Swansea Local Authority

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Our helpline is available Monday to
Friday between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm.
Tel: 01792 637541

Specialist Provision

In Swansea, for learners with more complex needs, a specialist placement in either an STF (Specialist Teaching Facility) or Special School, provides wraparound care and educational support to ensure the children achieve their full potential.

To find more information about STF (Specialist Teaching Facilities) or Special Schools, please click this link.

Behaviour, Emotional and Social Difficulties

What is the Service? – Who is the Service for?

The Behaviour Support Service offers advice to schools across Swansea for professionals working with pupils with behavioural, emotional and social difficulties.

The service comprises of Specialist Behaviour Support Teachers (BST) and a Support Assistant, based within school clusters. The service provides school staff with practical support for pupils demonstrating social, emotional and behavioural difficulties (SEBD).

Behaviour Support Teachers (BST) also deliver training in schools, and where needed, work directly with groups or individual children. For example, providing advice about a particular pupil, or providing support to develop strategies to promote positive behaviour or manage challenging behaviour.

Behaviour Support Teachers (BST) also deliver Centre based training for staff from Swansea Schools as part of a broader menu of support for schools in meeting the needs of pupils with Additional Learning Needs or Social, Emotional or Behavioural Difficulties.

Half-Way House Provision

The Half-Way House comprises of a team of teaching and support staff who are able to provide support to schools in Swansea to enable the successful integration or re-integration of pupils with Social, Emotional or Behavioural Difficulties (SEBD) who are at risk of becoming in need of Education Other Than At School, or supporting pupils who are attending a Pupil Referral Unit, and are in the process of re-integrating back into mainstream provision.

Swansea Pupil Referral Unit (PRU)

Swansea PRU consists of 4 departments which cater for a range of pupils with Social, Emotional or Behavioural Difficulties (SEBD):

  • Arfryn Education Centre provides support to pupils from Foundation phase through to the end of Key Stage 3, who have struggled to cope in mainstream school provision as a result of their SEBD. The aim of the Centre is to equip the pupils with the necessary skills to enable them to be able to re-integrate back into their mainstream schools.
  • Step-Ahead Education Centre provides a nurturing environment and sensitive support to pupils in Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 who have social and emotional difficulties, and demonstrate high levels of anxiety. In addition to the centre based provision for pupils, Step-Ahead also provides an outreach service for those pupils with high level needs.
  • KS4 Education Centre provides support to pupils in Key Stage 4, who have struggled to cope in mainstream school provision as a result of their SEBD. The aim of the Centre is to equip the pupils with the necessary skills to enable them to be able to successfully move on to further education or employment on leaving school.
  • EOTAS Pathways provides support to pupils in Key Stage 4 through the provision of both centre based tuition and a menu of vocational opportunities.  The aim of the Centre is to equip the pupils with the necessary skills to enable them to be able to successfully move on to further education or employment on leaving school.

How can the Service be accessed?  Who to Contact?

Referrals to the Half-Way House and Swansea PRU are made via the Swansea EOTAS Panel  – Referrals are made by the pupil’s school in discussion with the Head teacher, Head of Year or Additional Learning Needs Co-ordinator (ALNCO); parents and the pupil.

Physical and Complex Needs

What is the Service?  Who is the Service for?

The Physical and Complex Needs Service provides a Specialist Teacher who works with children and their families, schools and Health professionals to ensure that the child’s needs are being met within the school setting. The Specialist Teacher for Physical and Complex Needs works with children and young people with complex physical and medical conditions. The majority of pupils in receipt of this service have levels of provision outlined on their Statement of Special Educational Need and are supported in mainstream schools. Referrals can be made to the service, via a panel process in consultation with the pupil’s school if the pupil is considered to meet the criteria for this provision.

Liaison with schools and a range of Health Professionals ensures that the child’s needs are being met within the school setting. The Specialist Teacher can support children and families during transition into school and also between different phases of school life. Manual handling training is also provided and guidance on health care needs and writing of risk assessments is facilitated.

Additional concerns can be discussed with:

Lyndsay Jenkins – Specialist Teacher

Email: Lyndsay.Jenkins@swansea.gov.uk

Speech, Language and Communication Difficulties

What is the Service? – Who is the Service for?

The Speech, Language and Communication Team (SLCT) provide support, offer advice and guidance to primary and secondary schools across Swansea for children and young adults aged 3-19 years with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) including Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This service is offered to pupils in English medium and Welsh medium schools.

Within the Speech, Language and Communication Team, there are specialist teachers and specialist teaching assistants for speech, language and communication needs and Autism Spectrum Disorder.  Speech and Language Therapists (SLTs) manage School Action Plus (SA +) referrals through a ‘Communication Forum’ referral process which occurs weekly and supports the SLCT in schools with Statemented caseload providing the Speech Sound Impairment Service (SSI) and the Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) services.

Every mainstream school has a named speech and language specialist teacher and access to the Speech and Language Therapy Service. The SLCT offer advice and guidance to primary and secondary schools on materials and ways they can support pupils with speech, language and communication difficulties and ASD within the mainstream curriculum. There is also support to develop school’s capacity to manage pupil’s needs using Speech link Multimedia packages and The WellComm Toolkit to screen and identify pupils at risk of language delay in Nursery settings.

The ASD specialist teacher works as part of the ASD Outreach service in conjunction with Pen-y-Bryn Special School to provide support to pupils in mainstream schools with complex learning difficulties and sensory needs in conjunction with ASD diagnoses.

New referrals for ASD and ADHD are made through the Neuro-developmental Pathway (ND Pathway) – a local health board pathway that, works in conjunction with schools to work up referrals. Forums for new referrals are held fortnightly to assist schools in this process and advertised through the Swansea ALNU Training Menu that goes out to schools termly.

Pre –school referrals are made through the Pre-school Speech and Language Therapy Team, normally in conjunction in with Community Paediatricians, Flying Start settings or through contact from a Health visitor. Nursery age children can also be referred by schools if not known to the service.

How can the Service be accessed? – Who to Contact?

Referrals are made through the child’s school in discussion with the Headteacher or Additional Learning Needs Co-ordinator (ALNCO).

Mainstream SALT Team

Lucy Jones, Speech and Language Therapist
Email: Lucy.Jones@wales.nhs.uk

Huw Beynon, Senior Specialist Teacher – SLCT

Email: Huw.Beynon@swansea.gov.uk

Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Claire Warlow, Specialist Teacher
Email: Claire.Warlow@swansea.gov.uk

Kathryn Ellis, Lead SLT, Schools

Email: Kathryn.Ellis@wales.nhs.uk

Preschool Team

Sue Koziel, Lead SLT – preschool

Email: Sue.Koziel@wales.nhs.uk

Sensory Needs

What is the Service? Who is the Service for?

The Sensory Needs Service is divided into three areas: Hearing Impairment/Deaf, Visual Impairment/Blind and Habilitation Specialists.

The Hearing Impairment Team and the Visual Impairment Team are made up of Specialist Teachers and Specialist Teaching Assistants and provide support to pupils from 0-19 Years as outlined on Statements of Special Educational Need and at School Action Plus (SA+) level. Training and advice is also offered from the team to schools to offer support and advice to parents.

A high percentage of pupils in receipt of this service have levels of provision outlined on their Statement of Special Educational Need and are supported in mainstream school.

Habilitation Specialist also offer advice and guidance to pupils, families and schools on accessibility issues related to visual impairment whilst attending school.

How can the Service be accessed?  Who to Contact?

Children are usually referred by Health professionals, for example, Paediatricians, Audiology or Ophthalmology. Parents, pre-school settings and schools are able to refer to Health through GPs, Health Visitors and School Nurses for assessment. Schools are able to contact all areas of the Service for support, advice and training on general sensory issues.

Additional concerns can be discussed with:

Tricia Garland/Sarah Svensson – Specialist Teachers for Hearing Impairment/Deafness.

Email: Tricia.Garland@swansea.gov.uk

Shirley Francis/Liz Rolfe – Specialist Teachers for Visually Impairment/Blind.

Email: Shirley.Francis@Swansea.gov.uk

Helen Thomas/Karen Hooper – Habilitation Specialists

Email: Helen.Thomas@swansea.gov.uk

Specific Learning Difficulties

At the present time, there is not a specialist team that supports these difficulties but work has been carried out to support schools to manage the needs of pupils with specific difficulties with literacy and numeracy. Training events, online training modules and Lead Practitioners have been utilised to develop schools capacity to manage the needs of this cohort of children.

Additional concerns can be discussed with:

Alison Lane – Performance Specialist, ALN

Email: Alison Lane@swansea.gov.uk

Huw Beynon, Senior Specialist Teacher – SLCT

Email: Huw.Beynon@swansea.gov.uk

Counselling for Children and Young People in Swansea

Children and Young People between the ages of 5-25 and living in Swansea are well supported with counselling and therapy services. The services are delivered by the-exchange and are available in schools throughout the County and in Swansea city centre. The primary purpose is to support the development of psychological and emotional resilience in the young clients.

Every Secondary School has a fixed service based in the school which can be accessed by any young person directly and school staff and parents can also make referrals to the service. This can be done using the on-line referral form or by using the “drop-in” service for that school. This service is confidential but also ensures that the young person is safe and we work with the school to achieve both outcomes.

The Primary Schools service is delivered in partnership with Families First and referrals come through the Head Teacher and are also made on line. The service for Primary School aged children consults with and involves the family as part of the intervention. Families provide written consent for the support to their child and we are keen to involve them in the ongoing support their child needs.

Any Young person can choose to receive counselling in our Swansea office and this is where the 18-25 group are seen, as well as those 16+ who have left school. To contact the service people can either call 01792 346323 or visit our website

On the website there is also a live-chat facility to answer questions about the service.

Complex and Specific Learning Needs

What is the Service? – Who is the Service for?

The Complex and Specific Learning Needs Teacher offers advice and guidance to primary and secondary schools across Swansea for children and young adults aged 3-19 years with complex learning needs.

The majority of pupils in receipt of this service have levels of provision outlined on their Statement of Special Educational Needs and are supported in mainstream schools. Referrals can be made to the service, via a SEN panel process in consultation with the pupil’s school if the pupil is considered to meet the criteria for this provision. Programmes of support for pupils are developed and key staff are supported in implementing programmes.

How can the Service be accessed? – Who to contact? 

Referrals are made through the child’s school in discussion with the Headteacher or Additional Learning Needs Co-ordinator (ALNCo).

Additional concerns can be discussed with:

Lyndsay Jenkins – Specialist Teacher, Complex and Specific Learning Difficulties

Email: Lyndsay.Jenkins@swansea.gov.uk

Statutory Assessments and Statements of SEN

What is the Service?  Who is the Service for?

The Statutory assessment service is responsible for processing a request for formal assessment and monitoring/ maintaining a child’s Statement of SEN.

Wherever practicable, every attempt is made to provide the necessary educational provision for a child or young person without needing resource to a Statement of Educational Needs.

How can the Service be accessed? – Who to Contact?

For support and guidance the school Additional Learning Needs Co-ordinator (ALNCo) is the first point of contact. In the majority of cases the ALNCo will be able to arrange the appropriate level of support in partnership with parents and outside professionals. If the advice from the school link Educational Psychologist is to request a statutory assessment then school or parents may contact:

Fraser Newbury (ALN Lead)
Email: ALNU@Swansea.gov.uk

Education Psychology Service

What do we do?

Swansea Educational Psychology Service is concerned with the development, learning, achievement and wellbeing of children and young people. Members of the team work with staff of pre-school settings, schools and with parents/carers, applying psychology to achieve better outcomes for all Swansea children through specialist consultation, advice and support.

The use of consultation, observation and a range of assessment techniques are used to gather information to help others – such as teachers and parents to resolve problems.

The Service:

provides support in a timely and equitable way in consultation with schools, parents/carers and other agencies.

works holistically with schools and families to assess the needs of children and young people in their family, school and community contexts.

provide time for staff to develop their skills and knowledge so that the support we provide is evidence based and effective.

work in a person-centred way to make sure children, young people and their families are given a voice and are at the centre of decision making about their lives.

apply psychological theory, knowledge and research with partners to find the difference that makes a difference.

contributes psychological advice to the statutory assessment of children under the 1996 Education Act and the monitoring of progress of children with special educational needs.

contributes to Local Authority policies and procedures relating to all aspects of education and children’s welfare.

How do we deliver these services?

Consultation, Planning and Review meetings held in school are used to determine priorities for Educational Psychologist involvement for school aged children and young people that are set within the time allocated to each school.

Pre-school children that may require further statutory assessment are identified by Health. Pre-school children will be seen at home and/or in pre-school placements.

The team will always try and be as responsive as possible to parental concerns. If a parent contacts an educational psychologist the EP will suggest that s/he discuss the issues with the appropriate staff at school. The EP will normally follow this up with the school during a subsequent visit.

Contact Us:

Additional Learning Needs Unit, Civic Centre, Oystermouth Road , Swansea, SA1 3SN

Helen Osborne – Senior Educational Psychologist
Email: helen.osborne@swansea.gov.uk

Tel: 01792 636162

Education for Looked After Children

When a child is taken into care every effort is made to try to ensure that the pupil can remain at the school they attend.  This is not always possible and will depend upon individual circumstances.

In Swansea, an Education Looked After Children’s (ELAC) Team that is based at Cockett House can provide support for pupils in a number of ways.

The ELAC Team includes an Education Looked After Children’s Co-ordinator and 4 Project Workers who are able to provide help and support for pupils who become looked after to settle if they need to change schools.  They can also provide guidance and support when a pupil becomes looked after but is able to continue to stay at their school.  The Team can offer one-to-one support for young people to help them to overcome the challenges they are facing.  They can also link with foster carers, parents and other agencies supporting the young person and family.

The ELAC Team can be contacted by telephone on: (01792) 522946

In addition, all schools have a Designated Person – often a teacher and sometimes the Headteacher, who will support the young person when they become looked after.  Every young person who becomes looked after must have a Personal Education Plan (PEP) within 20 school days of becoming looked after.  The Designated Person will be responsible for drawing up the PEP and the young person should have input into the PEP.  Every young person who is looked after must have at least a review meeting at least once a year and all young people are encouraged to attend these review meetings for some if not all of the meeting.  This is an opportunity to meet with all the people together who are supporting the young person and also to ensure that their thoughts and needs are taken into consideration.

English as an Additional Language

The Ethnic Minority Achievement Unit (EMAU) in Swansea is a central local authority education service with the aim of raising standards and tackling the risk of underachievement for pupils from minority ethnic backgrounds, in particular those learning English as an additional language (EAL). EMAU has a large team of specialist teachers and bilingual teaching assistants who support Swansea schools with provision for pupils who are learning EAL.

The main role of the bilingual teaching assistants is to provide in-class support for pupils who are in the early stages of learning English, including translation of curriculum materials and resources. The bilingual teaching assistants speak 10 languages between them. In addition, bilingual teaching assistants facilitate day-to-day home school links with parents/carers for example, through translation of school letters.

Specialist teacher support is provided to targeted EAL learners who are deemed at greatest risk of underachieving in school. The specialist teachers also have a key role in providing advice, guidance and training to school staff so that schools can develop their own expertise in meeting the distinctive and diverse needs of minority ethnic and more specifically EAL learners.

Newly arrived EAL learners who are referred to the service are assessed by specialist teachers. Relevant information and appropriate strategies to support the pupil are provided to class teachers. On occasion, bilingual teaching assistants may also carry out a home language assessment.

The service co-ordinates interpreting and translating services for education so that parent/carers from minority ethnic backgrounds can be fully involved in the education of their children. The bilingual teaching assistants act as interpreters and where languages are not available in-house the Welsh Interpreting and Translating Service (WITS) is used.

Contact:

Pam Cole, Head of Unit, Ethnic Minority Achievement Unit (EMAU)

01792 637381    pam.cole@swansea.gov.uk

Elective Home Education Guidance

The aim of Swansea Council is to provide guidance for parents who are considering or have decided to Elective Home Educate (EHE) their children. Swansea Council respects and accepts the right of parents to educate their children at home.

In recognition of this there is a newly formed Swansea Council Elective Home Education Team (EHET).

As stated in the Welsh Government guidance where a child is enrolled at school and the parent wishes to home educate, the parent must write to the school and request that their child’s name be taken off the school roll.

The school will then need to complete the exit form on SIMs which will be populated with the pupil’s details. The form also requests information on any ALN, any concerns they may have in relation to the child/family, also if there are no reasons or concerns that they feel may impact on the education. The EHET would appreciate the form being completed fully as it ensures that they have all the information needed to monitor that the educational attainment of the child is being met but also for safeguarding purposes.

This then needs to be submitted to the EHE team along with the parental letter to electivehomeeducation@swansea.gov.uk, within ten school days from the date on which the letter was received as specified in WG guidance.  The EHE team will send an acknowledgment letter to the parent, confirming that the child will be removed from the school roll under the Education (Pupil Registration) (Wales) Regulations 2010 from the date of the parental letter. The EHET will confirm this with the school.

If a parent wishes to home educate a child with a Statement of special educational needs they will also need to write to the Additional Learning Needs Unit (ALNU). The request will then be discussed at panel and an outcome agreed. If panel agree to EHE, the school can then complete the EXIT form and remove the pupil from the school roll.

WG elective home education information for parents states that “A school or Local Authority should never encourage parents to remove their child from school” as this may be misinterpreted as an unofficial exclusion. If a school is aware that a parent may be considering EHE then this is an opportunity for the school to address any issues that may be making the parent decide on EHE with a view to encouraging the parent to maintain the child’s place in mainstream school.

To maintain accurate records we would be grateful if you would advise the EHE team of any change of address in writing or by phone. Please contact us at Elective Home Education Team, School Support Unit, Mynyddbach, Heol Ddu, Treboeth, Swansea, SA5 7HP, telephone 01792 771935 or on email above.

Failure to send the information to the EHET may result in the child becoming Child Missing Education (CME).

Gypsy Traveller Wellbeing provision in Swansea

Swansea Council engages with the Gypsy Roma Traveller (GRT) communities by: 

  • Holistically supporting families in setting up and maintaining regular attendance at school whilst families are residing in Swansea. This includes supporting children aged 0-25 in a variety of different settings i.e.  Early years, foundation stage, primary and secondary schools, family learning and further education.
  • By promoting and engaging in positive relationships within schools to better, meet the needs of GRT, improving attainment, opportunities, academic achievement and ensuring equality of outcomes.
  • Highlighting success stories and promoting good role models.
  • Visiting and supporting families in their place of residence in Swansea, including those families at roadside, designated sites or residing in bricks and mortar. Supporting those families who are well established in Swansea and those families who have a highly mobile lifestyle and frequent.
  • Encouraging families to support their children to access all aspects of the education curriculum e.g. to take part in school visits, educational programs as well as any social activities arranged both in and out of school.
  • Supporting parents to enable them to become confident in engaging within the education system as well as with other partner agencies such as housing and health professionals to ensure that all the needs of their children’s are met.
  • Swansea Council have a GRT Wellbeing Family Lead worker who is able to respond to any specific cultural needs or issues that may exist for children, young people and families in the community. The aim is to focus on raising academic achievement and improving wellbeing and life chances for all children and young people in Swansea.
  • The GRT service support and actively encourage young people to take part in the Travelling Ahead Project as well communicate in any other consultations in Swansea that may contribute to the delivery of services. Young People Services adopt an advocate role for the GRT young people via their Wellbeing Family Lead Worker who is able to help give GRT a voice that ensure that their views heard and noted.
  • The GRT community places great store in protecting their children with an overarching aim of ensuring that their children have many skills, which include both formal education and culturally relevant opportunities e.g.: “Traditionally boys would join the men at work and girls would help the women domestically” shortly after leaving Primary education. Swansea Council is working closely with the communities to explore additional options for young people by encouraging parents to look at education in a different way. We have been successful in encouraging families to consider accessing secondary education and college opportunities to ensure that their children excel in their talents and achieve their full potential. E.g. one local YP has recently been awarded a High Five-Achievement Award for overcoming obstacles related to her travelling Community heritage by building bridges with different cultures and communities in Swansea enabling her to both celebrate her heritage and be the best she could be.
  • The GRT service has regular contact with agencies across Wales, UK and Europe and is proud of their commitment to reflect on our work to ensure and promote good practice. We have recently supported the Intercultural Cities (ICC) Delegation visit to Swansea (end of 2017) by:
  • Impressing them in some of the areas of development and this may contribute to supporting Swansea’s position in the scoring index on the ICC website.
  • Securing future opportunities to exchange good practice with other members across the UK and European Cities.

For more information contact:

Sue Highfield (GRT-Family Well-being Liaison Lead Worker)

Email: sue.highfield@swansea.gov.uk

Tel: 01792 775088