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Role of the ALNCo and professionals

If your child has Additional Learning Needs (ALN), they may receive support from a number of professionals, including an Additional Learning Needs Co-ordinator (ALNCo).

The Role of the Additional Learning Needs Co-ordinator (ALNCo)

All schools, except specialist Additional Learning Needs (ALN) provisions, will need to have an identified member of staff to act as Additional Learning Needs Co-ordinator (or ALNCo for short).

This responsibility extends to accredited child-minders who belong to approved networks. In these settings, the role of an ALNCo can be shared between individual childminders and the network co-ordinator. The ALNCo has responsibility for:

  • Writing and implementing Additional Learning Needs (ALN) policy
  • Liaising and offering advice to school staff on ALN issues
  • Managing ALN support staff
  • Determining if a child has ALN in conjunction with outside specialists
  • Contributing to in-service training for teachers
  • Liaising with parents of children with ALN and arranging review meetings
  • Ensuring the appropriate individual (or group) educational plan is in place
  • Overseeing the day-to-day operation of the school's ALN policy
  • Co-ordinating provision for children with ALN
  • Managing Learning Support Assistants (LSAs) or Teaching Assistants (TAs)
  • Overseeing the records of all children with ALN
  • Liaising with external agencies including advisory teachers and educational psychology services, health and social services, and voluntary bodies.


The Role of the Educational Psychologist

Educational Psychologists support schools in the delivery of Additional Learning Needs for children and young people. The work of an Educational Psychologists involves:

  • Assessment
  • Observation
  • Intervention
  • Consultation
  • Training
  • Research

They work mostly in schools, but also in preschool settings and at home. Sometimes Educational Psychologists work with children and young people. At other times, they work with teachers and other adults on the child's behalf. Their main task is to help with issues that are causing problems or concerns to children. These can be about learning, behaviour, social interactions or emotional well-being. Through consulting with children, young people and the teachers that work with them, they decide on a plan. This plan will have actions that should lead to a solution. They set a time to review progress to see if the plan is working. Educational Psychologists also play a part in the multi-agency process of identifying significant Additional Learning Needs and recommending how they can best be met.


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