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Outside Agencies

What is an Outside Agency and which ones are used by the school?

An outside agency, is an agency, service or profession used by the school to offer advice about how best to support a pupil's needs.  The Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) can refer to most of these agencies directly.  Most agencies used by the school are to provide the school with advice, but the SENCo can also refer to, or advise you about, services that can support a parent/carer or family.  Most referrals will require parental/carer permission and a referral form will need to be signed.  The school cannot access agency support without this permission.  SPCEDS uses the following outside agencies:

Cognition and Learning (Learning Needs)

  • Educational Psychologist - Assessed or observed within the school setting to provide advice about educational needs
  • Specialist Teacher - Assessed within the school setting.  The assessment then outlines a pupil's strengths and weaknesses and can identify, for example, Dyslexia and Dyscalculia

Communication and Interaction (Speech and Language)

  • Speech and Language Therapy Service (SALT) - Pupils can be seen either by appointment at the hospital or assessed within the school setting

Social, Emotional and Mental Health

  • Behaviour Outreach Support Service (BOSS) - Assessed or observed within the school setting to provide advice social, emotional and behavioural needs
  • Counsellor - Direct work provided to support the pupil's emotional or mental health needs
  • Child and Mental Health Service (CAMHS) - Support can either be provided by a paediatrician or by a more locally based team within the school
  • Working Together Team - Observed within the school setting to provide advice about social, communication or behavioural needs

Medical, Physical and Sensory Needs

  • Community Paediatrics (NHS) - They provide medical advice and can diagnose specific difficulties such as ADHD and Autism.  Pupils would be seen be appointment at a local hospital.
  • Teacher of the Hearing Impaired - They provide advice to the school about how to support a pupil with a hearing impairment
  • Teacher of the Visually Impaired - They provide advice to the school about how to support a pupil with a visual impairment
  • Physiotherapist - The SENCo cannot refer directly to this service, but a referral can come from a GP or Paediatrician
  • Occupational Therapist - The SENCo cannot refer directly to this service, but a referral can come from a GP or Paediatrician
  • School Nursing Team - They can provide advice within their 'Welldoc' clinic, within the family home or within the school setting

Where a pupil has lots of outside agency involvement, the SENCo may suggest using a service called 'ESCo' (Early Support Care and Co-ordination), a team which will lead and organise the many agencies supporting the family.

Who decides if an outside agency needs to be involved?

The SENCo would normally decide that the school needs advice from an outside agency because the support already put in place has not helped the pupil to make enough progress.  This would be discussed with the parent/carer and a joint decision would be made and parental agreement given.

If an outside agency is involved with my child, does that mean that social care will become involved?

Where the pupil only requires support within school to access the curriculum due to a special educational need, social care would not normally be involved.  Where there are wide ranging issues and a family struggling to cope, social care may become involved in order to support both the pupil and family.