Our service provides advice, support and training to schools and settings on all aspects of Special Educational Needs management, provision and assessment including for children who do not require EHC assessments or plans but who still have SEND. The team in partnership with other specialists is able to offer advice in the area of specific learning difficulties, (SpLD) and dyslexia.
When required we meet with schools and parents as part of the statutory assessment process especially if there is a need to discuss next steps, find out more or to support changes to the current school based approach.
We co-produce EHC plans with parents, young people, schools and partner agencies.
The team works with schools and others to develop, share and promote best practice in schools as part of the council’s Local Offer.
We work with maintained schools and settings in Southwark, plus out of borough schools that have responsibility for a Southwark pupil with an EHC plan, statement or undergoing assessment. Where the school wants support around a statutory aspect of SEN (e.g. how to provide for a pupil with an EHC plan, meeting SEN Code of Practice expectations for Southwark pupils, developing their school policies and practice) the school can request the service via email or phone.
To request a SpLD /Dyslexia assessment the school must complete a referral form clearly showing what they have already done to assess and support the pupil and why they need further advice. (See attached information and referral form)
Schools can also request other support e.g. in school training which is considered on a case by case basis. We aim to be flexible and can adjust how we work as required, e.g. with regard to meeting times, places and can provide some adaptation to training materials for visual impairment, dyslexia etc.
How is this provided
- Central training programmes
- SENCO forums
- Workshops and professional support groups (SpLD and Moderate Learning Difficulties)
- School visits and meetings
- Email/ phone advice
- Development of written guidance
- Identifying and sharing best practice.
Parents and young people can ask their school or setting, assessment and placement officer, Parent Partnership Team or Early Help Team to refer to us. This can be done through an email briefly indicating what support is needed from the team. (Unless it is for SpLD or Dyslexia advice then the referral form for that should be completed)
Parents and young people do not have to pay for this service. It is a free service for maintained schools and with regard to carrying out statutory SEN duties. Some schools (e.g. independent) may have to pay for some aspects such as training.
The role of the team often involves finding out more information from you, and using it to support better planning and provision for your child, or to inform assessment decisions. We aim to be as confidential as possible and we will ask for your permission to share information with professionals on your behalf. (Unless there is a safeguarding or legal reason that overrides this.)
All team members regularly update their safeguarding training and we follow council safeguarding protocols. This service is part of the council’s approach to carrying out its duties to pupils with SEN including through supporting and challenging schools.
Useful to know
The team are all specialist teachers and spend a lot of the day out of the office working with schools, parents and young people. If you have asked someone to refer to us we will get back to you via them as soon as we can.
The team provide a wide range of training for schools and settings including:
- National Award for SEN co-ordination
- Provision Management
- Research based interventions
- Local SEN requirements
Contact us via your school, SEN team, Early Help Team, Southwark Information, Advice and Support Team