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Guidance for working together with outside agencies

Expertise within and beyond the college

The Code of Practice (2015) states:

“Colleges should ensure they have access to external specialist services and expertise. These can include, for example, educational psychologists, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), specialist teachers and support services, supported 11 employment services and therapists. They can be involved at any point for help or advice on the best way to support a student with SEN or a disability.

Where, despite the college having taken relevant and purposeful action to identify, assess and meet the needs of the student, the student is still not making the expected progress, the college or young person should consider asking the local authority to carry out an EHC needs assessment.

Colleges should be ambitious for young people with SEN, whatever their needs and whatever their level of study They should focus on supporting young people so they can progress and reach positive destinations in life, including higher education or further training or employment, independent living, good health and participating in the community.”

NASEN has produced a podcast about multi-disciplinary working  which gives information about the benefits of working together to meet the needs of young people with SEND (NASEN requires membership - which is free - to access these materials). 

Outside, or specialist, support services can be accessed if:

  • There is significant concern about a young person’s learning/development

  • The young person is not making the expected progress despite intervention to support the Assess Plan Do Review process

Please see Referral Pathways section for more details of accessing local specialist support services for learning needs.

If outside agencies are visiting, the setting should ensure that all visitors are qualified, accredited and insured.  The advice and strategies they provide should be practical and aim to improve the outcomes for the young people.

All Educational Psychologists need to be registered with the HCPC.  All registered Educational Psychologists can be found on the HCPC register on the HCPC website.  

When working with individual young people, it is the setting’s responsibility to ensure that:

  • informed consent is confirmed, if appropriate, for any involvement with any specialist support service
  • advice and recommendations that have been given are disseminated to all relevant staff
  • advice and recommendations are implemented as part of the Assess, Plan, Do, Review cycle - see SEN support in college section.

Specialist support services can be also used in other ways:

  • Whole setting support - teachers/management may seek support from external consultants for advice on:
    • Policy writing regarding medical/physical needs

    • Inclusion, ethos and vision

    • Audits and action planning

    • Training on learning needs

Please be aware that some services have waiting lists or criteria so there may be some delays in receiving support.

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