The Psychology & Therapeutic Service (P&TS) and the Specialist Education Services (SES) work together to support schools and children with SEND across the whole of Suffolk, in a variety of different ways. Click the links to the individual teams at the bottom of the page to find out more.
The parent carer helpline, used to support the full return to school in September, came to an end on 23rd October 2020. However, the line is still available to support any issues around school attendance. The number to call is 03456 066172. Colleagues from attendance teams will answer your call as soon as possible.
For any additional queries or concerns, you can call our Local Offer advisors on 0345 606 1490 or contact individual SEND services and specialist teams directly by visiting the page: SEND teams – contact details
September 2020 Update
We are currently looking at the safest and most effective ways of supporting children and young people with their return to their education settings. At this current time, visits from our services will be undertaken on an individual and needs-led basis, with the safety of children, young people, staff, and colleagues being paramount.
If we can offer appropriate support to a child or young person virtually then we will do so. If however a face to face visit is needed, then we will work with education settings to undertake the necessary risk assessments to ensure everyone’s safety. Each decision will be guided by the needs of the child or young person.
Some guiding principles regarding Educational Psychology assessment
We will continue to deliver high quality assessment work (whether it be virtual or face to face) and will continue to consider each piece of work with every child or young person and their family and education setting on an individual basis in order to deliver high quality, person centred advice safely. The psychologist allocated to work with you and your family will work with you and the education setting in order to plan exactly how the assessment will be undertaken safely.
As you are aware we have not been able to do face to face assessment visits during lockdown and over the summer, so our staff have developed creative ways for working with children, young people and families, using video technology where it has been safe to do so. In a few situations, such as Educational Psychology (EP) Advice for an Education, Health Care Needs Assessment (EHCNA), a psychologist may need to re-visit and work with a child or young person to do some more assessment. If the EP assessment advice for your child says that additional assessment is needed, please speak with your child’s educational setting as a first step. They will contact our service to discuss what to do next. An outcome of this discussion could be guidance about assessments which could be done by a SENCo or a teacher who knows the child well. In some circumstances, the Educational Psychologist (EP) or another member of the Psychology and Therapeutic Services, such as an assistant or trainee EP may need to arrange a face to face visit.
Where it is essential to meet and work with your child face to face, the psychologist will complete a risk assessment in discussion with education setting staff. This will help us decide together when and where it is safe to carry out this work. We will look at each individual request in turn to develop a plan which meets your child’s needs. The education setting will discuss the suggested next steps with you. If these further assessments identify significant additional special educational needs and support which are not already in your child’s EHC plan, the education setting can arrange the Annual Review or an early Annual Review meeting. The Local Authority will consider any recommendations highlighted in the Annual Review or early Annual Review report and will amend the EHC plan as necessary.
There are many resources from the Psychology and Therapeutic service available on their webpages for schools and families to freely use.
In addition you may find the Back to School pages on the Suffolk SENDIASS website helpful.
Please be assured we will continue to work with our education settings and our families to deliver the best support we can for our children and young people at this time. We will be constantly reviewing ways of working and keep you updated.