Children with complex needs who are pre-school but approaching statutory school age, will usually be accessing support from the Early Years Team within Schools and Families Specialist Services. They will work with you and your child’s existing setting and the local school to support your child’s transition into statutory education.
Schools are required to publish and update annually its SEN Information Report, which details the provision and support that they make to meet a range of special educational needs. Parents and carers are advised to refer to this information and to the School’s SEN Policy, which can then inform discussions with the receiving school about the arrangements that can be made to support their child’s needs. Both the school’s SEN Information Report and SEN Policy will be published on the school’s website and under the school’s individual entry on the Nottinghamshire’s SEND Local Offer website.
It is important to engage in discussion with the school about your child’s needs and the arrangements that will be made to support your child, what the agreed outcomes will be and how and when the achievement of these will be measured.
Information about support for the various different types of transition – from Early Years; from Infant to Juniors; from Primary to Secondary and from Children’s Services to Adult Services is available to schools and parents on the East Midlands Education Support Service website:
Education Support Services can work with schools to support transitions where they are already involved; alternatively schools can request the input of Support Services with transition through the Springboard process, where they feel this would be helpful. These Springboards, which are multi-agency meetings can be used be schools to request support from education support services more broadly; it doesn’t just have to be around transition.
What specialist services and expertise (e.g. health, social care, local authority support services) are available or can be accessed by schools to support my child?
This would very much depend on the specific needs of the child. It's very difficult to give a 'one size fits all' response to this question, as which services are relevant will depend on the nature of the child/young person's needs and whether they meet the threshold for service involvement. However, some of the services that may be available could include the following:
- Schools and Families Specialist Services - Specialist teachers and teaching assistants work with children and young people with a range of complex SEND from birth to nineteen years in homes, early years settings and schools.
- Educational Pyschology Services - Enable improvements in the attainment and emotional health and well-being of the most vulnerable children through the application of psychology to education and child development.
- Primary Social Emotional Development Team (PSED) - Specialist teachers and teaching assistants provide advice and support to schools and to partnerships of schools with regard to the social and emotional needs of children aged 3 to 11 years.
- Physical Disability Support Service - Provides specialist advice to schools to promote the inclusion of pupils with complex physical or medical needs.
- Health Related Education Team (HRET) - Supports children who are unable to attend school for health related reasons.
For further information and contact details of the above services please click on the following link: SEND Support Services
- Speech and Language Therapy
- Occupational Therapy
- Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)
My child has a visual impairment and is due to start at our local school how will equipment and facilities be provided to support her?
A Teacher of the Visually Impaired (ToVI) would carry out assessments to identify which high cost equipment, if any, would be of greatest benefit to the pupil or young person. This can be done prior to transition to school. Specialist staff would train and support school staff to become familiar and confident with the equipment so they can fully support and develop the pupil's skills within school. If high cost equipment isn't necessarily appropriate Specialist staff can deliver touch typing skills using school resources. The effectiveness of any equipment supplied is monitored regularly to ensure greatest benefit to the pupil.
Speech and Language Therapy support would not end due to a child starting school whilst they continued to require therapy. Therapy may take place in the clinic, home or school depending which is indicated clinically.
My child’s school have said they want to consult an Educational Psychologist, who is that and why might they help?
Nottinghamshire County Council employs a team of Educational Psychologists to work with schools across the county. Someone training to become an EP is required to undertake a three-year doctorate programme of study in applied psychology. All EPs are registered with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) which is the body which oversees professional and ethical standards.
EPs work to support the development and wellbeing of children and young people aged 0-25. EPs tend to become involved when the situation around a child is seen to be problematic or stuck. EPs will work with others including school staff to support positive outcomes for the child and their family. The work can involve a range of different activities, for example consultation/discussion, assessment, intervention and training.
The Educational Psychology Service prioritise particular groups of children with additional needs including children:
- who are Looked After and those recently adopted
- where there are safeguarding concerns
- who are at high risk of permanent exclusion
- who are supported by an Education, Health and Care Plan
- who may have complex transition issues
- who may have significant attendance difficulties
- who are already being supported through higher levels of funding
Speech and Language Therapy Services can be accessed via a referral process requested by parents/carers, school setting or school based staff (as long as they have the parents or carers consent). The service is available to children and young people (0-18 years) who meet service entry criteria.
In Nottinghamshire there is a Single Point of Access (SPA) for speech and language referrals:
Integrated Community Children and Young People’s Healthcare
The Children’s Centre
City Hospital Campus
Telephone: 0300 123 3387
Talk to your child’s school or education provider – either their class teacher, school SENCO (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator) or head of year / house in secondary school. There will be staff in school who can offer additional support and signpost to other agencies that could help you and your child.
If your child is not in school, or you would prefer not to talk to school, approach your GP surgery and ask for an appointment with a practice nurse, GP or the healthy families team. If you are not already registered with a GP you can find your nearest surgery by clicking on the following link: Find GP Services. You can contact your nearest Health Families Team, which includes school nursing support, directly by clicking on the following link: Healthy Families Teams Contact
If you do have concerns that your child may be experiencing anxiety or mental health issues you can also access further information and advice by clicking on the Frequently Asked Questions section: Mental health and anxiety
It is advisable to speak to the school if you have concerns about the level of support that your child is receiving. Initially this might be with the class teacher, but could involve the school SENCO. The purpose of the discussion would be to clarify the following:
- what provision is currently in place
- how this supports your child
- what progress is being made as a consequence of this support
- what further could be done/appropriate next steps
If you would like some support in these discussions with the school, then you can contact Nottinghamshire’s Independent, Advice and Support Service (Ask Us) to seek their advice and input. Further information is available via www.askusnotts.org.uk
- The school website for its SEN Information Report and SEN Policy.
- The SEND Local Offer for information about schools, support services, voluntary groups and recreational activities.
- Class teacher; School SENCO
- Independent, Advice and Support Service – Ask Us Nottinghamshire
- Local authority or health professionals who may be providing support