Children with additional needs

Information for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales about children with additional needs.

Throughout this website, we use the term 'children with additional needs' to refer to children who have a significant difficulty with their learning and need additional support from the school.

In England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, there are different terms used to refer to children with additional needs.

In England, the term used is SEND, which stands for special educational needs and disability. In Northern Ireland, SEN is used, short for special educational needs.

In Scotland, the term used is ASN, or additional support needs, and in Wales it's ALN, or additional learning needs.

As well as a different name in each country, a school's responsibilities towards children with additional needs is different too.

SEND (England)

15.5% of children and young people in England have a special educational need and disability (SEND). SEND is a broad concept that is defined as children and young people who have a significant difficulty with their learning and need additional support from the school.

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SEN (Northern Ireland)

22% of the school population in Northern Ireland are reported as having special educational needs (SEN).

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ASN (Scotland)

Additional support needs (ASN) is the term used in Scotland for children and young people with additional learning needs, the same as SEND in England or ALN in Wales.

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ALN (Wales)

ALN, or Additional Learning Needs, is the term used in Wales for pupils who need extra support in school. A new Additional Learning Needs (ALN) system is due to replace the previous Special Educational Needs (SEN) system in September 2021.

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