The Specialist LSA Service supports pupils with complex medical conditions to enable their inclusion in mainstream and special schools. The service also provides educational support in the home when pupils are unable to attend school due to their medical condition. All children and young people who access the service meet the Continuing Care criteria. Not all will have a Statement of SEN or EHCP. The service supports children and young people from the ages of 21/2 to 19 in the East and West of Suffolk, therefore does not include the Great Yarmouth and Waveney CCG area.
Children and young people are usually referred to the service by a health professional or their school, who use the Generic Referral Form, in particular the Health appendix. Families can express their worries about their child to the Community Nursing Team or school, and then a referral to the Specialist LSA Service may be considered. Each individual child or young person is discussed at panel, and decisions are made on a case by case basis. There are 3 monthly referral process planning meetings, with representation from health and education.
The Specialist LSA Team mostly supports children and young people in special schools, although some are in mainstream schools, and some are on dual placements. When supporting within the home, the Specialist LSA Service offer 3 sessions a week of 3 hours each. These would be morning or afternoon sessions. Here, the Specialist LSA would follow an individual based curriculum, record the work that the pupil has done and take it back to the teacher at their school.
How long a Specialist LSA spends with a child or young person varies, and the team constantly review whether it is still the appropriate service for the individual. When a new child or young person is referred, the Specialist LSA may undertake some sessions at home in partnership with parents before starting at school. Specialist LSAs also attend Annual Review or Child in Need meetings if necessary. The service invites parents to their health intervention training and invites them to be a part of signing off competence, which is reassessed every year. Every two years, the Specialist LSA Service undertakes a questionnaire that is sent to parents to ask them for feedback. If you are worried that your child’s health needs are not being met in school and feel that they may need support from this service, you should talk to your Community Nursing Team or school.