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Table of Contents

Information on education services from portage to post-16, including travel assistance and options for schools and childcare

Education and Childcare

Find information on all mainstream and specialist education provision in the borough including support services.

Education Services

Education, Health & Care Assessment Team (EHCAT)

The Education, Health & Care Assessment Team (EHCAT) performs Rotherham Borough Council’s statutory duties in relation to Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) assessments and placements.

The Service:

  • coordinates statutory assessment and maintains Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans (and Statements of SEN) for children and young people aged 0 – 25
  • arranges placements and SEN provision including personalised budgets cited in EHC Plans
  • monitors and reviews specialist placements
  • ensures statutory annual reviews take place
  • coordinates transfer of existing statements of SEN to EHC plans

The service is responsible for fulfilling duties arising from the Children & Families Act 2014 and the revised SEN Code of Practice. We seek to:

  • provide appropriate support, get better information for, and greater involvement by, parents, carers, children and young people
  • meet the statutory assessment timescales of 20 weeks
  • work in partnership with health and local authority services to provide coordinated assessment practice and provision

You can find contact details for the EHCA teams in each locality in the Support in Education section:

Locality model for Rotherham

Educational Psychology Service (EPS)

The Educational Psychology Service is made up of a friendly, diverse team of applied psychologists using creative problem-solving approaches to enhance the lives, learning and emotional well-being of children and young people between the ages of 0 and 25.

For more information, please visit the Educational Psychology Service website or contact the team via the following methods:

Call: 01709 822580.

Email: Carol Taylor – Principal Education Psychologist. Carol.taylor2@rotherham.gov.uk.

Email: Rachel Amos – Principal Education Psychologist. Rachel.Amos02@rotherham.gov.uk.

Families Information Services (FIS)

The Families Information Service (FIS) can provide information on a wide range of support services for families with children aged 0-19 years.

You can search for support services on the Families Information Service

Families Information Service (RMBC) 

You can read more about the service by clicking on ‘view details’ to find out the location, contact details, opening times and a description of the service.

You can search for services specifically aimed at children with SEND by selecting the ‘Additional Needs and Disabilities’ option or look at the full range of services and contact the provider to discuss how they can meet you and your family’s needs.

You can also contact the Families Information Service on 0800 0730230 or 01709 822429 and an information officer will be happy to help you.

Hearing Impairment Team

The Hearing Impairment Team focuses on supporting deaf and hearing impaired children and young people aged 0-25 from diagnosis and their families.

This specialist team is made up of Qualified Teachers of Deaf, Deaf Instructors, Family Support Workers, and Specialist Support Staff.

About the Hearing Impairment Team

Support for Rotherham deaf children and young people in Rotherham (0-25) from diagnosis:

  • Specialist team who work for the local authority including:
    • Qualified Teachers of Deaf
    • Educational Audiologist
    • Specialist Support Workers/Communication Support Workers
    • Deaf Instructor
  • Team is made up of a Peripatetic Team working across Rotherham and within the two Specialist Provisions based at Bramley Grange Primary School and Wickersley School and Sports College.
  • Remit is to address the impact of deafness/hearing loss on learning, development and self-esteem; promote and enable the inclusion of deaf children and young people within their school and community; develop effective communication.
  • Operate an open referral policy for children and young people with an identified or suspected hearing loss. All children referred will be assessed and the graduated response approach to need is followed in line with Rotherham Graduated Response.
  • Close working with Rotherham Audiology Services and regional services.
  • Co-work with local and national agencies including Rotherham Sight and Sound, NDCS.
  • Training for settings and families and Social and Emotional Opportunities are offered.
  • Rotherham is a Centre for British Sign Language (BSL) and nationally recognised Signature courses and qualifications are run at the Kimberworth Centre (Levels 1 and 2). Family Sign classes are run by arrangement as part of the service we offer.
  • Child centred and needs-led.
  • Offer support for Children and Young People using the National Eligibility Framework (NATSIP) which identifies the level of need and support package which is offered to families and schools/settings/education providers.
  • Work to National Standards and Guidelines for the delivery of support to Sensory Impaired Children and Young People.

Contact us:

For information and enquiries about the services we offer, including resource provision and BSL, please contact us.

Resource provisions

Resource provisions are based at:

Bramley Grange Primary School
Bramley Grange Resource Base- Please Contact the Resource Manager  hearingimpairmentteam@rotherham.gov.uk

Wickersley School and Sports College
Wickersley Resource Base- Please contact the Resource Manager -Jill Goodwin hearingimpairmentteam@rotherham.gov.uk

Modes of Communication

The Hearing Impairment Team aims to enhance the educational opportunities of all children and young people who have needs relating to hearing impairment.

Developing good communication is vital to all children and their families. Fluent language skills are needed in order to understand and influence the world around them, by whichever approach is most appropriate for the individual child.

We aim to:

  • ensure that children have appropriate hearing aids, well maintained, so that they can use whatever hearing they have to the full
  • encourage children to develop good listening skills
  • emphasise the importance of meaningful communication and conversation
  • assist children and parents to develop sign language skills, where appropriate

Communication approaches

  • Auditory-oral approaches aim to develop listening skills and spoken language in deaf children. They emphasise the use of hearing aids, radio aids, cochlear implants and lipreading to maximise the use of any hearing a deaf child has. These approaches are used with children with all levels of deafness, from mild to profound and do not use sign language or fingerspelling to support the understanding of spoken language.
  • Total communication is an approach that involves children using different methods of communication at any one time. The idea is that sign language will not prevent but support oral communication and will develop the use of any residual hearing and speech and language skills. Signed English (SE), Signed Supported English (SSE), British Sign Language, natural gesture and speech may all be used.
  • Sign-bilingualism is when BSL is used as the main means of communication with English, or other languages, being taught as a separate language.

Sign systems

  • British Sign Language (BSL) is the language used by the Deaf community in Britain. It has its own vocabulary and grammar and includes the use of facial expression, body movement and lip patterns. It is not possible to use BSL and spoken English at the same time.
  • SSE Sign Supported English uses signs taken from BSL together with spoken English. English word order is used, with key words signed to aid communication.
  • Signed English is not a language in its own right, but a system developed to teach English grammar to deaf children. It uses BSL vocabulary in English word order, plus finger spelling and specific grammatical markers.
  • Makaton is a system of signs and symbols designed to teach children with communication and learning disabilities. Many of the signs are taken from BSL.
  • The Hearing Impairment Team is committed to supporting parental choice in mode of communication and can advise on the different methods.

Do you want to learn British Sign Language:

Level 1 and Level 2 courses are run annually from September to July. The courses are based at Kimberworth Place.

Outline:

Level 1- Students will learn basic signs, such as everyday signs, fingerspelling, BSL structure, aim and able to access to communication with the deaf/hearing impaired in public.

Level 2- Students will learn BSL at an intermediate based level, they will learn a more wide range of vocabulary, more understanding of how BSL is used and deaf culture, able to work and support deaf children in school.

For further information contact:

Tracey Lawton
Deaf Instructor for the Hearing Impairment Team

Email: tracey.lawton@rotherham.gov.uk

For registration details for the 2024-2025 courses please click on the article below:

British Sign Language Courses 2024-2025

Early Years

Notes for parents of newly diagnosed hearing impaired children

Babies referred to the HI Team  via newborn Hearing Screen Programme (NHSP) will be contacted after parental consent is given at the Audiology appointment. There are strong links with Rotherham Audiology and the Hearing Impairment Team . They co-work on these referrals to get to you as soon as possible. This involves a 52 week cover from a Qualified Teacher of Deaf.

Nothing has changed

A funny thing to say first, but one of the most important for you and your child. Whatever has been said about your child’s hearing, they are still the same child that they were before being tested.

They need you to be the same too – and that goes for the rest of the family. If you all start looking at them with long faces or let them break the rules you will worry them and they won’t feel safe any more. So, treat them the same as you did before and wait until they have gone to bed before you talk things over with your family.

What can they hear?

It is very tempting to go home and try to “get them to respond” better than you saw them do at their test but a weekend of Mum calling their name for no reason, Dad knocking on the door and Granny banging pan lids behind them doesn’t do any child much good. It will also make testing harder next time by making them less interested in sounds.

However, you can watch for sounds that interest them and make them happen again. Show them what has made the sound. The more interested they become in sounds, the better they will use their hearing.

Talking and learning

You and the family play the most important part in your child’s life, and because of this they will learn more from you than anyone else. Your job is to give them the best possible chance to learn from you.

If one or two hearing aids have been prescribed you will receive help and advice from the visiting teacher as to how to manage them and ensure that your child makes the best use of them all the time.

To learn to talk and communicate, they need to see and hear you talk and communicate with them. You are the one who will tell them about their toys and their food, about what is happening in the home, the street or the park.

You won’t need to buy special “educational” toys but you will need to spend time rather than money. The washing up will take a little longer if you stand them on a chair to “help” and talk to /communicate with them about what you are doing.

If you are naturally a quiet sort of person you may find talking and communicating is rather an effort at first, but it gets easier. If you have other children you will see that it is good for their language too.

You won’t be alone

The Hearing Impairment Team can offer you help from a visiting Teacher of the Deaf. The teacher can work with you to help your child’s language and learning. No impossible demands will be made of you. The most important thing is for you and your child to enjoy being together, as you did before.

Most deaf children learn to talk, using hearing aids, and many families also use sign language to help their child to communicate. You can talk with your visiting Teacher of the Deaf about communication choices. If you want to learn sign language, the Hearing Impairment Team has a Deaf Instructor who can teach you at home.

‘New to Deafness Group’

The Hearing Impairment Team’s parent/carer and baby/toddler group meets during term time, by arrangement : Contact hearingimpairmentteam@rotherham.gov.uk to find out more. The group will give you and your child a chance to meet other deaf children and their families. We also offer family training.

Developing Early Listening Skills

Singing Together 

When we sing, we use a louder voice than when speaking which is easier to hear and lip reading can be clearer.

Simple songs with actions e.g. ‘Wind the bobbin up’, Incy wincy spider, The wheels on the bus, Row row row the boat.

When you know the songs well, try leaving gaps and see if your child can add the word or action

Starting to Listen

Make it easier to listen by cutting down on background noise e.g. turn off the TV when you’re not watching it.

Tell your child when a noise is about to happen e.g. the letters coming through the letterbox, the washing machine is about to start.

Bring sounds around the home to your child’s attention and show your child what is making a noise.

Making Sounds Fun

Mimic the sounds your child makes – take turns.

Make expressive sounds when playing or sharing books, such as animal or vehicle noises.

Play together with noisy or musical toys: turn them on and off, say ‘listen’ or ‘gone’, hide a toy making a noise and go with your child to look it.

Make ‘music’ with saucepans and wooden spoons, boxes, shakers made from containers filled with dried beans or gravel.

Information for Parents and Families

How can we help?

The Hearing Impairment Team can offer you help from a visiting Teacher of the Deaf. The teacher can work with you to help your child’s language and learning. No impossible demands will be made of you. The most important thing is for you and your child to enjoy being together, as you did before.

If you have concerns about your child’s hearing?

Contact us:

hearingimpairmentteam@rotherham.gov.uk

01709 336430

For further information click the link below

National Deaf Children’s Society (ndcs.org.uk)

Support for you

If your child has been diagnosed with a hearing loss the Hearing Impairment Team can offer you help.

Information for Schools

Deaf children need the best possible listening conditions. They also need to be able to use lip-reading and may also have a delayed understanding of language and restricted vocabulary.

Listening Conditions

  • ensure that any amplification provided for children is working and worn consistently

Reduce background noise by:

  • closing doors/windows
  • covering hard surfaces with cloth or paper
  • using curtains to cover large windows
  • carpeting areas within classrooms
  • adding rubber stubs to table legs
  • switching off or replacing noisy equipment e.g. fans, heaters
  • encouraging children to keep noise to a minimum

Watching Conditions

Deaf children need to be able to see the person speaking so they can lipread.

Teachers should:

  • switch the lights on and stand in a good light, eg not directly in front of windows
  • face the hearing impaired child straight on
  • stop talking when writing on the board, or when the child has been asked to write something down
  • stand still – a moving teacher is difficult to lipread
  • make sure nothing is obscuring their face
  • make sure video clips are sub-titled

Seating

Children without a Radio Aid system need to be no more than one and a half metres from the person speaking.

Class teachers can help by:

  • seating the child nearby
  • seating the child so that they have a good view of other members of the class or group, so they can benefit from all the contributions being made
  • seating the child next to a helpful companion

Facilitating Understanding

  • ensure child’s attention is gained before beginning to give information
  • make clear what the subject of discussion is, and avoid sudden digressions
  • use visual aids and write key vocabulary on the board
  • check understanding by asking open questions
  • do not accept nodding/smiling as evidence of understanding
  • repeat questions and contributions from other children, otherwise responses are meaningless
  • deaf children find note-taking very difficult, because of having to watch and write at the same time – give handouts where possible
  • be aware that deaf children often have restricted language skills – do not use overly long or complex sentences
  • introduce technical vocabulary clearly and systematically, a small amount at a time
  • give new information in manageable sized sections
  • introduce new concepts one at a time
  • give children opportunities to discuss their work and consolidate understanding, possibly in a quiet ‘withdrawal’ situation

Further resources to help

Referral Form for Hearing Impaired Team

Download your Hearing Impaired and Visually Impaired poster here

Activities

Want to get involved? Want to meet new friends?

We aim to offer events throughout the year and information will be provided nearer the event or for further information contact the team tel: 01709 336430 or email hearingimpairmentteam@rotherham.gov.uk

Rotherham Deaf Connexions can be contacted via their Facebook page.  This is a voluntary family organisation for deaf children and  their families. It is supported by the National Deaf Children’s Society.

Rotherham Deaf Connexions – https://www.teamrdc.club/

Links

There are a number of organisations who offer advice and information for deaf children and their families.

These include:

Locally:

Children’s Hearing Services Working Group (CHSWG): made up of professionals and parents – if any parents are wishing to join this strategic group which monitors local provision please contact hearingimpairmentteam@rotherham.gov.uk

A number of voluntary agencies including:

Deafinitions

Rotherham Deaf Futures

Rotherham Deaf Connexions: via Facebook-hold family group on 1st Saturday of the month

Rotherham Sight and Sound (RSS) – hold joint 0-3 group

Regionally:

In the region there are two schools for the deaf and a college:

St John’s School for Deaf, Boston Spa

Doncaster School for the Deaf

Doncaster Communication College

Sheffield Deaf Club

Nationally:

National Deaf Children’s Society for advice and information
National Deaf Children’s Society (ndcs.org.uk)

Action on Hearing Loss for advice and information
Action on Hearing Loss (actiononhearingloss.org.uk)

Ear Care and Audiology Services (therotherhamft.nhs.uk)

Rotherham Enhanced Action for Dyslexia (READ)

The Rotherham Enhanced Action for Dyslexia (READ) is a traded service within the Specialist Inclusion Team which schools and setting can purchase support from, on a termly basis, through Trade Rotherham.  They offer an outreach provision to support children and young people with dyslexia.

Trade Rotherham

The READ provision is aimed at supporting individuals with severe and persistent literacy difficulties who have previously received intensive and appropriate support within school but, despite this they continue to struggle to make progress in reading and spelling.

It is available to children:

  • in Year 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10
  • in maintained schools or academies as part of a graduated response
  • who have an Education, Health and Care Plan as part of their provision
  • are in Alternative Provision or Special School

Referrals to READ are made on a termly basis, with a deadline set each term for places for the following term.

How to contact the READ service:

Telephone: 01709 334087

Email: Kelly.Parkin@rotherham.gov.uk (READ manager)

What we offer

We work with children and young people individually in their school providing a highly personalised and structured intervention. Within this we use a vast range of multisensory strategies that are engaging and motivational to their specific interests and targeted areas.

Alongside this, we help the children to develop an understanding of how they learn (metacognition) and support confidence and self-esteem building through highlighting and drawing on their strengths and skills.

Each child will receive a 12 week package of support. The amount of 1:1 time delivered each week will depend on the package purchased by the school or setting.

After the term of support, a report is provided which details the progress made and gives recommended resources and strategies for continued support and the next set of targets to work on in school.

Referral process

Referrals are made by schools/setting as part of a graduated response within their assess, plan, do, review cycle.

Making a referral must be in agreement with parents/carers.

Please provide referral details on this link, by the deadline of the relevant term

Make a referral to the Rotherham Enhanced Action for Dyslexia (READ) (RMBC)

Referral deadlineTerm of support
12th JuneAutumn Term
12th NovemberSpring Term
12th MarchSummer Term

Places are allocated on a termly basis. If all places have been filled, then support for the following term is offered.

Information for parents/carers and families

If your child’s school/setting wish to purchase a term of support from READ as they feel it would benefit your child, then this will be discussed with you. The school SENDCo must gain your permission for this first and the referral form will be completed by school if you agree to this.

If you would like to know if your school purchases support from us, please speak to the SENDCo or contact us.

What schools and parents/carers say about us

“There has been a marked change in her confidence. She has blossomed.”

“He has been able to focus on his specific barriers and learn to cope and overcome them.”

“He is much calmer at home and willing to complete his homework.”

“This has really given him the opportunity to overlearn and develop many new skills which are personal to him.”

“She now has a much more positive attitude about her learning.”

“He has come on 100% because of READ. He is confident, happy and for the first time ever picked up a book.”

“He’s more confident at reading. He’s achieved so much more than he thought possible.”

“His mental well-being has had a positive increase since attending READ, he actually enjoys some literacy work now.”

Links

Useful websites

Rotherham’s Graduated Response

NASEN (National Association of Special Educational Needs)

British Dyslexia Association

Specialist Inclusion Team

specialist inclusion team logo

The Specialist Inclusion Team (SI Team) is a traded service that schools and settings can purchase a package of support through Trade Rotherham.

We are a team of experienced teachers and SENDCos, specialist teachers and autism specialists all with a passion for inclusion. There are sixteen members of our team who work flexibly to help meet the needs of every school and setting we support. We work as a close team, therefore whilst schools and parents/carers really appreciate having a named SI Team Teacher to build a relationship with, there is also a breadth of knowledge and expertise that comes with being part of a larger service.

The Specialist Inclusion Team has extensive experience with supporting families, children and young people with a varying degree of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). Our skilled staff are held in high esteem for the high-quality service we provide to educational settings that trade with us.

How to contact the Specialist Inclusion Team:

Telephone: 01709 334087 Email: inclusionsupportservices@rotherham.gov.uk

What we offer

We offer a wide range of support to schools including whole staff and targeted training, individual pupil assessment, individual ‘Learning Support Programmes’ (LSPs) and target setting, advice and support for the school SENDCo, contributing to advice around the graduated response for all pupils including Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs). We are also part of the delivery of the accredited training programmes from the Autism Education Trust (AET).

The downloadable flyer below offers further details about the support we can provide. Please note, this is not an exclusive list of support available from SI Team.

SIT Menu of support

All SI Team activities relate to:

  • The national and local drive to promote inclusion of all children within their mainstream neighbourhood school.
  • Raising attainment of all children.
  • Ensuring appropriate progress of children identified as having Special Educational Needs (SEN).
  • Early Identification and Intervention.
  • Targeted support for Pupils with Severe and Persistent Difficulties, such as Downs, Dyslexia, Dyscalculia and Autism.
  • Promoting a graduated response to need in line with the SEN Code of Practice and Children and Families Bill.
  • Equality of opportunity for all children, regardless of learning difficulties or disabilities.
  • Enabling and empowering schools to meet children’s diverse learning needs.
  • Continuing Professional Development and Training.

The downloadable flyers below have further details of the current training and CPD on offer to schools:

Rotherham SIT: Courses and CPD for Schools and Settings

Rotherham SIT: Programme of course for Schools and Settings, Autumn 2023

Where do we support

We cater for a wide range of educational settings throughout Rotherham, Sheffield, Derbyshire and Doncaster working with children and young people from Foundation Stage One to Post 16.

We currently trade with 85 schools and settings within Rotherham and eleven non-locality schools. We also work in other schools and settings where they request individual pieces of training or targeted support. For example, we deliver dyslexia training every September for secondary PGCE students through the Sheffield Teacher Training Alliance and regular dyslexia staff training and parent / student dyslexia workshops in many secondary schools within South Yorkshire.

If you would like to know if your school purchases support from us, please speak to the SENDCo or contact us.

Specialist Inclusion Team Inclusive Practice Award for Dyslexia

Image of a lightbulb containing a brain with the wording "Inclusive Practice Award for Dyslexia" below.

The Specialist Inclusion Team (SI Team) Inclusive Practice Award for Dyslexia has been developed by a group of Level 7 Specialist Dyslexia Teachers from the SI Team. It has been informed by their depth of knowledge and understanding and the vast experience they have of working with pupils with dyslexia. This ranges from young children presenting with early signs of dyslexia to offering support and advice post 16.

The aim of this award is to work with schools to identify and celebrate the excellent practice already in place and offer advice where any further steps could be taken. It is being embraced and promoted by the SI Team as a positive process to help ensure that all children and young people, who are presenting with specific literacy difficulties, are appropriately supported to help reach their potential.

To achieve the award, school is asked to carry out a self-evaluation focusing on the following essential inclusive threads:

Golden Thread: Personal and Emotional Well-Being

Thread 1: The Environment, Culture and Ethos

Thread 2: Leadership

Thread 3: Quality of Provision

Following a request from school, an initial meeting will take place to discuss the award and additional training available from the SI Team, should school feel that this is required as part of their journey. A date will be agreed for the half day visit to school where evaluation tools will be used to gather evidence. These tools include questions for the SENDCo, some teachers, teaching assistants and pupils and a questionnaire for parents/carers. During the half day visit it will also be school’s opportunity to display some of the positive classroom practice in place. The visit can be within the term if school feel that inclusive practice is already embedded. Alternatively, it can be booked for later in the year so school can use the self-evaluation to support a development plan focusing on increasing staff knowledge and understanding and improving school’s current offer for pupils with specific literacy difficulties.

If this is something that you would like to take part in or wish for further information about, please contact inclusionsupportservices@rotherham.gov.uk

The downloadable document below contains details of the cost of the award and additional training that the SI Team can deliver to support this.

Rotherham dyslexia training and award

The following schools have achieved the SI Team Inclusive Practice award for Dyslexia:

Swinton Queen Primary School logo
image of a tree in full leaf with the words Todwick Primary above and School below

Information for parents/carers and families

If your child’s school or setting purchases support from the SI Team and they feel that an individual assessment may be beneficial then this will be discussed with you. The school SENDCo must gain your permission for this first and a referral form will be completed by school if you agree to this. Within this referral school are asked to include your views about your child’s strengths, interests and concerns, which we highly value as part of this process.

Below are some frequently asked questions from parents/carers:

My child’s school has suggested a referral to the SI Team. Does this mean they have Special Needs?

We can help identify any additional needs that might mean your child may have, but a referral does not always mean that your child has Special Educational Needs.

Will my child get additional support?

Our service will offer advice and recommendations to the school or setting. Schools and settings decide how these are carried out.

Do you stay involved with my child?

Your child may need further advice and support, or they may not. We often meet to discuss progress at review meetings and talk to teachers about a child’s progress, but do not necessarily meet with the child again. The school will request additional support or advice if they feel they need it. Some children access target setting following an assessment which will mean that the SI Team Teacher will see your child again. This will be after the intervention has been delivered, to measure the progress your child has made on their targets.

Does my child need and Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP)?

A referral to our service does not mean that your child will need an EHCP. We are part of the graduated response to need. We will support in the application for an EHCP when it is appropriate.

Does my child have autism?

We are not a diagnostic service but may give advice on social communication and interaction needs as well as autism. More information can be found by clicking the link below

Neurodevelopmental Assessment Pathway – CAMHS (rdash.nhs.uk)

Does my child have dyslexia?

We do not provide a formal diagnosis of dyslexia, as this is only required for university Disability Student Allowance, but our Specialist Teachers assess and identify dyslexic needs to the same standard as other educational specialists. We will provide a detailed written report if a dyslexia assessment is requested.

What schools say about us

“We love how we get bespoke, personalised advice, targets and LSPs to support our children which comes from observations and working with the children in school. The support in meetings is also really valuable.”

“We ask for SENDCo support and reports for children; these are always succinct, relevant and where technical language/assessments are conducted, it always explains this in a parent-friendly manner.”

“I find all aspects useful and valuable and I am grateful for the expert advice that I receive from SIT.”

“I have found all of their work valuable. As a new SENDCo, the support has been amazing. The SI Teacher is liked by our children and respected by our parents. They are proactive in keeping in touch and make it very clear to us how much can be done within the package’s hours. The SI Teacher always responds quickly and helps with any queries. They are a great help!”

“We really appreciate the easy accessibility to staff and services.”

“We have found the SI Team invaluable, this year more than ever before. The platinum package is a first for us – but it will not be the last.”

“The support we have from our SI Teacher is outstanding. We value their professionalism and breadth of knowledge.”

“I just want to say how much we value this service, and they are excellent in supporting us as a school.”

We are a Prem Aware Team

Logo for the Prem Aware School Award by The Smallest Things premature baby charity
Prem Aware School certificate for the Rotherham Specialist Inclusion Team

CONGRATULATIONS ON BECOMING A PREM AWARE TEAM!

This will make a huge difference to families from the many settings you work with and I am delighted to confirm you meet our criteria and we can award Rotherham Specialist Inclusion Team with The Smallest Things Prem Aware Award!

A massive thank you from The Smallest Things and all the families of children born prematurely who will benefit from your actions.

The Smallest Things Charity

Watch a presentation by The Smallest Things with Leicester University on “How to support your premature child at school”

Your premature child at school (The Smallest Things)

Visual Impairment Team

The Rotherham Children’s Visual Impairment Team work with children and young people who have Visual Impairment, their families, schools and settings from 0-25.

We hope you find the information you need about our service.

If you would like to refer a child or young person please use the form below:

Request help for a child with a visual impairment (RMBC)

If you would like to contact us, email: visualimpairmentteam@rotherham.gov.uk

About the Visual Impairment Team

Support for Children and Young people aged 0-25 years, with vision impairments in Rotherham is provided by the Visual Impairment Team. This includes:

  • Qualified Teachers of Visual Impairment (QTVI)
  • Specialist VI Teaching Assistants
  • Habilitation officer
  • Reformatting Team

We are a peripatetic team who work across Rotherham homes of pre-schoolers, nurseries, schools and colleges. We aim to address the impact of vision loss on learning, development, and self-esteem; promoting and enabling the inclusion of children and young people with vision impairments in their school settings. We also focus on developing habilitation – mobility and independence skills.

We operate an open referral policy for any child with a suspected or diagnosed visual impairment. All children will be assessed and support is offered in line with eligibility criteria and Rotherham’s Graduated Response. We aim to offer the right support at the right time in a child-centred, needs-led focus.

Support from our service may include:

  • Visits from a QTVI
  • Support from a specialist teaching assistant
  • Delivery of short-term programmes to develop specific skills
  • Reformatting of school work
  • Visits and programmes for our habilitation specialist to develop independence and mobility skills
  • Support and training for schools, pupils and families

Access to education

We aim to ensure that children and young people with visual impairment have equitable access to learning opportunities alongside their fully sighted peers. This could be achieved through development of:

Tactile skills—a vital part of curriculum access for some young people will be the development of tactile skills, developing finger sensitivity to explore resources and pick up on critical features and also, in some cases, in preparation for braille reading and writing.

Braille— Some young people will learn braille as their main method of accessing the curriculum. We will support through directly teaching braille reading and writing skills and also providing appropriate resources—whether this be a specialist braille reading scheme or a classroom book to read alongside peers.

Large Print— other young people will need large print resources. These will again be provided by the service and schools and young people supported by QTVI’s and possibly TA’s to ensure equitable access in the classroom.

Technology— this can be used alongside braille and large print to increase independent access to learning. From iPads linked to interactive boards through to specialist VI specific technologies the service will work alongside schools and families to ensure technology is used at an appropriate time to maximize independence and learning.

Touch typing— where appropriate children will be offered touch typing lessons to link with their technology use. We follow a program called Doorway Online. Young people can access this at home as well should they wish

Doorway Online

Curriculum Framework for Visual Impairment (CFVI)

Curriculum Framework for Children and Young People with Vision Impairment (rnib.org.uk)

Information for schools

All visual impairments are different and each condition has specific advice. Rotherham Visual Impairment team will support school staff to best include children with a vision impairment and reduce the impact of their vision loss. We will assess children and provide support on an as needs basis using eligibility criteria.

VI friendly environments:

  • blinds in good working condition to manage glare and lighting levels
  • Clear pathways to allow for safe travel
  • Static furniture and resource placement to allow increased independence and safety

Recognizing children with visual difficulties:

  • bumps, trips or falls
  • Leaning closer to work, books or screens
  • Seeing things sometimes and not others
  • Head turn or tilt
  • Struggling to see small differences
  • Struggling in bright or dim lighting
  • Changes in behavioural or emotional state
  • Struggling or taking a lot of time to copy from the board
  • Not recognizing objects, people, images, possibly at a distance
  • Not being able to read a graph or write in the correct box on the table

Access to educational visits

Educational visits need careful consideration for children with vision impairments. This should be clearly identified on any risk assessments and venues should be made aware prior to the visit. The VI team are able to offer support for Educational visits around completing risk assessments, and specialist staffing to support a VI child on the trip, where appropriate. Please speak to the VI team when planning any visits.

Reformatting resources and exams

The VI team can reformat work for pupils where appropriate. We can also reformat and support with any exams. Please contact the team with any requirements with a minimum of 2 weeks notice.

Accessing the Board

Many VI children struggle to access the board at school. Using linking programmes with an ipad or laptop can greatly increase a child’s access to learning.

Information for Parents

If you have any concerns regarding your child’s vision (for example squinting, misjudging depths/ distances, bringing texts closer to read etc), it is helpful in the first instance to see your optician or GP who can investigate. The optician can offer a clinical assessment and can identify conditions or refer to Specialist Ophthalmologists. Similarly, a referral from a GP can be made to the eye clinic if necessary. It is recommended, unless stated otherwise, that optician appointments should be every 2 years from 4-5 years of age although it is important to raise any concerns prior to this if they arise to help promote visual development.

The Visual Impairment Team can offer help from a visit with a Qualified Teacher of Visual Impairment (QTVI). The teacher can offer support and advice to help in a range of situations: home visits, visits with schools across all age ranges including early years and nursery settings, primary, secondary schools and post-16 placements. The QTVI is able to offer advice and training about access to curriculum materials, the learning environment, strategies to help promote visual access to ensure children and young people with VI have equitable access to lessons. Frequency of visits are determined using National Sensory Impairment Partnership (NATSIP) eligibility criteria based on the needs of the child or young person to ensure the right support is available at the right time.

Contact us: visualimpairmentteam@rotherham.gov.uk

The Visual Impairment team also produce a newsletter for families:

VI Newsletter, December 2023

VI Newsletter, Summer 2024

Transitions

We offer support for transitions into nursery settings, primary schools, changing schools and transitions to secondary school and Post 16.

We can provide an environmental audit for settings and bespoke training to setting staff.

Steps to independence

Orientation and mobility
Mobility and orientation is the ability to physically move and navigate around any given environment.  Taking into account age and individual needs, skills and techniques are taught to allow a child or young person with vision impairment to move, explore and travel safely with confidence and as independently as possible.

Independent Living skills
These skills are not learnt incidentally by children with a visual impairment and are taught in order to allow the child or young person to live as independent a life as possible.

Life skills or independent living skills includes any activity which a child or young person would be expected to carry out at a particular age or stage of their development.  These may include personal care, eating and drinking, food preparation, clothing, shopping, money management and home management.

Transition Planning
Enhanced transition visits may be arranged to allow the child or young person more time to become familiar with the setting prior to moving.

Travel
Independent travel skills and techniques may be taught including, traffic awareness, road crossings and public transport.

Cane Skills
A long cane enables a child or young person with severe sight impairment to navigate surface change, obstacles and hazards by scanning the ground in front of them.  Formal cane training is delivered by the Habilitation Specialist.

A short symbol cane may be carried to indicate a vision impairment to others.

Social emotional
You can find advice about emotional wellbeing and mental health in the Health and Wellbeing section of the Local Offer:

Health and Wellbeing – Emotional wellbeing and mental health

Eligibility Criteria

The Rotherham Visual Impairment Teams Eligibility Criteria has been created to best meet the needs of Rotherham children and young people (CYP). It is based on National Eligibility Criteria from National Sensory Impairment Partnership (NATSIP). It is in line with NATSIP visual acuity thresholds and takes into consideration additional factors such as recent diagnosis, degenerative conditions and so on.

While this criteria identifies the support package provided by the Visual Impairment Team, it is important to highlight the key role settings play in ensuring access and inclusion for their CYP with a visual impairment. Expectations of settings are listed as well as support offered by the VI team.

VI Eligibility Criteria 2024 (pdf)

Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI)

What is CVI?
Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI) is where the brain struggles to process what the eye sees. This is often due to damage, injury or structural difficulties in the brain. The eye sees but the brain cannot always make sense of this.

CVI is not always diagnosed or recognized as an eye exam will show the eyes to be working well.

For the purpose of ensuring the best support for children, Rotherham QTVIs will use the CVI range to assess and support children where a child shares a medical history and presentation of a child with CVI.

CVI can and often does get better with appropriate intervention.

Characteristics

The CVI range uses ten characteristics to assess how children use their vision, and support their visual development.

  1. Colour
  2. Light
  3. Movement
  4. Visual fields
  5. Visuo motor
  6. Latency
  7. Complexity
  8. Distance
  9. Novelty
  10. Reflexes

For more information on CVI please contact us by email: visualimpairmentteam@rotherham.gov.uk.

Links

Often at diagnosis Eye Clinics offer links with Eye Clinic Liaison Officers (ECLOs) who can offer guidance for counselling and support with the implications of living with a VI. Other agencies available include:

Rotherham Sight and Sound:

Our Charity Services (srsb.org.uk)

RNIB Counselling Link:

Sight loss counselling (rnib.org.uk)

Look:

Supporting Visually Impaired Young People to Thrive (look-uk.org)

Guide Dogs:

Support for parents and families (guidedogs.org.uk)

Royal Society for Blind Children:

Welcome to the Royal Society for Blind Children (rsbc.org.uk)

RNIB Guide about different eye conditions:

Eye conditions (rnib.org.uk)

Visionary:

Welcome to Visionary (visionary.org.uk)

Thomas Poklington Trust- Charity that help with give advice for university and Disabled Student Allowance.

University (pocklington-trust.org.uk)

Portage

Portage is a home visiting service for children aged 0 to 3 years who have additional needs. It is based on the common-sense principle that parents and carers are the key figures in the care and development of their child.

Portage home visitors explore the needs of children between the ages of 0 to 3 years. They work in partnership with parents and carers to

  • build on the abilities the child already has
  • teach the skills the child is yet to learn

Home visitors offer a carefully structured but flexible system to help parents and carers become effective teachers of their own children.

You can find more information about Portage on the National Portage Association (NPA) website: 

National Portage Association

The Portage Team

Portage home visitors have wide experiences of working with families and children and have been trained in the use of Portage methods. The Portage team is led by two Educational Psychologists and supported by an Administrator and Resource Technician. In Rotherham, the Portage Service is part of the Education department and works closely with schools and settings. The Portage team are able to support families to access early education for their child.

Click below for more information about the portage team on the Rotherham Educational Psychology Services website:

Portage Service – Rotherham Educational Psychology Services

Contact details

Rotherham Portage Service
Kimberworth Place
Kimberworth Road
Rotherham
S61 1HE

Email: portage.service@rotherham.gov.uk

Tel: 01709 822407

Website: www.rotherham.gov.uk/eps 

How Portage works

Families joining the service receive weekly visits from a home visitor. On the first visit, the child’s current development is observed and recorded using a checklist of skills across six areas:

  • infant stimulation
  • social
  • language
  • selfhelp
  • cognitive
  • motor development.

Parents or carers can say what they consider to be the most important skills a child should be learning. Then they agree with the home visitor the structured teaching objectives and linked activities to stimulate new development in the child.

The opportunities for parental carer teaching offered by Portage enable children with additional support needs to learn effectively. Each programme is tailored to meet the requirements of the individual child.

The emphasis is on the positive – finding out and building on what a child can do.

Activities are designed to boost the child’s development in those areas where help is needed. Portage is based on three main activities:

  • Home visits by a trained home visitor
  • Weekly written teaching activities designed for each individual child and their parent/carer
  • Daily teaching and recording carried out by a parent /carer

Links with other services

Other services may be involved in supporting the child, such as a Speech and Language Therapist, Occupational Therapist or Physiotherapist. The child may be attending a playgroup, nursery or childminder. Where this is the case, the Portage home visitor will aim to work together with everyone involved.

There may be occasions when Portage and other services can work together with parents or carers and their child at home.

Portage referral process

When considering Portage involvement, the following criteria should be met:

  1. The child is aged between 0 and 4 years old (pre Foundation Stage 1).
  2. The child’s development is significantly delayed in two or more of the following areas
    • cognition and learning
    • communication and interaction
    • physical development
    • sensory development
    • social and emotional development
  3. The child’s parent or primary carer will be available to meet with the Portage worker on a regular basis and commit to carrying out activities between visits.

Who can make a referral?

The following people can make a referral to Portage:

  • Parents or carers
  • Practitioners, such as paediatricians, health visitors and therapists, with parental consent.
  • If a child is attending a setting, staff there may also refer a child to Portage, with parental consent.

When we receive a referral, we will make contact with parents or carers to discuss Portage and our possible involvement.

If accepted, the child will be placed on a waiting list until a Portage home visitor has availability to begin visits.

From Monday 23rd October 2023 the Portage Service will no-longer be accepting paper-based or emailed referrals.  From this date, all referrals must be raised and submitted, via our new, Portage online form.

The link to access our form can be found here:

Children and Families: Make a referral to the Portage Service | Introduction – Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

Early Years and Childcare

Here you will find help, advice and information about the services available for children or young people from birth to 18 years with Special Educational Needs and/or Disability (SEND).

This information is to support the understanding of Early Years settings, SEND and provide resources to help you through this process.

Information for parents and carers

A child or young person has Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) if they:

  • have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age,
  • have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of facilities for education or training of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in schools or settings.

When your child attends an Early Years setting, the setting has a responsibility to ensure their provision is inclusive to all children. This is so that all children can access their local early years settings along with their peers.

Early Years settings must work under the guidance of the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Code of Practice 2014:

SEND code of practice 0 to 25 years (GOV.UK)

Early Years settings must have arrangements in place to support children with SEND. These arrangements should include a clear approach to identifying and responding to SEND. The benefits of early identification are widely recognised – identifying need at the earliest point, and then making effective provision, improves long-term outcomes for children.

Rotherham Local Authority is also committed to supporting Early Years to help them to do this.

This happens by:

  • Early Years Inclusion Officers directly supporting with children in the setting providing advice and information around strategies and activities. Other services also support children.
  • Funding being available to meet the needs of all of our children in Rotherham

Help and support

There are lots of things to look out for and to remember to ask when you visit an Early Years setting.

See the link below to see what you can look for as a parent when finding quality childcare:

Five steps to choosing childcare (RMBC)

Rotherham Families Information Service (FIS)

The Families Information Service provide free, accurate, up to date, reliable, comprehensive and unbiased information and advice on a range of services for children and families, to enable users of the service to make informed choices. The service is led by the needs of children, parents, carers, employers and childcare providers.

A brokerage service is also available. The Early Years Inclusion Team will work directly with parents to find a suitable Early Years setting when your child has identified additional needs.

Contact the Rotherham Families Information Service:

Families Information Service (RMBC)

Email: fis@rotherham.gov.uk

Freephone: 0800 0730230 or 01709 822429

Partnership working

Early Years settings will work in partnership with parents/carers, external agencies and any visitors within their setting to ensure a streamlined approach to meeting your child’s individual needs developing a positive relationship from the initial contact.

See links below for further information on the external agencies who work closely with the Early Years and Childcare Service to ensure all children’s needs are met:

The Portage Service

Portage is a home visiting service for children aged 0 to 3 years who have additional needs.

Portage service (Rotherham Educational Psychology Services)

Visual Impairment (VI) Team

The Visual Impairment Team work closely with children, parents, carers, educational settings and other professionals to ensure the needs of vision impaired children and their families are met.

For more information, see the Visual Impairment Team section under Educational Services above.

Hearing Impairment (HI) Team

The Hearing Impairment Team work closely with children, parents, carers, schools and other agencies and professionals to meet the needs of hearing impaired children and their families.

For more information, see the Hearing Impairment Team section under Educational Services above.

Specialist Inclusion Team (SIT)

Specialist Inclusion Team support and advice is offered to children who are regarded to have the most significant needs within the Local Authority who are accessing an Early Years provision.

The children accessing this support are usually those who have had input from the Portage Service or Early Years Inclusion Officers and those who would have been eligible for this service if they were not already accessing a setting. The Child Development Centre (CDC) may also request the involvement of the Specialist Inclusion Team as a clinic outcome, where the therapist feels that the complexity of need requires highly personalised support over a period of time. This would be requested through consultation with family and the Specialist Inclusion Team.

It is likely that most children accessing input from the Specialist Inclusion Team will have had or be going through assessment at the Child Development Centre (CDC). There are occasions where other agencies or schools may request support directly based on individual needs within a moment in time.

Support can be offered at any time/age up until the end of F1, i.e. before, during or at the start of, and where Portage are not already involved.  Support is available to children whether they attend F1 in School or a Private, Voluntary, Independent (PVI) setting. This is not a referral-based offer.

Children accessing support from the Specialist Inclusion Team may, where appropriate, do so up until the end of the Summer Term of their F1 Year. However, it is hoped that through a robust graduated response, that over time the highly personalised support has a positive impact on the child’s progress within their learning and development.

The Specialist Inclusion Team will be monitoring to see if:

  • The child continues to make sustained personal progress
  • Staff are consistently implementing appropriate strategies flexibly to meet individual needs
  • There is evidence of a clear assess-plan-do-review cycle in place (as per the Code of Practice)

If the above is evident, it would be appropriate for the child’s needs to be best met through their school’s/setting’s universal (or targeted) offer, as part of their graduated response. If this were the case (based on individual circumstances), the Specialist Inclusion Team would consult with both family and school/setting as part of the decision-making process. The Specialist Inclusion Team would ensure that staff in school/setting have access to the latest SI Team recommendations to support them in independently planning for the child’s next steps.

For more information, see the Specialist Inclusion Team section under Educational Services above.

Child Development Centre

The Child Development Centre is located at Kimberworth Place.  They provide a ‘one stop shop’ for children under 5 who are having difficulties in more than one area of their development.

The Child Developement Centre (therotherhamft.nhs.uk)

Educational Psychology Services (EPS)

This service works in partnership with children and young people between the ages of 0 – 25, their families, educational settings and services. They listen to children and young people and may use practical activities with them to find out how best to help improve their experience, wellbeing and outcomes.

Rotherham Educational Psychology Services (rotherham.gov.uk)

Rotherham Parent Carer Forum

A registered charity run by and for families of children and young people (aged 0-25) who have Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND)

Rotherham Parent Carers Forum (rpcf.co.uk)

Rotherham SENDIASS

Rotherham SENDIASS (Special Educational Needs and Disability Information, Advice and Support Service).

They can offer you impartial information, advice and support if you are:

  • a parent or carer for a child or young person up to age 25 with special educational needs or disabilities
  • a child up to age 16 who has special educational needs or disabilities
  • a young person aged 16-25 who has special educational needs or disabilities

They aim to empower you to play an active and informed part in your child’s education.

They will work with you to address any issues you are experiencing. In most cases our help is only needed for a few weeks, but you can talk to us as many times as you want. Our support can help you feel more able to tackle issues yourself. You may need less active support because of our involvement.

They will help you work with schools and practitioners to improve your child’s achievement

The services they offer are:

  • trained staff and volunteers offering confidential and impartial information, advice and support
  • information about education, health and social care, voluntary organisations and support groups
  • a range of information leaflets on special educational needs and disability related topics
  • access to special educational needs and disability information such as books, CDs and video
  • training for parents and practitioners

SENDIASS (rotherhamsendiass.org.uk)

Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN)

SLCN is the term given to describe the extensive range of needs related to all aspects of communication – from understanding others to forming sounds, words and sentences to expressing ideas and emotions and using language socially.

It is important that children learn to talk and listen, so that they can communicate, make friends, have fun, and learn about the world.

Tiny Talkers – Support for parents and carers

It is important that children learn to talk and listen, so that they can communicate, make friends, have fun, and learn about the world.

Helping children to learn can be as easy as talking, listening, and playing with them whenever you can.

Learn more about what you can expect at different ages, and the activities you could try to support children with their development:

Parents and Carers (tinytalkers.co.uk)

Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP)

What is an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan?

An Education, Health and Care plan (EHC plan) is a legal document which describes a child or young person’s aged up to 25 special educational needs, the support they need, and the outcomes they would like to achieve.

The special educational provision described in an EHC plan must be provided by the child or young person’s local authority. This means an EHC plan can give a child or young person extra educational support. It can also give parents and young people more choice about which school or other setting the child or young person can attend.

What is an Education Health and Care Plan? (councilfordisabledchildren.org.uk)

When to request an EHCP?

A request for an EHCP assessment can be done if the child’s needs are not being met through the graduated response. Follow this link for further information about EHCPs on the Local Offer:

Education and Health Care Plans – Rotherham SEND Local Offer

Transitions

It’s important that children and their families experience seamless transitions throughout their 0 – 5 journey.

Transitions are an important part of any child’s life; transitions can be anything from a daily change in the routine within a setting up to major transition points such as moving provision (to another setting or into full time education).

Transitions can be a worrying time for a child who has identified SEND and their family, they need to be planned and communication between practitioners and parents should be transparent and regular.  They should also be accessible around the family’s needs. Transitions need to ensure the views are captured from everyone involved.

Early Years settings are responsible in supporting transitions throughout a child’s time at the setting to ensure it is a positive experience for the child and family.

This will include arranging transition meetings at all transition points and providing staff, children and families with resources to support the transition:

  • Photo books of next setting and staff
  • Story books around transition and change
  • Signs and symbols to explain the transition

Further information including suggested agenda for hosting a transition meeting can be found here –

SEND: Transitions (RMBC)

Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH)

Early years have a big commitment to providing support around a child’s SEMH. To do this training is provided and support available from Early Years Inclusion Officers, Educational Psychology and CDC can refer into specialist services.

There is more information about Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health in the Health and Wellbeing section of the Local Offer:

Health and Wellbeing – Emotional wellbeing and mental health

Funding

15 Hours Free Early Education for 3 and 4 year olds (EEF)

All three and four year olds can have up to 15 hours per week FREE early education from the term after their third birthday.

Your child’s free early education gives them a great start in life. It can give your child the chance to make new friends and they can explore and learn in a safe environment which has activities built around their needs.

Your child can get their free place at schools, independent schools, day nurseries, children’s centres or pre-schools. Some childminders have also registered to offer free early education places.

For more information or to find where your child can get their free place contact the Rotherham Families Information Service

Freephone 0800 0730230

email fis@rotherham.gov.uk

15 hours free early education 3-4 year-olds (RMBC)

Free Early Education for 2 year olds

There are some free childcare places for two year olds in Rotherham, your child may be entitled to a free place from the term after their second birthday (eligibility criteria applies).

You can check your eligibility by contacting the Rotherham Families Information Service on 0800 0730230 or 01709 822429.

Find out more here

Free early education 2-year-olds (RMBC)

30 Hours Free Early Education for Working Parents

Working parents of three and four year olds can apply to HMRC for 30 hours of free early education for their child.

Find out more below:

30 hours free childcare working parents (RMBC)

Disability Access Fund (DAF)

Disability Access Fund (DAF) provides additional funding to support the setting make reasonable adjustments and/or help with building capacity to enable children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) access their funded early education place.

Childcare providers who offer Free Early Education places for 3 and 4 year old’s can apply for Disability Access Funding (DAF) to support children with a disability to access their free entitlement.

Follow this link for further information on DAF:

Early education funding (RMBC)

Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is available for parent/carers to apply for if they feel they need financial support to help them meet the needs of a child with SEND.

This is applied for by parents/carers. To access DLA the child would need to meet all the eligibility requirements:

 Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children: Eligibility requirements (GOV.UK)

Tax Free Childcare

You could get up to £500 every 3 months (up to £2,000 a year) for each of your children to help with the costs of childcare. This goes up to £1,000 every 3 months if a child is disabled (up to £4,000 a year).

Find out more via the Childcare Choices website:

Childcare Choices (GOV.UK)

Early identification of need

All babies and young children are unique and develop differently. Some may have needs which are identified prior to, at, or soon after birth usually by health / medical professionals. The needs of other babies and children may become evident over time.

If a child is developing differently to their peers, or not as expected, concerns should be shared with the health visiting team or GP. The health, learning and development of all babies and young children is monitored by health visiting teams. Sometimes a health visitor may raise concerns about a child following one of their developmental checks.  They will discuss these with the family, allowing them an opportunity to ask questions and share their views.  They may refer to other specialist health or education teams for further assessment and support.

0 to 19 service (therotherhamft.nhs.uk)

It is really important that children receive the right support to address their needs as early as possible. Professionals you meet may:

  • give suggestions about ways to support your child at home,
  • signpost you to local groups you can attend with your child,
  • provide information about services available to help you with your child,
  • provide information about early education and childcare settings, where your child can play and interact with other children,
  • discuss appropriate referrals to specialist teams with you.

If a child already attends a childcare or early education setting, parents/carers can share any concerns they have with their key person or teacher.  Likewise, these staff may share concerns with you. The best way forward is then a partnership approach to identifying a child’s needs and planning ways to support progress. Staff in early years settings are skilled to differentiate to meet a child’s needs. Differentiation means making small adjustments to provision to ensure that the child can enjoy and be included in all activities in the setting. 

Support before starting at an Early Years setting

Some children with medical, sensory, physical or complex SEND may require early educational support in their home or in locally delivered groups from specialist teaching teams, such as from the Early Help team.

Early Help supports children, young people and families in Rotherham who need more help than universal services such as GPs or Health Visitors. 

The Early Help Service can offer:

  • short term support with a specific problem
  • long term support for increasingly complex issues

Early Help and Social Care – Rotherham SEND Local Offer

2 Year progress Check

The two year old progress check summarise children’s achievements to determine whether they are developing within their age related expectation.  It is an opportunity for parents, guardians, carers and professionals to come together and collaboratively review where a child is on their learning journey.  The check will identify children’s strengths, interests, and any further support or intervention required. 

The two year check is carried out between the age of 24 – 36 months and is a chance to ask questions about anything that is concerning you – or raise any specific concerns you have about your little one’s development.

Your Baby’s health and development reviews (nhs.uk)

Information for children and young people

Rotherham Early Years and Childcare Service, want all children to be provided with opportunity to reach their best potential accessing local provision with their peers and to feel:

  • Safe
  • Secure
  • Happy
  • Included

Within friendly, accessible provision.

Rotherham Parent Carer Forum provide lots of activities for children and their families, see link for more details:

Our events (rpcf.co.uk)

Rotherham Families Information Service (FIS) have a directory of activities and services available across Rotherham. See link below for more details:

Nurseries and childcare: Activities and services (RMBC)

Tiny Talkers website provides lots of activities ideas for early years children:

Tinytalkers.co.uk

Information for practitioners

SENCO

A maintained nursery school must ensure that there is a qualified teacher designated as the SENCO in order to ensure the detailed implementation of support for children with SEND.

The EYFS framework requires other early years providers to have arrangements in place for meeting children’s SEND. Those in group provision are expected to identify a SENCO. Childminders are encouraged to identify a person to act as SENCO and childminders who are registered with a childminder agency or who are part of a network may wish to share that role between them.

The SENCO is a coordinating role, supporting children with SEND and this should be a whole setting approach.  This involves:

  • supporting children with SEND
  • ensuring all practitioners in the setting understand their responsibilities to children with SEND
  • advising and supporting colleagues
  • ensuring parents are closely involved throughout and that their insights inform action taken by the setting, and
  • liaising with professionals or agencies beyond the setting

All Early Years settings must have a copy of the SEND Code of Practice available within setting for reference.

SEND code of practice: 0 to 25 years (GOV.UK)

SENCO’s can access training and professional development as part of their ongoing role. 

Graduated response

It’s important to implement a graduated response when a child starts to attend your setting and has been identified as not meeting their expected stages of development for their chronological age and/or when a child has been identified with SEND.

Your graduated response includes implementing strategies and support that enable children to access the curriculum in your setting.

The use of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) document along with your professional knowledge will help identify if a child has developmental delays. At this point the graduated response begins, parents need to be equal partners from the beginning of the journey.  

The first stage of the Graduated Response includes:

  • Children with SEND are supported using the graduated response, this is a way of building up support provided for a child.
  • Initially support will come from within the Early Years provision, this is internal support using the knowledge and skills of practitioners to be able to differentiate the provision for children with SEND.
  • Interventions at this level are discussed and agreed with parents and recorded on Individual Education Plans and on an Early Years SEN Support Plan.
  • This is a fluid process and be stepped back to a settings universal offer or extend into further targeted external support.

The second stage of the Graduated Response includes:

Once a child has received support internally using the internal SEND support and they are not making progress, practitioners can escalate the support to include advice from outside agencies, this is external support and is a continuation of the graduated response.

Rotherham’s Graduated Response

Graduated response May 2023.pdf (sendcorotherham.co.uk)

Considerations when supporting children with complex SEND

When a child attends who has a complex SEND the Early Years setting will need to prepare for this. Support is available from supporting agencies, also training may need to be sought and equipment sourced.

As soon as a child is allocated a place this needs to be put into place with regular communication with parents.

Information for specific training and equipment needs

SEND: Equipment and specialist training (RMBC)

Training

Early Years SENCO Training

There is an extensive range of SENCO Training available to Early Years practitioners, this can be group training, specific advice and support delivery in staff meetings and also SENCO network meetings which are held termly to ensure all SENCOs are up to date around SEND.

These and other training are available to support SEND with your Early Years setting, for more details please email: EYTraining@rotherham.gov.uk

EYFS Training

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 years old. All schools and Ofsted-registered early years providers must follow the EYFS, including childminders, preschools, nurseries and school reception classes.

Rotherham Early Years and Childcare Service is committed to seeking a range of training and professional development opportunities for settings:

Early years workforce development (RMBC)

To find out more about the programme of training on offer via the Early Years and Childcare Service, please email: EYTraining@rotherham.gov.uk

To register for the Rotherham Council e-learning platform (Virtual College) please use the following link:

 Registration: Enable (rotherhammbc.vc-enable.co.uk)

Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN)

Speech, language and communication (SLC) skills are critical to children’s overall development.

Being able to speak clearly, process sounds, understand others, think critically and express your ideas are fundamental building blocks to overall development, and educational outcomes later in their lives.

Rotherham Early Years and Childcare Service have developed a comprehensive 0-5 SLCN training pathway for Early Years Professionals in Rotherham.  See the training available here:

Rotherham training (tinytalkers.co.uk)

Being able to accurately assess a child’s abilities in early language and communication is crucial to supporting their ongoing development.

Our 0-5 Speech, Language, and Communication (SLC) assessment tool is designed to be used where there are concerns about a child’s SLC development. It will help identify which aspects of communication and language a child may need support with.  Download it here:

SLCN Assessment & Screening Tools (RMBC)

Child Development

Children’s experiences in their first five years have been shown to have a significant impact on their developmental outcomes later on. As a result, it is important for parents and those who work with children to understand exactly what happens during these early stages of development. This allows them to meet a child’s needs effectively and ensure that they have the best start in life.

We have developed a range of child development charts, showing the developmental milestones which children are likely to achieve from 12 months of age through to 5 years old.  Access them here:

SLCN Assessment & Screening Tools (RMBC)

Transitions

It’s important that children and their families experience seamless transitions throughout their 0 – 5 journey.

Transitions are an important part of any child’s life; transitions can be anything from a daily change in the routine within a setting up to major transition points such as moving provision (to another setting or into full time education).

Transitions can be a worrying time for a child who has identified SEND and their family, they need to be planned and communication between practitioners and parents should be transparent and regular.  They should also be accessible around the family’s needs. Transitions need to ensure the views are captured from everyone involved.

Early Years settings are responsible in supporting transitions throughout a child’s time at the setting to ensure it is a positive experience for the child and family.

This will include arranging transition meetings at all transition points and providing staff, children and families with resources to support the transition:

  • Photo books of next setting and staff
  • Story books around transition and change
  • Signs and symbols to explain the transition

Further information including suggested agenda for hosting a transition meeting can be found here –

SEND: Transition (RMBC)

Funding

Early Education Funding (EEF)

All three and four year olds are entitled to access 15 hours per week Early Education Funding (EEF).

In addition (subject to eligibility criteria):

  • Two year old children may be able to access 15 hours funding from the term after their second birthday. Parents/Carers can check eligibility through the Families Information Service:
    FIS: Free early education for 2-year-olds (RMBC)
  • Three and four year old children may be able to access an additional 15 hours (30 hours total) from the term after their third birthday. Eligibility can be checked through the Childcare Choices website:
    Childcare Choices: Help paying for your childcare (GOV.UK)
  • Early Education Funding ends at entry to a full time school place or by the term in which the child is five year old.

If you are a registered Early Years setting in Rotherham you may be able to offer free early education places and claim funding on behalf of parents by contracting with RMBC.

Follow this link for further information on EEF:

Early Education Funding (RMBC)

Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP)

Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP) gives early education providers extra funding to support eligible three and four year olds in their setting.

The funding is payable to the childcare provider to enable them to work towards making a difference to the child’s progress over time and support readiness for school.

Follow the link below for further information on EYPP

Early Education Funding Rates and Grants (RMBC)

Disability Access Fund (DAF)

Disability Access Fund (DAF) provides additional funding to support the Early Years setting make reasonable adjustments and/or help with building capacity to enable children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) access their funded early education place.

Early Years settings who offer Free Early Education places for 3 and 4 year old’s can apply for Disability Access Funding (DAF) to support children with a disability to access their free entitlement.

Follow the link below for further information on DAF:

Early Education Funding Rates and Grants (RMBC)

Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is available for parent/carers to apply for if they feel they need financial support to help them meet the needs of a child with SEND.

This is applied for by parents/carers. To access DLA the child would need to meet all the eligibility requirements. Follow the link below for more details:

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children: Eligibility (GOV.UK)

Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs)

What is an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan?

An Education, Health and Care plan (EHC plan) is a legal document which describes a child or young person’s aged up to 25 special educational needs, the support they need, and the outcomes they would like to achieve.

The special educational provision described in an EHC plan must be provided by the child or young person’s local authority. This means an EHC plan can give a child or young person extra educational support. It can also give parents and young people more choice about which school or other setting the child or young person can attend.

What is an Education Health and Care Plan? (councilfordisabledchildren.org.uk)

When to request an EHCP?

A request for an EHCP assessment can be done if the child’s needs are not being met through the graduated response.

Follow the link below for further information on the Local Offer:

Education and Health Care Plans – Rotherham SEND Local Offer

Areas of need

Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN)

SLCN is the term given to describe the extensive range of needs related to all aspects of communication – from understanding others to forming sounds, words and sentences to expressing ideas and emotions and using language socially.

It is important that children learn to talk and listen, so that they can communicate, make friends, have fun, and learn about the world

Tiny Talkers Rotherham

Through being part of the Government funded Early Outcomes Project, we have been able to develop a comprehensive training pathway for Early Years Professionals in Rotherham. The pathway has been developed to provide a foundation level of training which can be accessed by all in the 0-5 workforce, regardless of their role, and this offer is called our Universal Training.

Further training opportunities are then available for practitioners with a specific interest or lead role in supporting children’s speech, language, and communication development.

Tiny Talkers: Training (tinytalkers.co.uk)

As an Early Years Professional, you know how important speech, language and communication are for building strong foundations. Around 1 in 10 children have speech, language and communication needs, and everyone has a responsibility to identify and help children who are struggling.

For further information on Professional Skills Strategy, Research, Tips & Advice, Resources & Downloads and Self-Assessment click on the link below:

Tiny Talkers: Professionals (tinytalkers.co.uk)

Language Lead

Speech, language and communication skills are essential for the development of a child’s learning and their social and emotional wellbeing. They also play a vital role in developing skills for life and work.

It is important that everyone who works with children and young people has the appropriate skills and knowledge to be able to:

• promote speech, language and communication development.

• identify those children who are experiencing difficulties; and

• support children and young people who have speech, language and communication needs (SLCN).

Having a Language Leader in your setting will ensure that programmes are in place to help a child or young person improve in a particular area of their language development where they are having difficulties.

For further information please visit:

Speech, Language & Communication Needs (SLCN) (RMBC)

Talk to a professional (speechandlanguage.org.uk)

Educational Support for Children with Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) (speechandlanguage.org.uk)

Physical Disability and Medical Needs

  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Stroke survivor
  • Premature baby
  • Spina Bifida
  • Tracheostomy tube
  • Oxygen
  • Epileptic
  • Allergies
  • Brittle bone disease

Physical disabilities and medical needs can present in a wide range of need and will be very individual to each child, the level of support will differ between each child, to prepare for the child coming into your setting you need to:

  • Hold a Team Around the Child Meeting
  • Undertake any specialist training needed (including medical)
  • Implement necessary paper
  • Identify funding needs

Early Years Inclusion Officer can support around this, and a lead agency will be identified.

SEND: Equipment and Specialist Training (RMBC)

What is Cerebral palsy (thepacecentre.org)

Cerebral Palsy (mencap.org.uk)

Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) Support

Early years have a big commitment to providing support around a child’s SEMH. To do this training is provided and support available from Early Years Inclusion Officers, Educational Psychology and CDC can refer into specialist services.

Health and Wellbeing – Emotional wellbeing and mental health

Conditions

Please see link to the organisation ‘Contact’ where you can find information around various conditions:

A-Z of Medical Conditions (contact.org.uk)

Services

Early Years settings will work in partnership with parents/carers, external agencies and any visitors within their setting to ensure a streamlined approach to meeting a child’s individual needs developing a positive relationship from the initial contact.

See links below for further information on the external agencies who work closely with the Early Years and Childcare Service to ensure all children’s needs are met:

The Portage Service

Portage is a home visiting service for children aged 0 to 3 years who have additional needs.

Portage service (Rotherham Educational Psychology Services)

Visual Impairment (VI) Team

The Visual Impairment Team work closely with children, parents, carers, educational settings and other professionals to ensure the needs of vision impaired children and their families are met.

For more information, see the Visual Impairment Team section under Educational Services above.

Hearing Impairment (HI) Team

The Hearing Impairment Team work closely with children, parents, carers, schools and other agencies and professionals to meet the needs of hearing impaired children and their families.

For more information, see the Hearing Impairment Team section under Educational Services above.

Specialist Inclusion Team (SIT)

Specialist Inclusion Team support and advice is offered to children who are regarded to have the most significant needs within the Local Authority who are accessing an Early Years provision.

The children accessing this support are usually those who have had input from the Portage Service or Early Years Inclusion Officers and those who would have been eligible for this service if they were not already accessing a setting. The Child Development Centre (CDC) may also request the involvement of the Specialist Inclusion Team as a clinic outcome, where the therapist feels that the complexity of need requires highly personalised support over a period of time. This would be requested through consultation with family and the Specialist Inclusion Team.

It is likely that most children accessing input from the Specialist Inclusion Team will have had or be going through assessment at the Child Development Centre (CDC). There are occasions where other agencies or schools may request support directly based on individual needs within a moment in time.

Support can be offered at any time/age up until the end of F1, i.e. before, during or at the start of, and where Portage are not already involved.  Support is available to children whether they attend F1 in School or a Private, Voluntary, Independent (PVI) setting. This is not a referral-based offer.

Children accessing support from the Specialist Inclusion Team may, where appropriate, do so up until the end of the Summer Term of their F1 Year. However, it is hoped that through a robust graduated response, that over time the highly personalised support has a positive impact on the child’s progress within their learning and development.

The Specialist Inclusion Team will be monitoring to see if:

  • The child continues to make sustained personal progress
  • Staff are consistently implementing appropriate strategies flexibly to meet individual needs
  • There is evidence of a clear assess-plan-do-review cycle in place (as per the Code of Practice)

If the above is evident, it would be appropriate for the child’s needs to be best met through their school’s/setting’s universal (or targeted) offer, as part of their graduated response. If this were the case (based on individual circumstances), the Specialist Inclusion Team would consult with both family and school/setting as part of the decision-making process. The Specialist Inclusion Team would ensure that staff in school/setting have access to the latest SI Team recommendations to support them in independently planning for the child’s next steps.

For more information, see the Specialist Inclusion Team section under Educational Services above.

Child Development Centre

The Child Development Centre is located at Kimberworth Place.  They provide a ‘one stop shop’ for children under 5 who are having difficulties in more than one area of their development.

The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust (therotherhamft.nhs.uk)

Educational Psychology Services

This service works in partnership with children and young people between the ages of 0 – 25, their families, educational settings and services. They listen to children and young people and may use practical activities with them to find out how best to help improve their experience, wellbeing and outcomes.

Rotherham Educational Psychology Services (rotherham.gov.uk)

Rotherham Parent Carer Forum

A registered charity run by and for families of children and young people (aged 0-25) who have Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND)

Rotherham Parent Carers Forum (rpcf.co.uk)

Early Years settings are referred to throughout all information, these include:

  • Childminders
  • Day Nurseries
  • Pre Schools
  • Out of School Clubs
  • Holiday Clubs
  • Foundation Units in schools

Find childcare in Rotherham

Rotherham Families Information Service (FIS)

The Families Information Service (FIS) provides free and impartial information and advice on all registered childcare in Rotherham, including:

  • Childminders
  • Day nurseries
  • Pre-schools
  • Out of school and holiday clubs

They can also provide information on free early education places for 2, 3 & 4 year olds and the 30 Hours Free Childcare offer for working parents.

They work closely with the Early Years inclusion co-ordinator who provides support to childcare settings to ensure that every child’s needs are met through offering support, information and managing grants.

One of the Early Years Inclusion Officers will work with you to find out exactly what childcare you need including what type of childcare provider you prefer, when you need it and the additional support your child needs.

The Early Years Inclusion Officers also work with the childcare providers to ensure that they are fully trained and equipped to look after your child.

When you first visit your preferred childcare providers one of the team will be there to help and answer any questions you have.

While your child is attending that childcare provider they will continue to work with the childcare provider to make sure they are meeting your child’s needs and also be a contact for you if you have any questions.

You can contact the FIS team on 0800 0730230 or 01709 822429. An information officer will be happy to help you find suitable childcare for your child.

To see what childcare is available in Rotherham visit the Families Information Services website:

Families Information Services (RMBC)

The Families Information Service Facebook page is also a very useful source of information

Rotherham Families Information Service | Rotherham | Facebook

A number of Rotherham providers have also produced videos of their settings.  These are really good to give you an idea of the activities that your child will experience in a day care setting.  These can be found here:

Rotherham Families Information Service – YouTube

Rotherham Children’s Centres

Rotherham Children’s Centres offer a friendly place for you and your child to meet new friends and come along to activities. They offer support with pregnancy and parenting. And can also help you look for work or training.

Find out more about Rotherham Children’s Centres

Free early education

Your two year old could be eligible for up to 15 hours of free childcare/early education per week, for more information and to apply for the funding visit the RMBC website.

Find out about free early education 2 year olds

All three and four year olds are eligible for 15 hours of free childcare/early education per week, for more information visit the RMBC website.

Find out about free early education 3 to 4 year olds

Working parents of three and four year olds may be eligible for an additional 15 hours of free childcare on top of the universal free 15 hours. For more information on the 30 Hours Free Childcare Offer for working parents and to check if you are eligible, visit the Childcare Choices website.

Find a school or college

View the directory of all schools and colleges in Rotherham. The directory includes links to each school’s website and their SEND information. Some colleges are in neighbouring boroughs such as Sheffield, Barnsley, or Doncaster.

View school directory

Find and compare schools in England

You can also search for primary, secondary and special needs schools and colleges near you and check their performances and view and download exam and test results compared to other schools.

Find and compare schools in England (gov.uk)

Find independent special schools and colleges

You can also search the full list of independent schools in England for pupils with special educational needs

Independent special schools and colleges (gov.uk)

School Attendance

Children who attend school regularly are much more likely to achieve positive outcomes throughout their childhood and later in life. We want all children in Rotherham to thrive throughout their lives and attending school to learn and develop socially is an important part of achieving this. However, if your child has Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND), there can be extra challenges around this.

We know that the barriers to attending school can be incredibly complex for some children and in Rotherham schools and the Local Authority will work with families to remove any barriers to attendance by building strong and trusting relationships and working together to put the right support in place.

The School Attendance Matters Pathway is the pathway in Rotherham which explains Rotherham’s approach to attendance. Families will be offered support through an Early Help Assessment and plan (or other avenues of support) and enforcement will only happen if the School Attendance Matters Pathway has been followed appropriately.

You can find out more about the School Attendance Matters Pathway on the RMBC website.

School Attendance (RMBC)

We also have information on the Local Offer about supporting children in school who have medical needs which may affect attendance:

Education and Childcare – Managing medical conditions in school

Support in Education – Support for medical needs

For children who struggle to attend school due to emotional factors or experience, we also have information on Emotional based school avoidance (EBSA) and support for mental health needs in school:

Support in Education – Support for mental health needs

Support in Education – Emotional based school avoidance (EBSA)

Resource Provisions

A resource provision is attached to a mainstream school providing specialist therapeutic input and support for pupils with a specific SEND need type. Pupils access support from the resource provision based on their individual need whilst also accessing mainstream classes and curriculum.

The resource provisions will provide the specialist therapeutic input and support based upon their specialism and the delivery model may differ between schools. The Local Authority will monitor and quality assure the provisions while working alongside Schools within Rotherham to promote positive outcomes for children and young people accessing the resource provisions.

Children are on the roll of and are fully included in the mainstream school whilst receiving the specialist interventions they require to meet their individual needs.

How do you access a Resource Provision?

The child or young person will be able to access a mainstream curriculum with appropriate support either now or in the future, as they make progress.

They will have a primary need that matches the specialism of the resourced provision and/or a range of behaviours assessed by specialist professionals, including an Educational Psychologist, as reflecting needs relating to the expertise to the resource provision.

The resource provision is an integral part of a mainstream school, for children and young people who have this provision type specified in their education, health, and care plan (EHCP).

All admissions must go through the established SEND panel process as the recognised single point of access for a resource provision place.

Current Resource Provisions in Rotherham

Here is a list of the current resource provisions in Rotherham. Each provision aims to meet the specific area of primary need stated on the child’s EHCP.

School nameStagePrimary area of need
Swinton SecondaryAutism Spectrum Disorder
WalesSecondaryAutism Spectrum Disorder
BrinsworthSecondaryModerate learning Disability
WickersleySecondaryHearing Impairment
Bramley GrangePrimaryHearing Impairment
Anston HillcrestPrimarySpeech and Language
Wath VictoriaPrimaryAutism Spectrum Disorder
Waverley JuniorPrimaryAutism Spectrum Disorder
Table of resource provisions in Rotherham

Transitions within education

Transitions can be classed as any of the following:

  • Moving between home and school
  • Moving between lessons
  • Moving between familiar situations and unfamiliar/new situations e.g. school trip
  • Moving between year groups
  • Moving between key stages

Transitions for SEND children with complex needs

Transition support

There is a useful guide to help prepare children with SEND for transition from one educational setting to another and into training or employment.

National Autistic Society: Making decisions – a guide for young people

Autism transition support

For advice about how you can support your child with autism through transition visit the National Autistic Society website.

National Autisitic Society: Making decisions – a guide for parents

The Autism Education Trust has produced a toolkit of common issues surrounding transition for young people on the autism spectrum, as well as a guide to the considerations that should be taken by those supporting them. The Trust offers some practical strategies to support transition periods as well as provide a list of useful links to other organisations and support materials.

View Delivering Special Provision Locally website

Timeline for post 16 options

A checklist for schools supporting transition for young people to post 16 opportunities.

Download the checklist for schools supporting transition

Transition into adult social care

Council services for adults are different from those for children, so it’s important that young adults get the support they need during this time. The Rotherham Adult Transitions Team provide support to young people and their families during this time.

Rotherham Adult Transitions Team – Rotherham SEND Local Offer

Travel assistance

There is an expectation that, whenever possible, families will make their own arrangements to get their child to school.

Travel assistance is not automatically given if a child has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) and many children with SEND travel to school without special provision. However, some children with specific needs will require additional support, often for an agreed period of time. As children and young people get older they may be able to start travelling independently.

Some children may not be able walk or travel by public transport to school because of their particular needs, or a parent or carer may not have access to an appropriate vehicle to take them to school themselves. An individual’s needs will determine their entitlement.

Parents or carers should complete the age appropriate transport request form to enable the child to be assessed for eligibility.

Eligible pupils may receive transport assistance to and from school. This may be a personal transport budget to allow parents to arrange transport assistance to suit their child’s individual transport needs, bus pass, minibus, coach or shared taxi.

It is only in exceptional circumstances that details of home to school transport will be included within an EHC Plan. Where applicable, we would look at the potential for it being included within a personal budget.

To find out more about schools transport and travel in Rotherham, click below

School transport and travel – Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

To make a transport request, click below

Apply for specialist home to school travel assistance – Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

What Happens after Year 11?

As part of a young person’s transition to adulthood, it is hoped that as many young people with SEND as possible will have started to travel independently by the time they reach college age.

However, some young people may still require special provision or support for their travel as a result of their needs. All students with special educational needs who require transport will need to have their transport needs reassessed for entitlement.

To find out more about travel assisance, click beow

Transport assistance for children and young people with additional needs – Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

Transport policies

The latest version of the Home to School Transport Policy incorporates the Policy details for Post 16 and Further Education learners.

Click below to downlad the latest transport policies:

School transport – Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

Managing medical conditions in school

The document ‘Supporting pupils with medical conditions’ gives statutory guidance from the Department for Education.

This statutory guidance is for:

  • governing bodies of local-authority-maintained schools
  • proprietors of academies
  • management committees of pupil referral units (these are places that provide education for children who can’t go to a mainstream school)

It’s also relevant for anyone supporting children with medical conditions.

The template document below gives example text that schools can use to:

  • create and invite parents to contribute to a child’s individual healthcare plan
  • ask for parental agreement for administering medicine
  • keep a record of medicine administered to children
  • keep a record of staff training in administration of medicines

Statutory guidance sets out what schools and local authorities must do to comply with the law. You should follow the guidance unless you have a very good reason not to.

Supporting pupils with medical conditions

Find out more information

Medical tuition guidance

Part-time timetables

All children of compulsory school age should receive a full-time education.

In very exceptional circumstances there may be a need for a temporary part-time timetable. This must be to meet the individual needs of a pupil and not because a school does not have enough resources, such as the availability of one-to-one support. Everybody involved with the pupil should agree that attending school on a part-time basis is in their best interest.

If a parent does not agree to a part-time timetable, it must not be put in place, or this may be viewed as an unlawful exclusion.

If you believe your child has been unlawfully excluded from school, you should refer to the school’s complaints procedure in the first instance.

In some cases, parents can argue that their autistic child is being denied the right to attend on a full-time basis because the school does not have the resources to provide the pupil with the support they require on a full-time basis, which would be discrimination arising from disability, unless it can be justified. You might find our information about disability discrimination  helpful’ (The National Autistic Society)

Disability discrimination in schools in England (autism.org.uk)

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council have produced an information booklet for parents about part-time timetables:

What is a part-time timetable? (PDF)

Alternative provision

Alternative provision means a child or young person spending time in a different learning environment away from their usual mainstream school.  

It is individualised, person centred support for pupils in school which is agreed in partnership with families and the pupil. It is considered that a child or young person may benefit from additional, specialist alternative education provision, in conjunction with their school, when:

  • They need support to re-engage with their learning
  • They need support to re-integrate into a mainstream school after a period of time away
  • They require a specialised or bespoke education timetable
  • They are unable to access full time, mainstream education for any clearly identified reason
  • They have social, emotional or mental health needs which are impacting significantly on their school placement
  • They are on the verge of exclusion
  • They have poor school attendance which is having a detrimental impact on their academic progress

By spending some time at an Alternative Provision, your child can be supported to keep up their academic provision whilst having some therapeutic support and a flexible, personal timetable to help them succeed in mainstream school.

Your child will still be on the roll of their school and this does not mean they are failing, it should help them to develop an understanding of their emotions and help them to stay in a mainstream school feeling more settled.

If you think this could help your child, or their school has contacted you as someone there thinks alternative provision may help for a period of time, then it would be great for you and your child to visit the alternative provision to see if it is right for you all.

What is the inclusion pathway?

The local authority provides support for children, families and school at all stages along their educational journey with support available along the Inclusion Pathway aiming to ensure that the right support is provided for the right child at the right time in order to meet their current needs and be as proactive as possible.

For Primary pupils, support is provided within their school initially but more support could then be given through Primary Outreach. Further support could be obtained by linking with an alternative provision for a period of time to work towards clear, individualised targets to linked to social and emotional issues and allow children to remain in school. A further element of support is through referral to Primary Inclusion Panel which may lead to a placement at a time limited intensive support base, LEAF Centre.

Click here to see more information about LEAF: LEAF flyer for schools (2022)

For Secondary pupils, following initial support within the school, advice and guidance may be sought at a local partnership. Following this support could then be given through Secondary Outreach, the final element of support is through referral to Secondary Inclusion Panel which may lead to support from Aspire for a time limited intensive support placement.

Email: kelly.crompton@rotherham.gov.uk

List of providers

Here is a list of providers that some schools have approached as alternative provision for their pupils. 


Active Education

Personalised active-based interventions to help reintegrate pupils back into schools

Age Range:   Key Stages 2 to 4

Sessions:        9:30am – 2:30pm

Address:        8 Orgreave Drive S13 9NR

Tel:                  07411 956411

Email:              activeeducation@mail.com

Website:          www.activeeducationservices.co.uk


The Chislett Centre, ACE Project (Alternative Curriculum Education)

The ACE project offers a range of activities to young people who struggle to engage with formal education or have emotional issues that make learning in a school context difficult.

Age Range:       Key Stage 1 to 4

Website:            https://www.kimberworthpark.org.uk/ace-project


Doncaster, Rotherham and District GTA

Training opportunities for students who would like to learn about Motor Vehicle Repairs, leading to IMI L1 Award or Certificate.

Age Range:   Key Stage 4, aged 11-15 up to leaving school

Sessions:
1 or 2 days per week either individual or group, 9.30am – 3.00pm

Address:        3A, Parkway Industrial Estate, Parkway Cl, Sheffield S9 4WJ

Tel:                  01302 832831

Email:              richardappleyard@DoncasterGTA.co.uk

Website:          www.Doncastergta.co.uk


First Class Tailored Solutions

1:1 home or school tuition sessions with a focus on academic and regulation

Age Range:     Key Stage 1 to 5

Tel:                   07769 996583

Email:              jakki.maybury@first-class.org.uk


Five Rivers, Doncaster

Trauma informed, bespoke curriculum with therapy

Age Range:   Key Stage 1 to post-16

Websites:
https://five-rivers.org/education/schools/1ace/
https://five-rivers.org/education/schools/fountain-house/


Hall Farm, Eastof

Bespoke activities to enable children to improve well-being, self-confidence, self-esteem and develop essential social and emotional skills

Age Range:     Key Stage 1 to 5

Website:         https://www.hallfarmeastoft.co.uk/


Hugi Hubs, Sheffield

Hugi Hubs support children who require that little bit more support, are finding school overwhelming and need specialist support.

Age Range:     Early years to Key Stage 2

Tel:                   0114 473 5396 or 07714 253061

Email:              hugihubmanager@outlook.com

Website:         www.tinyhandsbigfutures.co.uk


JADE

Jade offer bespoke, alternative provision for young people who are disengaged from mainstream education or at risk of permanent exclusion.

Age Range:     Key Stage 2 to 4

Sessions:        Monday – Thursday 10-2pm

Address:
Jade Youth & Community Centre, New Street, Dinnington, Sheffield S25 2EX

Tel:                   0190 956 5639 or 07879870767

Email:              lisa@jadedinnington.org

Website:          https://jadeyouthandcommunity.co.uk/education/


Journey Education

Academic provision from qualified teaching staff alongside Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) therapeutic support for high achieving autistic pupils and those with anxieties needing support around developing healthy relationships, emotional regulation and social communication skills

Age Range:     Key Stage 1 to 5

Sessions
Monday – Thursday, with the following options for sessions
Morning only – 9.15 – 12.15pm
Afternoon only – 12.30 – 15.30pm
All day – 9.15 -15.15pm

Address:
Oak Tree Lodge, Woodfield Park, Tickhill Road, Doncaster, DN4 8QN

Tel:                   01302 492239

Email:              angela@journeyeducationgroup.co.uk

Facebook:       Journey Education Group | Doncaster | Facebook

Website :         http://www.journeyeducationgroup.co.uk/


KRS Education

Academic, sports and therapeutic offer with opportunities for remote tuition, support in family home and offer of onsite support to reintegrate to school

Age Range:   Key Stage 2 upwards

Address:        2 Howco Business Park, New Street, Killamarsh, S20 3GH

Tel:                  07961 208355 or 0114 5518181

Email:              stacey@krseducation.co.uk

Facebook:       KRS Education | Sheffield | Facebook

Website :         https://krseducation.co.uk


Learning Pad

Bespoke education, from online tutoring to individual learning plans and lessons, all of which are tailored to the individual student

Age Range:     Key Stage 1 to 5

Website:         www.learningpad.org.uk


NovaCity

Half day, full day and emergency provision to Key stage 3 & 4 students
The provision is set up to operate like a regular school day, with time for focused learning and physical activity.

Age Range:     Key Stage 3 to 4

Website:         https://www.novacitycentre.com/


Osmis

An Alternative Provision based in Sheffield offering a professional service to schools and care partners with a unique and bespoke 1:1 mentoring opportunity for young people. OSMIS offers a dedicated intervention programme designed to develop resilience, emotional literacy and confidence.

Age Range:     Key Stage 1 to 4

Sessions:       full-day and half-day options available

Website:         www.osmisap.co.uk


Phoenix Education

Alternative provision for children with social emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs or special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). Phoenix offers a therapeutic environment in which children can make progress in life, adventure and creative skills. A robust assessment package can also be offered.

Age Range:     Key Stage 1 to 4

Tel:                   07803 827922

Email:              office@kbeducation.co.uk

Website:         https://kbeducation.co.uk/


Positive Pathways: Rotherham United Football Club

Using the power of sport to support and engage students who may have become disengaged from mainstream education. The programme informs young people of the career opportunities within the sports and public services industry and encourages them to make positive choices with respect to their own wellbeing, their relationships with others and their futures.

Age Range:    Key Stage 3 to 4

Sessions:       full-day and half-day options available

Address:
Rotherham United Community Sports Trust, GoalZone, New York Stadium, New York Way, Rotherham, South Yorkshire S60 1AH

Tel:                   01709 827 767 or 07506 722 899

Email:              jmahoney@rotherhamunited.net

Twitter:            @RU_CST

Website :         https://www.rucst.co.uk/education/positive-pathways/


Prime8

On-site or remote tuition with qualified staff to support GCSE work.

Age Range:     Key Stage 2 to post 16

Sessions:        9am to 2:30pm on site or up to full day for community tuition

Address:          Industrial Estate, 5 Stirling Road, West Carr Road, Ordsall, Retford, DN22 7SN

Tel:                   01777 811006 or 07943 610593 or 07852 953588


Spacious Coaching

1:1 coaching in school on a weekly basis for a minimum of 6 students in the school

Age Range:     Key Stage 1 to 5

Sessions:        One 30 min session per student per week

Address:          At student’s school

Tel:                   07763 713134

Email:               jayne@spaciouscoaching.co.uk

Website :          www.spaciouscoaching.co.uk


Swinton Lock

Swinton Lock can support academic work provided by school and can offer a wide range of practical training and qualifications.

Age Range:     Key Stage 3 to 4

Address:          Dun Street, Swinton, Mexborough, S64 8AN

Tel:                   01709 578778

Email:               info@swintonlock.org.uk


Targeted Provision

1:1, 1:2 and 1:3 SEND and Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) specialist tuition and mentoring for young people who have EHCPs, who are care experienced, who are unable to attend full time mainstream provision, who are at risk of exclusion, or who are known to the Youth Offending Team. Bespoke education packages are delivered by trauma-informed, qualified professionals to meet young peoples’ educational and social/ emotional outcomes.

Age Range:   Key Stage 1 to post-16

Sessions:
up to 3 hours of support per day, for up to 15 hours per week

Tel:                  020 7661 7042

Email:              referrals@targetedprovision.com

Facebook:       www.facebook.com/targetedprovision

Twitter:            www.targetedprovision.com/targetedprov

Website :         www.targetedprovision.com


Thrive, Dinnington

Thrive offer personalised, individual learning packages, focussing on Personal, social, health and economic ( PSHE ) education, academic work, mentoring, Arts Awards, Princes Trust Achieve programme and delivery of the FRIENDS programme to a range of students who struggle to attend or access a mainstream setting. This includes those with ASC, ADHD, Anxiety, Depression, School refusers, PDA, SEMH etc.

Age Range:   Foundation Stage to Key Stage 5

Sessions:        
part time placements from 1 to 3 days per week for a minimum of 6 weeks
10am – 2pm

Addresses:
Dinnington Business Centre, S25 3QX
Mexborough Business Centre, S64 9JP

Tel:                 07501 642126

Emails:
chelsea@thrivesouthyorkshire.co.uk
laura@thrivesouthyorkshire.co.uk

Facebook:      @thrivesy

Twitter:            @Thrive_SY


The Unity Project

The Unity Project (South Yorkshire) is a highly specialised Alternative Provision for young people who experience difficulties accessing full-time education within a school or college setting. They support young people diagnosed with conditions including: ASD, ADHD, anxiety, attachment issues, anorexia, and those who have experienced childhood trauma.

Age Range:     Foundation Stage to Key Stage 5

Sessions:        10am – 2pm Monday – Thursday

Address:          89 Green Lane, Sheffield, S35 9WY

Tel:                    0114 2454553, 07960 513168 or 07875 420528

Emails:
khanney@theunityprojectsy.org
afowler@theunityprojectsy.org

Website :          http://www.theunityprojectsy.org/

Managed moves and Off-site directions

Sometimes it may be necessary for a child to be educated somewhere other than their current school.

  • Off-site directions
    To support a child with their behaviour, a school can decide that the child will be educated somewhere else for a limited period.
  • Managed moves
    In some cases, a child’s school may decide it is best for a child to move to another school permanently. This is known as a managed move. A managed move should only occur when it is in the child’s best interests and all parties, including the new school and family, agree it would be best for the child to move to another school permanently.

Off-site direction

Maintained schools have the power to direct a pupil off-site for education, to improve their behaviour. This is permitted under the following regulations:

If a school decides to use this power, they must: 

  • ensure that parents are given clear information about the placement – why, when, where, and how it will be reviewed. Where the pupil has an Education, Health & Care (EHC) plan, the Local Authority must also be involved in discussions and kept informed, plans should be updated to reflect this change.
  • keep the placement under review and involve parents in the review;
    Note: The regulations state regular reviews are required but do not specify how often they must take place (that should be decided on a case-by-case basis).
  • ensure reviews are frequent enough to provide assurance that the off-site education is achieving its objectives and that the pupil is benefitting from it.
  • have regard to guidance from the Secretary of State on the use of this power.

Statutory Guidance can be found on the GOV.UK website:
Alternative provision: Statutory guidance for Local Authorities (2013)

This legislation refers to maintained schools and not academies. However, academies do have the power to direct pupils off-site for the improvement of behaviour if their funding agreement and/or articles of association make it clear. It is important to note that pupils must remain on roll at their home school during the prescribed period attending off-site provision. The home school must accept the pupil back once the prescribed period has lapsed. Further guidance for off-site direction can be found on page 20 of the suspension and exclusion guidance.

Reintegration after an off-site direction

Schools should support pupils to reintegrate successfully into school life and full-time education following a period of off-site direction (see paragraphs 27 to 31 of suspension and permanent exclusion guidance).

Suspension and permanent exclusion guidance September 2023 (publishing.service.gov.uk)

They should develop a reintegration strategy that offers the pupil a fresh start; helps them understand the impact of their behaviour on themselves and others; teaches them how to meet the expectations of behaviour in line with the school culture; fosters a renewed sense of belonging within the school community; and builds engagement with learning. 

The reintegration strategy should be clearly communicated at a reintegration meeting before or at the beginning of the pupil’s return to school. During a reintegration meeting, the school should communicate to the pupil that they are valued, and their previous behaviour should not be seen as an obstacle to future success. Where possible this meeting should include the pupil’s parents. However, it is important to note that a pupil should not be prevented from returning to a mainstream classroom if parents are unable or unwilling to attend a reintegration meeting. Parents, the pupil and staff should be informed of the strategy and of potential external support. To ensure ongoing progress, the strategy should be regularly reviewed and adapted where necessary throughout the reintegration process in collaboration with relevant parties especially the pupil and parents.

Where necessary, schools should work with relevant staff and multi-agency organisation to identify if the pupil has any SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) and/or health needs. 

Schools can consider a range of measures to enable the pupil’s successful reintegration which can include, but are not limited to:

  • maintaining regular contact during the suspension or off-site direction and welcoming the pupil back to school
  • daily contact with a designated pastoral professional in-school; 
  • use of a report card with personalised targets leading to personalised rewards
  • ensuring the pupil follows an equivalent curriculum during their suspension or off-site direction or receives academic support upon return to catch up on any lost progress
  • planned pastoral interventions
  • mentoring by a trusted adult
  • regularly review with the pupil and parents to praise progress being made and raise and address any concerns at an early stage

It is good practice for your child’s school to hold a meeting with you and your child before they return to school. If you cannot attend the meeting this should not prevent your child returning to school. It is unlawful to make such meetings a requirement for a child to return to school following a suspension.

* In a maintained school, ‘head teacher’ includes an acting head teacher by virtue of section 579(1) of the Education Act 1996. An acting head teacher is someone appointed to carry out the functions of the head teacher in the head teacher’s absence or pending the appointment of a head teacher. This will not necessarily be the deputy head teacher: it will depend on who is appointed to the role of acting head teacher. In an academy, ‘principal’ includes acting principal by virtue of regulation 21 of the School Discipline (Pupil Exclusions and Reviews) (England) Regulations 2012.

Managed Moves

A Managed Move must not be confused with an off-site direction. A pupil can attend another school as part of a Managed Move but due to being voluntary it must only be arranged with the full consent of all parties involved, including the parents.

The original school will consult with another school to secure an opportunity for a pupil to attend for a trial period. During this time regular reviews between the pupil, both schools, and parents will take place. if successful this should result in a permanent transfer, allowing a pupil to have a fresh start.

The threat of exclusion must never be used to influence parents to remove their child from the school.

A Managed Move may be considered if a pupil:

  • has completed a successful period of time at the school already, through an off-site direction, and has expressed a view to remain at that school
  • is at risk of permanent exclusion but might succeed in a new school
  • has social, emotional or mental health difficulties or needs that could be better met in a new environment
  • finds that attendance at the current school is having a negative impact on their well-being

Undue pressure should never be placed on a parent to remove their child from school. If the threat of a permanent exclusion is used to influence parents into finding another school place, or to electively home educate, and where suspension or permanent exclusion procedures have not been followed, parents can follow the school’s complaints procedure with the governing board, and in the case of a maintained school, the local authority.

Ofsted takes any evidence of off-rolling seriously and is likely to judge a school as inadequate if there is evidence that pupils have been removed from the school roll without a formal permanent exclusion or by the school encouraging a parent to remove their child from the school, and leaders have taken insufficient action to address this.

* In a maintained school, ‘head teacher’ includes an acting head teacher by virtue of section 579(1) of the Education Act 1996. An acting head teacher is someone appointed to carry out the functions of the head teacher in the head teacher’s absence or pending the appointment of a head teacher. This will not necessarily be the deputy head teacher: it will depend on who is appointed to the role of acting head teacher. In an academy, ‘principal’ includes acting principal by virtue of regulation 21 of the School Discipline (Pupil Exclusions and Reviews) (England) Regulations 2012.

Further Information advice & support available

SENDIASS provides impartial and confidential information, advice and support to parents/carers of children and young people with SEND:
Managed Moves & Direction off-site for Education – Rotherham SENDIASS

ACE provides independent advice and information on state education in England:
ACE Education Advice CIC & ACE Education Training LLP

Coram Children’s Legal Centre Advice line on 0300 3305485, or on their website:
www.childrenslegalcentre.com

The National Autistic Society Schools Exclusion Service (England) can be contacted on 0808 800 4002 or through their website:
http://www.autism.org.uk/services/helplines/school-exclusions.aspx

Independent Parental Special Education Advice
http://www.ipsea.org.uk/

The Department for Education statutory guidance on exclusions and other related matters can be found at on the GOV.UK website:

A guide for parents on school behaviour and exclusion (GOV.UK)
Pupil wellbeing, behaviour and attendance (GOV.UK)

School Exclusions

The Exclusions Team

Rotherham’s Exclusions Team is available for schools and parents to request impartial advice in relation to suspension and permanent exclusion.

The team also operate within a multi-disciplinary framework, which involves working collaboratively with colleagues across Children and Young People’s Services, to achieve the best possible outcomes for all Rotherham’s children and families.

To contact with the Exclusions Team:

Telephone: 01709 808004

Email: exclusions@rotherham.gov.uk

Types of exclusions

Permanent exclusion

Permanent exclusion is the severest sanction that can be issued to a pupil and means that they are no longer able to attend the school. Only a school’s *head teacher or principal, in the case of an academy, (hereafter referred to as ‘head teacher’) can exclude a pupil.

The head teacher may decide to permanently exclude a pupil when satisfied that:

  • the pupil has seriously or persistently broken the school’s behaviour policy

AND that

  • the pupil remaining in school would seriously harm the education or welfare of the pupil or others in the school. 

Permanent exclusion would, in most cases, be used as a last resort after all other strategies have been exhausted, and usually follows several previous suspensions. However, sometimes a pupil may do something so serious that although it may be the pupil’s first incident, in the head teacher’s judgement, permanent exclusion is justified to protect staff and/or other pupils at the school. The head teacher should investigate the incident/s thoroughly before making a final decision to permanently exclude.

Any suspension or permanent exclusion decision must be:

  • lawful
  • rational
  • reasonable
  • fair
  • proportionate

Suspension

A suspension (previously referred to as fixed-term exclusion) involves a pupil being excluded from school for a fixed period of time.

There is no list of set behaviours which a pupil can be suspended for, but head teachers can only suspend for a disciplinary reason which has breached the school’s behaviour policy.

The suspension could be for one or more full school days or part/s of a school day. If a pupil’s behaviour is disruptive at lunchtime, they may be suspended from the school premises for the duration of the lunchtime period. A suspension that takes place over a lunchtime would be counted as half a school day.

The head teacher cannot suspend a pupil for more than 45 days in a school year.

The behaviour of any pupil outside of school can be considered as grounds for suspension. The school’s behaviour policy will set out when a pupil’s behaviour outside of the school premises may lead to a suspension and/or other disciplinary actions.

NB: It would be unlawful to exclude a pupil simply because they have SEN or a disability that the school feels it is unable to meet, or for a reason such as: academic attainment/ability.

An informal or unofficial exclusion, such as sending a pupil home ‘to cool off’ is unlawful when it does not follow the formal school exclusion process and regardless of whether it occurs with the agreement of parents.

Any exclusion of a pupil, even for short periods, must be formally recorded.

Reintegration after a suspension

Schools should support pupils to reintegrate successfully into school life and full-time education following a suspension (see paragraphs 27 to 31 of suspension and permanent exclusion guidance).

Suspension and permanent exclusion guidance September 2023 (publishing.service.gov.uk)

They should develop a reintegration strategy that offers the pupil a fresh start; helps them understand the impact of their behaviour on themselves and others; teaches them how to meet the expectations of behaviour in line with the school culture; fosters a renewed sense of belonging within the school community; and builds engagement with learning. 

The reintegration strategy should be clearly communicated at a reintegration meeting before or at the beginning of the pupil’s return to school. During a reintegration meeting, the school should communicate to the pupil that they are valued, and their previous behaviour should not be seen as an obstacle to future success. Where possible this meeting should include the pupil’s parents. However, it is important to note that a pupil should not be prevented from returning to a mainstream classroom if parents are unable or unwilling to attend a reintegration meeting. Parents, the pupil and staff should be informed of the strategy and of potential external support. To ensure ongoing progress, the strategy should be regularly reviewed and adapted where necessary throughout the reintegration process in collaboration with relevant parties especially the pupil and parents.

Where necessary, schools should work with relevant staff and multi-agency organisation to identify if the pupil has any SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) and/or health needs. 

Schools can consider a range of measures to enable the pupil’s successful reintegration which can include, but are not limited to:

  • maintaining regular contact during the suspension or off-site direction and welcoming the pupil back to school
  • daily contact with a designated pastoral professional in-school; 
  • use of a report card with personalised targets leading to personalised rewards
  • ensuring the pupil follows an equivalent curriculum during their suspension or off-site direction or receives academic support upon return to catch up on any lost progress
  • planned pastoral interventions
  • mentoring by a trusted adult
  • regularly review with the pupil and parents to praise progress being made and raise and address any concerns at an early stage

It is good practice for your child’s school to hold a meeting with you and your child before they return to school. If you cannot attend the meeting this should not prevent your child returning to school. It is unlawful to make such meetings a requirement for a child to return to school following a suspension.

* In a maintained school, ‘head teacher’ includes an acting head teacher by virtue of section 579(1) of the Education Act 1996. An acting head teacher is someone appointed to carry out the functions of the head teacher in the head teacher’s absence or pending the appointment of a head teacher. This will not necessarily be the deputy head teacher: it will depend on who is appointed to the role of acting head teacher. In an academy, ‘principal’ includes acting principal by virtue of regulation 21 of the School Discipline (Pupil Exclusions and Reviews) (England) Regulations 2012.

Further Information advice & support available

Parent information leaflets:

Permanent exclusion

Suspension

The Governor’s Disciplinary Meeting

The Independent Review Panel

SENDIASS provides impartial and confidential information, advice and support to parents/carers of children and young people with SEND:
Parents / carers Toolbox – Rotherham SENDIASS

ACE provides independent advice and information on state education in England
ACE Education Advice CIC & ACE Education Training LLP

Coram Children’s Legal Centre Advice line on 0300 3305485, or on their website:
www.childrenslegalcentre.com

The National Autistic Society Schools Exclusion Service (England) can be contacted on 0808 800 4002 or through their website:
http://www.autism.org.uk/services/helplines/school-exclusions.aspx

Independent Parental Special Education Advice:
http://www.ipsea.org.uk/

The Department for Education statutory guidance on exclusions and other related matters can be found at on the GOV.UK website:

A guide for parents on school behaviour and exclusion (GOV.UK)
Pupil wellbeing, behaviour and attendance (GOV.UK)

Education and training for 16 to 25 years olds

There are a number of organisations that can help you find further or higher education courses once you have left school or if you are looking to go to university.

Information regarding local learning and training opportunities is available.

Further Education advice from UCAS

Time-line for post 16 options

A checklist for schools supporting transition for young people to post 16 opportunities.

Download the checklist

Post 16 study at school in Rotherham

School sixth forms

Sixth forms are part of a secondary school, but often have separate buildings within the school. They offer a range of A-level courses. They often offer a limited range of vocational BTEC or T-level courses. Courses typically last 2 years. Students usually choose 3 or 4 subjects to study.

Students apply directly to the school. They must meet the entry requirements set by the school to study their chosen subjects

Schools with sixth forms in Rotherham

  • Aston Sixth Form
    Aston Academy is a mainstream secondary school and sixth form in Swallownest. It is a member of the Aston Community Education Trust (ACET).
    Aston Academy – Post 16
  • Brinsworth Sixth Form
    Brinsworth Academy is a mainstream secondary school and sixth form. It is a member of the Learner Engagement and Achievement Partnership Multi-Academy Trust.
    Brinsworth Academy – Sixth form
  • Dinnington High School
    Dinnington High School is a mainstream secondary school and sixth form in Dinnington. It is a member of the Learner Engagement and Achievement Partnership Multi-Academy Trust.
    Dinnington High School – Sixth form
  • Maltby Sixth Form
    Maltby Academy shares its sixth form with Sir Thomas Wharton Academy in Doncaster. They work across both school campuses. They are both members of the Maltby Learning Trust (MLT).
    Post 16 at MLT
  • Swinton Sixth Form
    Swinton Academy is a mainstream secondary school and a sixth form in Swinton. It is a member of the Aston Community Education Trust (ACET).
    Swinton Academy – Post 16
  • Wales Sixth Form
    Wales High School is a mainstream secondary school, resourced provision and sixth form in Kiveton Park. It is a single academy trust.
    Wales High School – Sixth Form
  • Wath Sixth Form
    Wath Academy is a mainstream secondary school and sixth form in Wath-on-Dearne. It is a member of the Maltby Learning Trust.
    Wath Academy – Sixth Form
  • Wickersley Sixth Form
    Wickersley School and Sports College is a mainsteam secondary school and sixth form in Wickersley. It is a member of the Wickersley Partnership Trust.
    Wickersley Sixth Form

Post-16 at special school

Some specialist schools offer post-16 provision. They often have separate buildings for this. They may not be on the same site as the special school. They typically offer a course of study which cover functional skills and concentrates on developing independence skills.

Students apply for places through the EHCP process.

Specialist schools with post-16 provision in Rotherham

  • Abbey School, The WAVEE Hub
    Abbey School is a special school in Kimberworth with sixth form provision at the WAVEE hub on Doncaster Gate in Rotherham. It takes children with moderate learning difficulties (MLD). It is a member of the Nexus Multi Academy Trust.
    Abbey School – Post-16 / WAVEE hub
  • Hilltop School
    Hilltop School is a special school and sixth form in Maltby. It takes children with severe learning difficulties (SLD).It is a member of the Nexus Multi Academy Trust.
    Hilltop School – Post 16
  • Kelford School, The View
    Kelford School is a special school, in Kimberworth with sixth form provision at The View in Masborough. It takes children with severe learning difficulties (SLD). It is a member of the Nexus Multi Academy Trust.
    Kelford School – The View
  • The Willows School
    The Willows School is a special school and sixth form in Thurcroft. It takes children with Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN) and Moderate Learning Difficulties (MLD).  It is a member of the Nexus Multi Academy Trust.
    The Willows School – Post 16

Post-16 study at college in and around Rotherham

Sixth form colleges

Sixth form colleges are stand-alone colleges with students aged 16 and over. They often offer a wider range of A-level and vocational BTEC or T-level courses than school sixth forms. Courses typically last 2 years. Students usually choose 3 or 4 subjects to study.

Students apply directly to the college. They must meet the entry requirements set by the college to study their chosen subjects.

Sixth Form colleges in Rotherham

  • Thomas Rotherham College
    Thomas Rotherham College is a mainstream sixth form college in Rotherham. It is a member of the Leaders In Learning Multi Academy Trust. The college offers a range of A-level and vocational courses. It is for students aged 16 to 19 years old. It can take up to 1700 students.
    Thomas Rotherham College

Sixth Form colleges beyond Rotherham

  • Barnsley Sixth Form College
    Barnsley Sixth Form College is a sixth form college in Barnsley. The college offers a range of A-level courses. It is for young people aged 16-18 years.
    Barnsley Sixth Form College
  • Chapeltown Academy
    Chapeltown Academy is a free school offering post 16 study in Sheffield. It is a member of the Minerva Learning Trust. The academy offers a range of A-level courses. It is for young people aged 16 to 19 years. It has up to 300 students on role.
    Chapeltown Academy
  • Longley Park Sixth Form Academy
    Longley Park Sixth Form Academy is sixth form college in Sheffield. It is a member of the Brigantia Learning Trust. The academy offers a range of A-level and vocational courses. It is for young people aged 16-19 years. It has up to 1100 students on role.
    Longley Park Sixth Form
  • New College Doncaster
    New College Doncaster is a free school offering post 16 study in Doncaster. It is a member of the New Collaborative Learning Trust. The academy offers a range of A-level and Applied General qualification courses. It is for young people aged 16-19 years. It has places for up to 1200 students.
    New College Doncaster (ncdoncaster.ac.uk)

Colleges – General FE

General Further Education (FE) colleges offer academic, technical, and vocational education to people of all ages. They offer a wide range of courses from basic English and maths to Higher National Diplomas (HNDs).

FE also includes 3 types of technical and applied qualifications for 16 to 19-year-olds:

  • level 3 tech levels to specialise in a specific technical job
  • level 2 technical certificates help get employment or progress to another tech level
  • applied general qualifications to continue general education at advanced level through applied learning

Students apply directly to the college. They must meet the entry requirements set by the college to study their chosen subjects.

FE colleges in Rotherham

FE colleges beyond Rotherham

Specialist Independent Colleges

Specialist education colleges provide a learning environment that is tailored to the specific needs of students with disabilities. This includes specialised teaching, equipment and resources designed to help students learn in a way that is best suited to their individual needs. They typically offer courses of study which cover functional skills, independence skills and pathways to employment. They may also offer residential placements.

Students usually apply for places through the EHCP process.

Specialist Independent Colleges in Rotherham

  • Rotherham Opportunities College (ROC)
    Rotherham Opportunities College is an independent special post-16 college in Rotherham. It teaches life skills, independent skills and offers some supported internships. It is for students aged 16 to 25. It has 50 places for students with special educational needs and disabilities.
    The ROC – Rotherham Opportunities College

Specialist Independent Colleges beyond Rotherham

  • Communication Specialist College, Doncaster
    Communication Specialist College Doncaster is an independent special post 16 institution in Doncaster. It is a member of the Doncaster Deaf Trust. It is for day and residential students aged 16 to 25 years. It takes students who are deaf or have other communication difficulties and learning disabilities. It specialises in vocational studies alongside therapeutic support. There are up to 180 places.
    Communication Specialist College Doncaster
  • Freeman College, Sheffield
    Freeman College is an independent special post 16 institution in Sheffield. It is a member of the Ruskin Mill Trust. It is for students aged 16 to 25 years. It takes students with challenging behaviour and complex learning difficulties. There are up to 20 residential places available in the local community. It specialises in developing practical skills. There are up to 65 places.
    Freeman College
  • Harrison College, Doncaster
    Harrison College is an independent special post 16 institution in Doncaster. It is for students aged from 16 years old. It takes students with autism and special educational needs. It specialises in business, enterprise, and employability skills.
    Harrison College
  • Landmarks College (five sites in the East Midlands and South Yorkshire)
    Landmarks Specialist College is an independent special post 16 institution near Sheffield. It is run by a charitable trust. It is for students aged from 16 years. It takes students with a learning difficulty and/or disability. It specialises in developing social and independent-living skills and work-related skills. There are up to 150 students on roll.
    Landmarks Specialist College
  • Linkage College (four sites in Lincolnshire and the East Riding of Yorkshire)
    Linkage College is an independent special post 16 institution in Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire It is a member of the Linkage Community Trust. It is for day and residential students aged 16 to 25 years. It takes students with learning disabilities. It specialises in developing social and independent-living skills and work-related skills. There are up to 200 places.
    Linkage Colleges
  • Camphill Wakefield
    Camphill Wakefield is an independent special post 16 institution in Wakefield. It is a member of the Pennine Camphill Community Ltd. It is for day and residential students aged 16 to 25 years. It takes students with moderate to severe learning disabilities. It specialises in developing social and independent-living skills and work-related skills. There are about 60 places.
    Camphill Wakefield
  • Portland College, Nottinghamshire
    Portland College is an independent special post 16 institution in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. It is run by a charity. It is for day and residential students aged from 16 years old. It takes students with high needs, including profound and multiple learning disabilities, severe and moderate learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, complex medical and physical health, hearing impairment and visual impairment. It specialises in developing independence, employability, and health and well-being. There are up to 260 places.
    Portland – Further Education

Post-16 training in and around Rotherham

Providers

Really NEET Project

Morthyng Leap

For information regarding other post 16 providers

Supported internships

Supported internships are a structured, work-based study programme for 16 to 24-year-olds with SEND, who have an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan. The core aim of a supported internship study programme is a substantial work placement, facilitated by the support of an expert job coach.

The National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTi) have produced an easy read guide to supported internships:

What are Supported Internships? – an Easy Read guide for young people

NDTi supports our local authority to increase Supported Internships across the borough through the Internships Works project.

For more information about NDTi, please visit their website:

National Development Team for Inclusion (ndti.org.uk)

Looking for Supported Internships

The following colleges offer supported internships:

RNN – Rotherham College

Supported internships (rotherham.ac.uk)

Landmarks College

Landmarks College (landmarks.ac.uk)

ROC – Rotherham Opportunities College

Rotherham Opportunities College (theroc.co.uk)

Choices College

Choices College: Supported Internships (hee.nhs.uk)

RNN – Dearne Valley College

Supported internships (dearne-coll.ac.uk)

Success stories

The following YouTube video includes the stories of 4 supported interns working for Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council in Riverside House:

Supported Internships: Rotherham MBC

Traineeships

A traineeship is a course with work experience that gets you ready for work or an apprenticeship. It can last up to six months.

Traineeships

Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships combine practical training in a job alongside learning. Apprenticeships take one to five years to complete depending on their level.

As an apprentice you will:

  • work alongside experienced staff
  • gain job-specific skills
  • earn a wage
  • get time for study related to your role (usually one day a week)

Post-16 Apprenticeships

Find and apply for an apprenticeships

Rotherham College also have information about local apprenticeship opportunities:

Apprenticeships (rotherham.ac.uk)

Post 19 study

Gain the skills you need to go further with college courses. You can choose to study from entry level through to level 3.

Adult courses

Support

DisabledGo

DisabledGo provides information on accessibility in thousands of buildings across the UK and Ireland, including universities.

A guide to accessible universities

If you have Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and may require support in college you can make a request for a statutory EHC Assessment using the Education, Health and Care Hub.

Education, Health and Care Hub (rotherhamcouncil.org.uk)

You can find out more information in the Support in Education section of the Local Offer:

Support in education

Disability Rights UK

Disability Rights UK can help with information regarding your rights as a student

Disabled Students Helpline

Financial Support for accessing Higher Education

As a higher education student, you can apply for a Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) if you have a disability, including a:

  • long-term health condition
  • mental health condition
  • specific learning difficulty, e.g. dyslexia

The support you get depends on your individual needs.

Help if you’re a student with a learning difficulty, health problem or disability (gov.uk)

Studying abroad

Go Overseas has information about studying abroad for students with disabilities

10 Accessible Cities for Studying Abroad with Disabilities and Chronic Conditions (gooverseas.com)

The travel booking website omio.co.uk has advice on preparing for studying abroad as a disabled student:

Mobility with disability: guide for UK students (Omio.co.uk)

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