Deciding on an education setting for your child with SEND

Children with SEND who can't attend school for health reasons

If your child has health needs and is unable to attend school regularly, you should, in the first instance, talk to your child’s school.

For children with an Education Health and Care plan (EHCP), you may want to have a discussion with our SEND Team.

We're responsible for ensuring that suitable, full-time, education (as much as the child's situation will allow) is provided for children of compulsory school age who, because of illness, would otherwise not receive suitable education.

There are circumstances where a child with a health need will be receiving education that meets their needs without our intervention. This may be where arrangements have been made for the child to be educated in a hospital by an on-site hospital school.

Medical needs service

We provide 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.

Contact us

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. Peripatetic 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. Drawing on 30 years of experience, resulting in a deaf-friendly environment where impaired learners from 3 to 18 can thrive academically, emotionally and socially. Provision for 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 in different places 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. The hearing impairment manager provides additional educational audiological support as required complementing your child's clinical audiological support.

Contact us

Telephone: 0300 300 8038

Visual impairment service

The visual impairment service supports visually impaired children from age 0 - 19 who live in Central Bedfordshire and/or attend Central Bedfordshire schools, 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 are made by ophthalmologists or via local health services. We maintain 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 and pre-school groups, and parents/carers can also make referrals to us using a referral form, signed by a parent/carer, which can be sent, together with information about the reasons for referral, to

Contact us

Telephone: 0300 300 8038

Assessing the suitability of provision for a pupil’s SEN

Where a school has concerns about the behaviour of a child with additional needs, or a pupil with a statement of SEN / EHC plan it should, in partnership with others (including us as necessary), consider what additional support or additional placement may be required.

Part-time timetables

The government’s guidance makes it clear that ‘all pupils of compulsory school age are entitled to a full-time education’ and that part-time timetables should only be used ‘in very exceptional circumstances'.

Schools should be able to demonstrate that there is a time limited plan in place to enable the student to be reintegrated quickly to full-time education, and evidence the plan’s success.

If a pupil needs to be removed from the school for a period of time for disciplinary purposes, the correct exclusion procedures must be followed. If a pupil is sent home in these circumstances it must be recorded as fixed-term exclusion.

We're responsible for supporting schools and parents in relation to children who have either been excluded from school or are at risk of exclusion.

In addition, Central Bedfordshire Special Educational Needs & Disability Information, Advice & Support Service (SENDIASS) is able to offer independent advice and support to parents whose children have, or may have, special educational needs.