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Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)

Physical difficulties

Physical Difficulties Team

What we do

The Physical Difficulties Team supports children and young people from 0-25 whose primary need is complex physical difficulties. Children and young people will either have an EHCP or are going through the statutory assessment process.

We offer ongoing advice, guidance and support to schools, families, carers and children and young people in order to maximise opportunities for learning, independence and inclusion so that children and young people can achieve their full potential and overcome barriers to learning.

Requesting Access for Support:

Schools and settings wishing to request SEND support should read the guidance and submit a request for access to SEND support form using the link below.

Request for access to SEND support – guidance – Support for schools and settings (

School and setting visits

We provide advice and support for children and young people in mainstream schools and settings. This can include:


We offer training for professionals related to the inclusion and support of children and young people with physical difficulties, including:

  • PE
  • disability awareness
  • moving and handling

Moving and Handling training

The physical difficulties team offer two practical courses, (initial and refresher), designed to give all school staff an overview of the relevant legislation and practical handling techniques. Information about each course and details of how to book are available via the following link: Devon Education Services shop.

Initial training:

This course is designed as an initial introduction to safe handling practices for schools and settings working with settings working with children and young people who have physical difficulties (this course is not suitable for children who have emotional or behavioural difficulties requiring physical interventions).

The initial course, is suitable for staff who have not had Moving and Handling training previously.  Refresher recommended annually.

The training provides a generic introduction, designed to give all school staff an overview of the relevant legislation which is required when handling. This will be especially relevant to SENCos who may be required to complete paperwork, such as Risk Assessments, Handling Plans and Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans.

The course covers generic overview of safe practical handling techniques, it does not give advice on individual needs, and staff attending will need to consult with other specialist professionals after attending the course.

Refresher training:

The refresher course, provides theory and practical moving and handling training (for those people who have previously undertaken the moving and handling initial training within the past 12-18 months).

It is suitable for any staff working with a child or young person who has physical/movement difficulties (not suitable for those working with children who have emotional or behavioural difficulties requiring physical interventions.) Staff can bring up to date examples of handling plans and risk assessments to discuss with the team.

Please do let us know in advance if hoist training is required.

Devon graduated response

The graduated response tool has been developed to support Devon schools. The tool outlines some of the practices and adaptations that support Quality First Teaching (QFT): the inclusion of all pupils in high-quality everyday personalised teaching.