SEND Specialist Services is a local authority service, delivered in three areas across Cambridgeshire. They work in schools and settings with children and young people (0-25 years) and their parents/carers, providing targeted support and training in all aspects of Special Educational Needs (SEN). The main aim is to help meet the needs of children and young people within their local community. The team aim to help children and young people with SEND to progress with their learning, as well as their emotional and social development.

The SEND Specialist Services are delivered in three geographical areas; each area is divided into teams made up of:

  • Team leader, who has operational management of the multidisciplinary team
  • Educational psychologists
  • Specialist teachers
  • Specialist practitioners

The Sensory Team is part of the SEND Specialist Services and is managed centrally (not divided into the area teams).  More information about support from the Sensory Team can be found on the following webpages:

Support for children with visual impairment
Support for children with hearing impairment

Educational Psychologists

What do they do?

Educational psychologists apply psychology (the study of thinking, learning and behaviour) to support children/ young people (0-25 years) who are experiencing problems within an educational setting with the aim of enhancing their learning, development and emotional wellbeing. Educational psychologists might work with staff and parents, carry out classroom observations, talk to children and carry out psychological testing. Educational psychologists promote evidence based practice when making recommendations to support children and young people. They also work closely with other services, including health and social care.

Educational psychologists work with staff in schools and settings to help them to have the skills and knowledge to meet the needs of children with special educational needs (SEN), particularly those who are receiving SEN Support (SEND Code of Practice, 2015).

All our educational psychologists have experience of working with children and young people, a specialist degree in educational psychology at masters or doctorate level and are required to be registered as practitioner psychologists with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). They provide an independent perspective of the child’s needs and how best these needs should be met.

When do they get involved? 

Educational psychologists will become involved if children/young people meet the threshold for involvement and it is agreed that they are the best member of SEND Specialist Services to complete the work. They are likely to help when children/young people have significant and complex SEND difficulties which are affecting their access to learning. They also provide support where there are significant needs in relation to the child or young person’s emotional health and wellbeing that are affecting their ability to access learning and their relationships with others. The difficulties that arise from these needs may be difficult to understand and have not responded to the support already in place.  Educational psychologists have statutory duties, including contributing to Education, Health and Care Plan needs assessment and these pieces of work always take priority.

How do I access an educational psychologist?

If you are concerned about your child, speak to your child’s school, preschool or college in the first instance. We are a targeted service and for most children, education staff in the setting will be able to assess and meet your child’s needs within their existing support arrangements.

Access to an educational psychologist is normally through a pre-consultation request form or an  Early Help Assessment (EHA) . Requests also come from the Statutory Assessment and Resources Team (START) when children already have an Education, Health and Care Plan and can also come directly from social care.

Specialist Teachers

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.  

Specialist teachers: 

  • 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?  

Specialist teachers will become involved if children/young people meet the thresholds for involvement and it is agreed that they are the most appropriate team member. 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 through a pre-consultation request form or an  Early Help Assessment (EHA) . Requests for specialist teacher involvement may also come from the Statutory Assessment and Resources Team (START) when children already have an Education, Health and Care Plan.

Specialist Practitioners

What do they do?

Specialist practitioners work closely with educational psychologists and specialist teachers to provide direct targeted support to children and young people. They usually work with children and young people aged between 2 – 11 years.  This may involve 1-1 work with children in the home or setting or running support groups for children and parents/carers. When working in settings the aim will be to share their skills and knowledge with the school/setting so that staff there can continue to support the child/young person once the specialist practitioner’s work has finished.

When do they get involved?

Educational psychologists and specialist teachers will work closely with specialist practitioners to decide which children/young people will benefit from their support. They will be involved for a specific amount of time, which will be agreed with school and parents/carers. In the majority of cases, their involvement is likely to be for a maximum of six weeks in schools.

How do I access them?

Specialist practitioners are not directly accessed, but support the work of the Educational psychologists and specialist teachers.

SEND Specialist Services documents:

SEND Specialist Services Huntingdon area

Huntingdon, St. Ives, Ramsey, Sawtry, Yaxley and St. Neots
Email:

East Cambs and Fenlands Area

Wisbech, March, Chatteris, Whittlesey, Ely, Littleport, Bottisham, Burwell, Soham & Witchford
Email:

South Cambs and City Area

Cambridge City and South Cambs
Email:

Did you find this information useful?

Website Feedback