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SEN/ALN in Wales
If your child is not making sufficient progress, or you can see that they are struggling to learn at the same pace as other children of the same age, they may have special educational needs.
If your child has special educational needs, they should be provided with additional support to help them learn.
Your child’s teacher should work with the school’s Special Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) to plan additional support for your child. This will usually involve the preparation of an Individual Education Plan. The teachers will be responsible for providing the supporting the Individual Education Plan and additional support staff or external specialists may also be engaged to assist in meeting your child’s special educational needs.
The assistance will vary depending on what your child needs, but could include one-on-one or small group work; special learning materials and social skills exercises.
You should be involved in agreeing the targets for the programme, and you should be clear on the support that is being provided, by whom and how the progress will be monitored and evaluated. You should be updated a minimum of three times each year.
If your child has severe or complex needs that the school cannot meet, or the measures implemented are not helping, you should speak with the school about asking your local authority for a Statutory Assessment in order to secure a Statement of Special Educational Needs. If the school are not willing to support the application, you can apply for a Statutory Assessment yourself.
If the Local Authority decides to go ahead with an assessment the your views should be sought, along with professional assessments of your child’s special educational needs.
Following the Statutory Assessment, the local authority will decide if a Statement of Special Educational Needs is necessary.
The local authority may make decisions that you do not agree with. This can include:
- A refusal to make a Statutory Assessment
- A refusal to issue a Statement of Special Educational Needs
- The content of a Statement of Special Educational Needs
- The school named in a Statement of Special Educational Needs
- Changes made to a Statement of Special Educational Needs after an Annual Review
- A refusal to make a change to a Statement of Special Educational Needs after an Annual Review
Each of the above can be challenged to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal for Wales.
If you have any questions, or concerns, about special educational needs, our special educational needs solicitors are here to help.