The team comprises highly qualified teachers in the fields of:
- physical difficulties
- visual impairment
- hearing impairment
- multi-sensory impairment
They are supported by an educational audiologist, advisory deaf inclusion workers and a senior sensory impairment advisor.
All members of the team have regular ongoing professional development within their specialist area to ensure that they are kept up to date with key issues that are taking place within sensory impairment.
We offer teaching, support, advice, early help and interventions for children and young people from 0-25, where a physical difficulty, sight, hearing or multi-sensory impairment is having an impact on their ability to access education.
Who we support
We support children and young people (CYP) aged 0-25, families and carers, pre-schools, nurseries and all educational settings including special schools.
Children that are referred tend to be pupils who may be in the process of statutory assessment, or who have some lesser degree of physical or sensory difficulty which is significantly affecting their access to the curriculum.
Requesting access to SEND support
Schools and settings wishing to access SEND support should read the guidance and submit a request for access to SEND support form.
Request for access to SEND support
At the referral meetings, there are representatives from all SEND teams: sensory impairment, physical difficulties and ICT, communication and interaction and social and emotional mental health. If one or more SEND need is identified during the meeting the opportunity for joint working ensures that the individual needs of the child or young person are met.
What happens next?
Once a referral is accepted letters will be sent to both settings and parents informing them of the decision made at the meeting. Contact will normally be made within 3 working weeks (term time only).
A specialist assessor will be allocated and make contact with the home and/or setting to arrange a suitable time to visit. This will normally be undertaken within 3 working weeks (term time only).
The initial visit will consist of a specialist assessment of need and observation of the child or young person. If the CYP is in an educational setting a discussion with the class teacher, support staff and SENCO will be needed to look at appropriate strategies and interventions. This will be undertaken within at least 3 working weeks.
A written report will be provided within 10 working days of the initial assessment visit. This report will describe the diagnosis, assessment results, provision and training needs in a way that can be clearly understood by parents and professionals involved.
After the initial assessment If appropriate, joint visits with other professionals such as Communication and Interaction Team, speech and language therapists or rehabilitation officers for visually impaired children (ROVICs) can be arranged.
The level of support will be determined on individual need in accordance with the current national guidelines.
Long-term planning outcomes will be provided annually in the form of a support matrix for schools to use to ensure CYP can access the curriculum and be successfully included alongside their peers.
Consultation without a visit
Sometimes schools or settings require general advice or about certain elements of educational inclusion for CYP and we can discuss this over the phone or via email giving advice that will then not give rise to the need for a visit. This can include issues about:
- school trips
- exam arrangements
- signposting to other services
- health and Safety, or fire evacuation
- Eligibility Criteria – CYP with physical difficulties
- Eligibility Criteria – CYP with sensory impairment
Devon Graduated Response
The Graduated Response Tool has been developed to support Devon schools. The tool outlines some of the practices and adaptations that are part and parcel of Quality First Teaching (QFT): the inclusion of all pupils in high-quality everyday personalised teaching.
- The Nystagmus Network – a UK-based charity that supports people with nystagmus and leads to research into the condition.
- The Albinism Fellowship – a voluntary self-help, sociable and positive organisation that aims to provide information and support for people with an interest in the condition.
- RNIB – Royal National Institute of Blind People
- Royal Blind Children’s Society
- The National Deaf Children’s Society – the leading charity dedicated to creating a world without barriers for deaf children and young people.
- Sense – national disability charity that supports people with complex communication needs to be understood, connected and valued
- NatSIP, the National Sensory Impairment Partnership – a partnership of organisations working together to improve outcomes for children and young people with sensory impairment.
- Early Help – the initial response offered by all services in contact with children, young people and families when they need extra support to thrive.
- Action for Children – protect and support children and young people providing practical and emotional care ensuring their voices are heard and outcomes improved.