What do they do?
Specialist teachers provide specialist advice and support to children / young people (0-16 years). Specialist teachers may work directly with children/young people in settings or school, including those children who are unable to attend school for reasons such as medical needs or permanent exclusion. Specialist teachers provide guidance and support to settings and schools on developing robust transitions for children with SEN.
Specialist teachers also work with children and families following the Early Support pathway in the Early Years. Children who have needs that do not meet the threshold for Early Support, should have their needs met through SEN Support in the early years setting.
- provide advice and support to settings, schools and families for individual children or groups of children with significant and complex needs
- offer bespoke SEND Training for settings and schools (individually or in clusters)
- provide key working and lead professional role for families who are part of Early Support
- work alongside Early Years practitioners, Early Support professionals and services to support 0 – 5 children with SEND and their families
- deliver parenting training programmes or interventions to support families with a child with social communication difficulties/autism
Specialist teachers encourage schools to include parents in meetings as their involvement is vital in helping to understand the child’s needs, the family priorities and wishes.
When do they get involved?
All maintained / local authority schools and nurseries have a link specialist teacher who meets with school staff to plan their work. If a school would like the specialist teacher to support a child, they will have discussed this with parents and gained their consent. They are likely to help when children / young people have identified SEND needs and where schools have already supported the child using Assess, Plan Do, Review cycles but need additional specialist support.
How do I access them?
If you are concerned about your child, speak to your child’s school or preschool in the first instance. The majority of children will be supported with their additional needs by schools and settings without specialist involvement.
Access to a specialist teacher is normally via the SENCo through a 'Required Information and Consent' form or an Early Help Assessment (EHA). Requests for specialist teacher involvement may also come from the Statutory Assessment Team when children already have an Education, Health and Care Plan