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Guidance for using outside agencies



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

Outside, or specialist, support services can be accessed by setting staff if:

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

  • The child/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, the SENCo, on behalf of the management team, 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 children.

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.  In Staffordshire, access to Educational Psychology is via The Early Years Forum.

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

  • parental consent is confirmed for any involvement with any specialist support service - settings are not able to refer to outside agencies without parental consent
  • feedback from the outcome of the involvement is shared with parents/carers
  • 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 school 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:
    • Whole school policy writing regarding medical/physical needs
    • Whole school inclusion, ethos and vision
    • Whole school audits and action planning
    • Whole school training on learning needs
  • Nursery support - Specialist Support Services can provide advice and support to adults in the setting on:
    • Adapting the early years curriculum content and delivery for all children

    • Nursery based learning interventions

    • Meeting diverse learning needs in the classroom

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


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