Assessment and Access Arrangements
Every child that an ALNCO works to support will have individual needs. Some will have physical or sensory difficulties, while others will have moderate to severe learning disabilities. Some ALN pupils are given support for the long-term, while others might require short term intervention, for behavioural or emotional needs, such as bereavement, anxiety or bullying issues. Either way, the ALNCO has the task of assessing the situation.
Assessments are carried out in different ways. For instance, the ALNCO might observe the child in class, or ask a teaching assistant to do so and to take notes on their behaviour and responses in certain scenarios. They might make an appointment with an educational psychologist to assess the child more formally, at which time they might conduct various psychological and baseline assessments with the child, producing a report with specific recommendations. ALNCOs might also use standardised school testing to glean an idea of the pupil’s general ability. A selection of these approaches can be used to create a strategy to support the pupil whilst in school. The ALNCO will set targets to share with staff and parents. The data will then be moulded into the pupil’s learning profile and will include details of support so that they can be measured and evaluated at review meetings.
Access Arrangements are pre-examination adjustments for candidates based on evidence of need and normal way of working. Access Arrangements fall into two distinct categories: some arrangements are delegated to centres, others require prior JCQ awarding body approval. Students are usually assessed by the ALNCO at the earliest in Year 9 to determine whether they qualify for Access Arrangements.
For further information, do not hesitate to contact our ALNCO, Mr Mike Berry, either via email or telephone (contact details are on the main ALN webpage).
Head of Additional Learning Needs
ALN Support Manager