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The SENCo has always been a critical role in ensuring that children with special education needs and disabilities within a school receive the support they need. Gradually over the years the SENCo role has grown in importance. Under the new legislation the role will be developed further and known as the ‘ALNCo’ – Additional Learning Needs Co-ordinator.

All maintained schools must designate a person to be the ALNCo. This person should be a senior member of staff and have equal status to the likes of the Headteacher and Deputy Headteacher.

The ALNCo is responsible for the day-to-day co-ordination of pupil’s ALN, but what are the roles and responsibilities within the new legislation?

  • Promoting inclusion within the education settings
  • Becoming a source of expertise on ALN by developing specialist skills and knowledge
  • Overseeing the day-to-day operation of the setting’s policy on ALN
  • Coordinating provision across the education setting for learners with ALN including a role in managing the allocation of learning support staff
  • Contributing to the development and implementation of appropriate ALN procedures and systems within the education setting, including strategic financial planning, effective deployment of resources and data collection and analysis, with a view to improved outcomes for learners with ALN.
  • Providing professional support to all staff to enable the early identification, assessment and planning for learners with ALN, this might include supporting staff to undertake whole school tracking and supporting staff to manage good target setting
  • Ensuring IDPs are developed and reviewed appropriately in line with the Person Centred Practice ethos
  • Overseeing liaison with the child, child’s parent or young person with ALN, to ensure they understand the learner’s needs and how they are met, where necessary advising on information and support available
  • Ensuring that the arrangements put in place by the local authority in relation to avoiding disagreements are fully utilised as appropriate
  • Acting as the key point of contact with the relevant local authority’s inclusion and support services, external agencies,
  • Independent/ voluntary organisations, health and social care professionals, educational psychologists, etc.
  • Liaising with early years providers, maintained schools and FEI’s where relevant, to facilitate a smooth transition between settings for learners with ALN
  • Liaising with careers specialists to ensure that learners with ALN receive appropriate careers advice
  • Assisting in the professional learning of staff within the education setting to better meet the need of learners with ALN
  • Keeping up to date on the latest guidance and support available for ALN
  • Working strategically with the senior leadership and governors to ensure the education setting is meeting its responsibilities under the Act (Bill), this Code and the Equality Act 2010.
  • Enhancing their own professional development by liaising with the local network of ALNCOs, and where appropriate, special schools to share experience and develop best practice.


Draft ALN Code of Practice (February 2017) section 5.13

Want more information?

To read the full Draft ALN Code click here