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Schools and Families Specialist Services (SFSS)

We are a team of specialist teachers and teaching assistants with additional qualifications and extensive experience in working with children and young people with special educational needs aged from 0-19.

 The service comprises of four teams:

  • The Early Years Team (supporting children with special educational needs and disabilities from 0 - 7 years to the end of Key Stage 1).
  • The Communication and Interaction Team (supporting children and young people aged 8 - 19 years (Key Stages 2-5))
  • The Cognition and Learning Team  (supporting children and young people aged 8 - 19 years (Key Stages 2-5))
  • The Sensory Team (supporting children and young people who have hearing and/or visual impairments aged 0 - 19 years)

You can read more about each of these teams in our service leaflet which can be downloaded through the link on the right hand side of this page. You can also access additional information on the support offered by sensory service personnel by clicking on the following link: Sensory Service | The East Midlands Education Support Service (


Who to contact

Contact Name
Business Support
Contact Position
Schools & Families Specialist Services
For the Early Years SFSS & the Sensory Team - 0115 804 1232
For the Communication & Interaction and the Cognition & Learning - 0115 854 6464

Where to go

County wide

Time / Date Details

When is it on
During school term times 9:00am until 4:00pm (at other times by arrangement)

Other Details


Age Ranges
0-19 years
Referral required
Referral Details

The Early Years Team accepts direct requests for involvement for children with complex SEND who are below school age from parents and professionals, e.g. from Early Years settings or health visitors. 

Requests for involvement with children and young people with complex SEND attending school are generally negotiated at Family of Schools Springboard meetings which are held each term. Direct requests for involvement are accepted in certain circumstances, for example when:

  • a child with significant SEND arrives in the County
  • a child’s school placement is at risk, or
  • there is an unexpected and significant change to a child’s needs or situation


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Our services are aimed at children and young people aged from birth to nineteen with complex special educational needs and/or disabilities, their families and staff in the early years settings and schools they attend.

Specialist teachers and teaching assistants work with children and young people with a range of complex SEND  in the home for pre-school children, and/or early years settings. They then provide support to schools for children and young people of statutory age in mainstream education, where the schools are seeking advice, guidance and/or training on making provision to address those complex needs.

SFSS staff provide advice regarding specialist assessments and interventions, including services for children and young people who are deaf, visually impaired, communication and interaction, or have learning difficulties.

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Record Last Updated On: 29/07/2021

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