and young people with a medical need will have ALN. 6.39 Equally, some children and young people will have Continuing NHS Healthcare, which is a package of care provided by the NHS for those individuals with complex and primarily health-based needs. 6.40 In some cases, healthcare needs/medical conditions may have a significant impact on the child or young person’s experiences and the way they function in school or further education. The impact may be a direct one, in that the healthcare need/medical condition may affect their cognitive abilities, physical abilities, behaviour or their emotional state. The impact could also, or alternatively, be indirect, for example by disrupting their access to education through unwanted effects of treatment or through the psychological effects that serious or chronic illness or disability can have on a child or young person and their family. 6.41 Consultation and open discussion between the child, child’s parent or young person and the school or FEI (as well as with any relevant health professionals) are essential to ensure the child or young person makes maximum progress. Schools and FEIs should also have their own pastoral arrangements to discuss health related and other problems. 6.42 Schools, FEIs and local authorities are able to prepare, review or revise an IDP at the same time as it, or another body, is preparing, reviewing or revising another document in relation to the individual. The local authority can also include that plan within the IDP. 30 This ensures that, for example, where a child or young person has an individual health care or a continuing healthcare plan and an IDP, provision can be planned and delivered in a coordinated way: the IDP and the individual health care or a continuing health care package should be reviewed at the same time, 28 http://gov.wales/consultations/education/supporting-learners-with-healthcareneeds/?lang=en 29 http://gov.wales/topics/educationandskills/publications/guidance/medicalneeds/?lang=en 30 Section 23 of the Act. Page | 37

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