Additional Support for schools

The authority provides the following central services for children, families and schools.

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Educational Psychology Service (EPS)

The Educational Psychology Service (EPS) supports children and young people from 0 to 19 years of age.

The role of the EPS is to help raise educational outcomes and to facilitate educational inclusion through the use of psychology.

The work of the authority’s educational psychologists can be divided into five main categories:

  • the support of children’s development and education;
  • supporting school improvement;
  • helping the authority to think about planning provision and policy for the future;
  • contribution to early identification; and
  • statutory assessment work.

Ceredigion’s educational psychologists use a solution focused method of working with school staff and parents. This involves using a consultation model where the psychologist and members of staff, as well as parents and pupils where appropriate, work collaboratively to:

  • identify areas where current strategies are proving successful;
  • identify areas which would benefit from further development; and
  • draw up possible strategies to facilitate development or change.

The EPS is also available to provide training courses to school staff and to undertake project work or psychological research.

Advisory teachers

Advisory teachers work with children and young people 0 -19 with SEN/ALN within the authority to ensure they have the best possible opportunities to reach their individual potential.

The role of the Advisory Teacher is to

  • facilitate educational inclusion within mainstream settings;
  • support schools in the raising of educational outcomes for all pupils; and
  • provide training and support to increase the capacity of schools to address the needs of pupils with SEN/ALN.

Their work involves:

  • working closely with School Improvement Officers to identify and address areas of educational need or management;
  • providing advice and guidance on the management of SEN/ALN provision;
  • supporting schools in the early identification of a child’s or young person’s need;
  • advising, modeling, monitoring and reporting on effective intervention strategies;
  • guidance and provision of appropriate individual and whole school resources;
  • offering training for whole schools, groups or individuals in general or specific areas of learning;
  • supporting parents by providing advice and relevant information;
  • co-ordinating and monitoring the work of centrally held support staff ( LABSSAs & SALTSAs ); and
  • co-operative working on county / national initiatives and processes with a view to ‘closing the gap’ and raising outcomes for all pupils.

Learning and Basic Skills Support Assistants (LABSSAa)

LABSSAs are Learning and Basic Skills Support Assistants. They are centrally employed teaching assistants who work across all educational settings in Ceredigion (primary, secondary and specialist). Their role is to work with pupils with learning difficulties and/or weak basic skills as well as the staff (SEN/ALN Co-ordinators and teaching assistants) in order to raise literacy and numeracy skills and the general sub-skills of learning, including feeding language and communication skills through effective intervention programmes.

During weekly visits to schools they model appropriate activities and resources with individuals and groups of pupils who have been identified as needing additional support to boost their literacy and/or numeracy skills. An existing member of the school’s staff is expected to shadow the work of the LABSSA. Over time, the responsibility for leading the intervention sessions gradually transfers to the school staff with the LABSSA observing and supporting until they are confident and skilled enough to be able to sustain this intervention independently. Termly visits to these schools to offer ongoing support and modelling as pupils’ skills progress is also part of their role.

The LABSSAs also contribute to staff training during courses in Ceredigion’s specific intervention programmes and provide support to newly trained staff.

The literacy and numeracy interventions supported by LABSSAs include:

  • SATPIN for developing early English literacy skills;
  • TRANDEP for developing early Welsh literacy skills;
  • Catch Up for developing English reading skills;
  • Dyfal Donc for developing Welsh reading skills;
  • Personal Dictionaries for developing English or Welsh spelling skills;
  • SAFMEDS for developing fluency of recognition with high frequency words that are ‘tricky’ because they are not phonically regular;
  • Ceredigion Cyfri for developing number sense and early numeracy skills.

Speech and Language Therapy Support Assistants (SALTSAs)

SALTSAs are Speech and language therapy support assistants. They are centrally employed teaching assistants who work across all primary schools in Ceredigion. Their role is to make several weekly visits to particular schools and work on a one-to-one basis with pupils who have been identified by the Speech and Language Therapy Department as having significant speech and language difficulties.

The SALTSAs work very closely with the Speech and Language Therapists who are responsible for drawing up their timetables and Speech and Language Therapy programmes for the individual children they work with. The children are reviewed regularly and the programmes are amended as appropriate. This specific provision can be allocated for a maximum of 2 years dependent on the child’s progress.

SALTSAs do not work with children of secondary school age.

Social Skills Group Co-ordinator

This is a one day a week specialist role for a centrally employed teaching assistant. This involves training and supporting staff to set up Social Skills groups within their school settings at primary and secondary level. These schools are identified by the Speech and Language Therapy Service in conjunction with the Local Authority.

Behaviour support / PRU Service

Ceredigion Behaviour and Wellbeing Support Service is the outreach service of Ceredigion PRU and aims to work in partnership with the whole school community and multi-agency colleagues, to promote the best possible outcomes of behaviour and wellbeing amongst all learners, so that effective teaching and learning can take place across Ceredigion Primary and Secondary Mainstream settings.

We aim to enable and upskill all staff via modelling, sharing of good practice and training, so as to ensure the inclusion and care of the most vulnerable learners in our Local Authority. We work closely with Head teachers, Special Educational Needs Coordinators and Heads of Inclusion to ensure that the support offered by our service matches the needs of the school and the young person in our care.

The Behaviour and Wellbeing Outreach Service of Ceredigion PRU, aims to:

  • support individual pupils and coordinate multi-agency support around the child to ensure the best possible inclusion and provision;
  • support and guide individual teachers;
  • provide whole school training;
  • provide training for governors, and others working with children; and
  • offers a link between parents, school and multi-agency colleagues when appropriate.

Social, Emotional and Behaviour Support Assistants (SEBSAa)

The role of Social, Emotional and Behaviour Support Assistants includes the following:

  • Providing in – class support and guidance to individual vulnerable and challenging pupils across Ceredigion Pupil Referral Units and those in mainstream Primary and Secondary School settings;
  • Support individual pupils wellbeing, via emotional and behavioral interventions and programmes, so as to enable pupils to be included in all aspects of school life;
  • Support pupils with their individual bespoke curricular packages so that they achieve the best possible educational outcomes;
  • Support and guide class teachers and other support staff, to manage challenging behaviours and situations in an inclusive way that meets the needs of all learners;
  • Promote high attendance, good wellbeing and educational outcomes and healthy lifestyles amongst all pupils in our care;
  • Contribute to review meetings both verbally and via written reports and monitor progress against individual learning and behaviour targets;
  • Model good behavior management in all settings;
  • Contribute to staff training events across the Local Authority;
  • Work within a Multi-agency capacity to ensure the best provision for the pupils in our care.

Sensory Service

The vast majority of hearing and visually impaired children will have been referred to the Sensory team by the Health Authority prior to the child entering school. Intervention and support can begin from diagnosis to ensure the needs of the child and family are met.

Support for these children will be based on the partnership between the Educational Psychology Service, the Sensory Service, Tîm Plant Anabl and Hywel Dda.

The Sensory Service will involve parents and outside agencies, including voluntary bodies, especially NDCS, RNID and RNIB to give the most holistic support possible.

When school entry is imminent, the Sensory Service will liaise with the Head teacher
and teaching staff in order to prepare for the hearing or visually impaired child’s admission.

This will include any reports or information on the child and advice regarding the most beneficial physical environment for the child within the classroom and throughout the school building/setting.

The Sensory Service offer support through:

  • outreach visits (homes and schools);
  • training and support for school staff ;
  • support with audiology appointments and reviews;
  • links with other agencies i.e. Speech and Language Service, TPA;
  • monitoring pupil targets and progress;
  • provision of special programmes of work;
  • provision of  specific more intense support tailored to the needs of the pupil in a specialist resource centre where needed.
  • Ceredigion will aim to meet the needs of all pupils with Sensory Impairment ranging from mild to profound hearing and vision loss.

Inclusion support (EIS)

The Education Inclusion Service (EIS) supports children and young people of statutory school age (5 to16) to ensure they take the best advantage of the educational opportunities on offer in schools and educational placements in Ceredigion.

The role of the EIS is, more specifically, linked to the attendance of children and young people of statutory school age who are registered pupils at Ceredigion schools; this includes pupils who are educated outside of the mainstream setting in a Pupil Referral Unit or otherwise by the Local Authority (EOTAS).

The work of the Education Inclusion Officers (EIOs) comprises of:

  • promoting the regular attendance of children at school or other educational provision;
  • assessing the needs of pupils with poor attendance, and taking action to improve this and maintain their well-being;
  • assisting in the delivery of alternative curricular provision; and
  • undertaking a specialist role.

This will be achieved by:

  • working closely with schools to ensure that they have robust systems in place to
  • secure good attendance;
  • supporting parents with regard to attendance matters and other relevant issues;
  • monitoring the attendance pattern of individual pupils and encouraging regular attendance at school by the use of appropriate strategies;
  • undertaking intensive casework and providing the opportunity for individuals to be supported / mentored by the EIO or an appropriate professional;
  • locating and arranging suitable alternative training or educational provision for those pupils in Key Stage 4 identified by schools as being “disaffected”;
  • recording and analysing data, with particular regard to Welsh Government, county and school targets, and maintaining appropriate records on identified clients; and
  • undertaking a specialist role which will add to the efficacy of the service, such as monitoring Elective Home Education, representation on Youth Justice, Team Around the Family and NEETs (Not in Education, Employment, or Training) practitioners group.

SEN Administrative Team

The SEN Administrative Team is responsible for co-ordinating the response of specialist services to referrals made by schools, parents and other agencies to the SEN department.

This is achieved by:

  • acting as the first point of contact in providing support / information for schools and parents with regard to provision for pupils with SEN/ALN;
  • validating and monitoring referrals from schools and supporting agencies;
  • assigning tasks to support officers in accordance with their areas of expertise;
  • monitoring the delivery and effectiveness of support;
  • referring complex cases to the SEN/ALN resource panel and /or Complex Needs Panel;
  • managing out-of-county placements with regard to provision and funding;
  • maintaining the pupil information management system and carrying out audit requirements of pupils with SEN/ALN;
  • carrying out travel needs assessments for SEN/ALN pupils;
  • managing the Statutory Assessment process and Annual review procedures; and
  • co-ordinating SEN/Inclusion team meetings.

Specialist Services and Provision

The authority educates almost all children and young people with SEN either within their local mainstream schools or within more specialised (resourced) classes in specific primary and secondary schools.

Ceredigion does not maintain any Special Schools. Rather, we are committed to supporting and training all our schools to identify and meet their pupils’ needs wherever possible.

Resourced classes in mainstream schools

Resourced classes maintain a flexible programme of support to enable pupils with more severe and complex needs to access both specialist and local provision.

These classes also provide an outreach service to local schools.

The authority provides resourced classes in mainstream schools as follows:

  • Pili Pala and Enfys at Ysgol Llwyn yr Eos (Primary)
  • Canolfan y Don at Ysgol Aberporth (Primary)
  • Canolfan y Bont at Ysgol Bro Pedr (Secondary)
  • Learning Support Centre at Penglais (Secondary)
  • Canolfan y Môr at Ysgol Uwchradd Aberaeron (Secondary)
  • Canolfan y Bryn (Hearing Resource Centre) at Penglais (Secondary)

Ceredigion Pupil Referral Unit (PRU)

In addition, the Local Authority maintains 4 units (not attached to schools) that are registered as portfolio Pupil Referral Units (PRUs).

This provision includes:

  • Canolfan Eos 1: KS 2
  • Canolfan Eos 2: KS 4
  • Canolfan Bro Steffan: KS 3
  • Canolfan Aeron: KS 4

All pupils who enter this provision are regarded as in need of behavioural, emotional and/or social support.

Placement in a specialist resource base is a decision made by the Local Authority.