Every school has the support of an Educational Psychologist, who is a specialist on how children and young people develop and learn. Schools have to buy this service to meet their responsibilities. As schools are free to choose how they spend their budgets to best effect we do not necessarily provide the same range of services to all schools as it depends on what they included in their contract with our service.
We work with schools and provide them with support, advice and training.
We also assess the needs of children who may be having difficulty with their learning and development. Advice is offered to the parents, pre-school, school and the Local Authority about a child’s special educational needs and ways in which to help them. Only our statutory and core work is directed by the Local authority rather than bought in by schools.
If parents are concerned that their child may have special educational needs they should speak first to the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) at the pre-school or school setting. They will be able to intervene and monitor progress. If the difficulties persist the SENCo, with parental agreement, will ask for further advice from the Educational Psychology Service.
- Informed Consent
we only work directly with children and young people with a parent/carer’s permission after agreeing the need to do so with the child’s pre-school/school.
- Parenting Courses
we assist some pre-schools and schools in running parenting courses
- Statutory assessment process
A statutory assessment of a child’s Special Educational Needs may be undertaken if there is evidence that the needs may exceed those that can be provided for within the school’s resources or expertise. The SEN department has specific criteria for deciding whether such an assessment should be undertaken. As a result of statutory assessment, the authority may decide to make additional provision in some cases and issue an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan. Parents of children with Special Educational Needs have the same rights as other parents, to choose where their child should be educated. However, in deciding where needs are best met the SEN department of the local authority must consider the efficient use of resources. In most cases this means that children are educated in mainstream schools where their parents would normally have sent them, with additional resources or support provided by the local authority. However a very small minority of children will be offered places in specialist schools.
When Children are under 5 years old the pre-school SENCo can also ask advice from the Early Years Inclusion Service. If your child is very young and you are worried about their development, a discussion with your allocated Health Visitor or Doctor would also be advisable.
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