Head of Special Educational Needs and Disability: Louise Bartos
Louise joined us in April 2018, having previously worked at Buckinghamshire County Council and Milton Keynes Council. She's worked within special educational needs (SEN) since 2002.
Louise manages our educational psychology team, early years team, special educational needs team and the visual impaired, hearing impaired and medical needs team.
The managers for the below teams are as followed:
- Dewi Hughes – Principal Educational Psychologist
- Barbara Bourn – Early Years SEND Manager
- Joe Watts – SEND Manager
- Elizabeth Ciampi – Manager of Specialist Teaching Service
All the teams work in one of the localities linked to an educational setting. Our five localities are:
- Houghton Regis
- Leighton Buzzard
- Ivel Valley (includes Arlesey, Stotfold, Biggleswade, Shefford and surrounding areas)
- West Mid Beds (includes Ampthill, Flitwick and surrounding areas)
You can find out who your allocated educational psychologist, SEND team, and early years representative is by the links below.
- educational psychologist
- SEND team
- early years team
- visual impaired, hearing impaired and medical team
Please note that this information regularly changes, and we will ensure that these contact details are frequently updated.
Since Louise has been here she has been working with her teams to improve the outcomes of Children and young people with SEND. This ensuring that we have the right support at the right time. A self-evaluation framework (SEF) has been completed. This is an overview of the strengths and areas for development for our collective response for children with special educational needs and/or disability (SEND) across Central Bedfordshire.
For the last year, we've been running a project called Managing Demand in SEND and the focus has been to provide support to schools to help with early intervention. We have had 6 projects running offering individual support to children and schools and training to schools in the areas. The overall project finishes in March 2020 and we are currently working on developing toolkits for schools to continue to work with to ensure the staff can considered what support is right for the child young person. Find out more on our news page.
Louise meets with Kirsty Green, the director of SNAP Parent Carer Forum on a monthly basis and listens to feedback and what parents are asking for. From these meetings, a training programme has been offered to parents. This programme covers:
- making my child’s EHC Plan work
- EHC Annual Review
- EHC Annual Review for Transfer pupils to another school
- SEN Support
- EHC Needs Assessment
- making my EHC Plan work
All the above training has been run once this year and we have had positive feedback.
About our SEND services
Our SEND services consist of:
- educational psychologists
- Early Years SEND team
- SEND team
The services provide support, guidance and advice to all educational settings, parents and professionals with regards to supporting children and young people with SEND.
Educational psychology services
An educational psychologist is someone trained to help children and young people (from 0 - 25) with their learning and development. All educational psychologists are registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).
Early years SEND team
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 in early years settings.
- early years SEND referral form (PDF 166KB)
- early years SEND funding form for schools (PDF 444.5KB)
- early years SEND funding form for private, voluntary and independent childcare and education settings (PDF 447KB)
- SEND guidance in the early years: a graduated approach (PDF 1.6MB)
- early years parent information leaflet (PDF 688.4KB)
- early years flowchart (PDF 276.1KB)
- early years SEND team overview (PDF 225.1KB)
Telephone: 0300 300 4364
Special educational needs and disability (SEND) team
The 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 0-25. 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 of the team 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
Telephone: 0300 300 8356
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.
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 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.
Telephone: 0300 300 8038
Hearing impairment service
The 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 3-18 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.
Telephone: 0300 300 8038
Visual Impairment service
The visual impairment service supports visually impaired children from age 0-19 who live in or go to school in Central Bedfordshire and who meet the South-East Region Special Educational Needs (SERSEN) criteria for visual impairment.
The team consists of two specialist teachers for visual impairment, two specialist teaching assistants and a resource officer, all of whom have completed Braille training. The team also employs a part-time resource assistant.
Most referrals to us are made by ophthalmologists or via local health services. The team maintains good links with eye consultants, mobility officers, orthoptists and qualified teachers of the visually impaired in Bedford, Luton and Dunstable. These links mean that they are usually informed about a child with a visual impairment soon after diagnosis.
Schools, pre-school groups, parents and carers can also make referrals to our team:
- download a referral form
- sign it
- send it, along with the reasons by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to:
Visual Impairment Service
Central Bedfordshire Council
Telephone: 0300 300 8038