SEND in education | Central Bedfordshire Council

SEND in education

SEND services for education

Our special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) services provide support, guidance and advice to all educational settings, parents and professionals with regards to supporting children and young people with SEND.

Our SEND services consist of:

  • statutory SEND team
  • educational psychologists
  • early years SEND team
  • hearing impaired team
  • vision impairment service
  • medical needs education team

All the teams work in one of the localities linked to an educational setting. Our five localities are collectively called the north and south, as shown below.

The south area includes:

  • Dunstable
  • Houghton Regis
  • Leighton Buzzard

The north area includes:

  • Arlesey, Stotfold, Biggleswade, Shefford and surrounding areas
  • Ampthill, Flitwick and surrounding areas

SEND team

Assistant director

Peter Fraser, Assistant Director for Education (responsible for the statutory SEND team)

Heads of service for special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)

  • Simon Cotton: education and inclusion (south area)
  • Jackie Edwards: education and inclusion (north area)

Statutory SEND team managers

  • Joe Watts SEND Team Manager Complex Cases
  • Rebecca Fossey SEND Team Manager (south area)
  • Emily Stirling SEND Team Manager (north area)

View or download list of SEND officers (PDF)

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Contact our SEND team

Telephone: 0300 300 8356
Emailstatass@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk

What our team does

Our SEND team is responsible for carrying out statutory duties and processes linked to education, health and care plans (EHCPs) for children and young people with SEND aged up to 25. The team works with children, young people, parents and professionals to co-produce education, health and care plans and agreeing provision and educational placement.

Other duties include:

  • receipt and decision-making regarding requests for EHC needs assessments
  • gathering information during the EHC needs assessment
  • co-ordination and writing of EHCPs
  • monitoring of annual reviews (please note: the team's attendance is not a statutory requirement)
  • processing of annual review documentation
  • consulting with schools and supporting school admissions for pupils with an EHCP
  • preparation of cases for our SEND panels and providing feedback to parents and settings
  • case management and work regarding SEN tribunals (SENDIST)
  • providing advice to schools, parents and professionals regarding statutory processes
  • facilitation of training regarding statutory processes for professionals and parents

Please note: it is not the role of our SEND team to provide an advisory or outreach service regarding individual cases or to recommend suitable provision or school placement. A list of advisory services available to parents and settings in Central Bedfordshire can be found on our Family information Directory.

Educational psychology services

Dewi Hughes: Principal Educational Psychologist

An educational psychologist is someone trained to help children and young people (up to 25) with their learning and development. All educational psychologists are registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

Find out more about educational psychology

View or download list of educational psychologists (PDF)

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SEND early years team

Barbara Bourn: SEND Early Years Team Manager

Telephone: 0300 300 4364

Our special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) early years team contains early years advisory teachers and specialist practitioners and it forms part of our special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) service. The team provides support to children with additional needs or who are disabled, their parents/carers and the settings they attend.

To ensure that your child receives the best support we can offer, we will complete an initial assessment with you and your child - either at home, if your child is not attending an early years setting (such as a nursery, or childminder), or in their early years setting.

We offer home visits and when your child is ready to access an early years setting, we will work with you and the setting to ensure a smooth transition, helping your child to settle successfully. We will continue to work with you, your child and their early years setting to build on your child's skills and encourage their progress in play, learning and communication.

We will work with you and your child's early years setting offering advice and guidance on all aspects of your child’s development, progress and future planning. We will help the setting to identify any additional support your child may need and we will help them to provide this. We work closely with other professionals some of whom your child may already be receiving support from such as physiotherapists or speech and language therapists. We will continue to work with your child until they transfer to school.

Referrals to our early years SEND team will be accepted from health and care professionals and special educational needs coordinators (SENCOs) in early years settings.

Downloads

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Contact our early years SEND team

Telephone: 0300 300 4364

View or download contact details for our SEND early years team (PDF)

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Medical needs education team

Heather Anderson: Medical Team Leader (head teacher)

Telephone: 0300 300 8038
Email: medicalteam@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk

Our medical needs teaching service provides teaching and support for children and young people of statutory school age and on the roll of a school, who due to illness require suitable alternative arrangements for their education for the period of that illness.

Teaching is provided for pupils whose education is disrupted for an initial period exceeding three weeks, due to:

  • an illness or injury keeping the pupil away from school whilst recovering
  • an illness or injury requiring regular hospital attendance
  • a chronic condition that causes frequent absences from school
  • a mental illness requiring therapeutic support

The service provides high quality teaching, mainly in the three core subjects of maths, science and English, as a way of supporting reintegration back into school.

In the main, education takes place in a pupil's home environment. However, where the pupil is able, education takes place in other buildings and may be in small groups. Pupils remain on the roll of their school, and the medical needs teachers work in partnership with the school to ensure continuity and progression for the pupil, taking account of medical advice. Schools and the medical needs education team support reintegration of pupils where the medical advice supports their readiness to return to school.

Referrals are made to the medical needs service from the pupil's school.

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Hearing impairment service

Kevin Ward: Hearing Impaired Team Leader

Telephone: 0300 300 8038
Email: hearingteam@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk

Our hearing impairment service supports children and young people with a hearing impairment from birth or identification of the hearing loss. Support is provided through home visits, alongside nursery and pre-school visits, and then on to your child's local school. We also manage three hearing impairment provisions, located within Toddington St George C of E School, Parkfields Middle School and Harlington Upper School, resulting in a deaf-friendly environment where hearing-impaired learners from 3 to 18 can thrive academically, emotionally and socially. Provision for hearing-impaired learners is not an "add-on", but a fully integrated provision, operating within a mainstream educational environment.

Support for children and young people attending a local school or pre-school is provided by a team of qualified teachers of the deaf working peripatetically across Central Bedfordshire. Support is provided following an initial referral from the child's audiology department. Additional support may also be provided by a qualified nursery nurse specialising in hearing impairment if required, who works alongside your child's teacher of the deaf. Our hearing impairment manager provides additional educational audiological support as required complementing your child's clinical audiological support.

To refer to us:

  1. download hearing impairment referral form (PDF) (you may need to get Adobe Reader to fill the form in)
  2. sign it
  3. send it, along with the reasons by email to hearingteam@centralbedfordshire.gov.uknote: email is not secure, so please ensure you take all appropriate precautions to protect any personal information.
    You can also post it to:
    Hearing Impairment Service
    Central Bedfordshire Council
    Watling House
    Dunstable
    Bedfordshire
    LU6 1LF

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Vision impairment service

Jane Braithwaite: Qualified Teacher of Children and Young People with Vision Impairment

Telephone: 0300 300 8038
Email: visualteam@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk

The vision impairment service supports children and young people (CYP) with a vision impairment who live in or attend a setting in Central Bedfordshire and who meet the The National Sensory Impairment Partnership (NatSIP) eligibility criteria. It supports colleagues in special educational needs and mainstream settings to provide access to learning and play in the early years and to the curriculum throughout education. Prior to reaching school age, support and advice is offered via home visits.

The team consists of two qualified teachers of children and young people with vision impairment, two specialist teaching assistants and a specialist resource officer / technician, all of whom work peripatetically across Central Bedfordshire.

Most referrals to the team are made by ophthalmologists or via local health services. The team maintains good links with eyecare professionals, mobility officers, orthoptists and other vision impairment services.

Any professional (working with the CYP), school, pre-school, parent or carer can make a referral to the service:

  1. download a visual impairment referral form (PDF) (you may need to get Adobe Reader to fill the form in)
  2. complete all sections and sign it
  3. send it, along with details of vision impairment (i.e. recent clinic letter), by email to visualteam@centralbedfordshire.gov.uknote: email is not secure, so please ensure you take all appropriate precautions to protect any personal information.

Files linked from this page may not be suitable for users of assisted technology. If you need an accessible version, please email send.feedback@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk.