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Autism Spectrum Advisory Teachers for Bedford Borough

We are a team of advisory teachers offering a service which focuses on supporting pupils who have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC) or pupils whose difficulties could be attributed to social communication difficulties but who do not have a diagnosis.

The key purpose of our service is to enable staff to cater for the needs of pupils on the autism spectrum so that they are able to access the curriculum and cope with the social demands of educational environments. We offer different levels of intervention.

These are:
- Autism awareness training including general strategies to help pupils with ASC.
- More bespoke training can be organised request.

General practical strategies are outlined during training sessions. These strategies help enable schools and their staff to cater for the needs of many children on the Autism Spectrum. The implementation of the specified strategies aim to help a large number of children on the spectrum.

Additional support may be requested for children with more complex difficulties. Where the child continues to have difficulties in accessing the curriculum or in coping with the social demands of school despite these interventions, and where these difficulties are attributable to ASC, the school may request additional help from the service.

Consultation visits to school can be requested on receipt of an IEP showing the pupil's response to strategies in place together with a signed, completed referral form.

01234 300710

Early Years Support Team

The Early Years Support Team is a small team of Specialist Advisory Teachers and Specialist Nursery Nurses who offer an Initial Assessment, educational advice and support in relation to children from birth to five who have special educational needs. We are a term-time educational service provided by Bedford Borough Council free of charge.

01234 290770

Sensory & Communication Support Team - Visual Impairment Team

The Visual Impairment Team is part of the Sensory & Communication Support Team (SCST). The team consists of 2 Qualified Teachers for Visually Impaired Pupils (QTVI), 4 Specialist Support Assistants (STA) and a Resources Officer/Technician.

We support children and young people who are aged 0-25, their families and staff. We visit home and educational settings in order to facilitate and monitor their access to learning.

We work with the relevant professionals and families to enable the CYP to access all aspects of the academic and social life of their educational setting. The QTVI or STA visits the CYP at agreed intervals according to need, using the National Sensory Impaired Partnership (NATSIP) eligibility criteria. The keyworker liaises with staff/ family on issues relating to the particular needs of the pupil. The team has strong links with other professionals who work with visually impaired CYP including Orthoptists, Paediatric Ophthalmologists and Mobility Officers.

Our work includes the following:
• Assessing access to the curriculum.
• The loan of specialist equipment and software as required by individual pupils.
Offering advice and support in the modification and differentiation of curricular materials.
• Providing INSET to schools/settings, (small group or whole staff), to raise awareness of the implications of teaching a pupil who has a visual impairment.
• Discussions with the pupil to ascertain and assess any problems or difficulties relating to their access to the curriculum due to a Visual Impairment.
• Discussions with parents / carers, SENCo and staff involved with the pupil
Contributing to IEPs
• Contributing to the statutory assessment process (EHCP) and Annual Reviews
• Writing reports for the school/setting, outlining observations and discussion points arising from the visit. This information will be shared with parents / carers and other professionals involved with the pupil as appropriate.

We currently run a half-termly group at the CDC for young VI children and their families.

We hold occasional ‘Leisure & Lifeskills’ sessions for CYP with severe Visual impairments who attend mainstream schools.

01234 300710

Sensory and Communication Support Team: Support for Pupils with Hearing Impairment

The Hearing Impaired Team is part of the Sensory & Communication Support Team (S&CST). We support children and young people aged 0-25, their carers /families and staff in educational settings. All Bedford Borough pre-school children diagnosed with a hearing loss are visited at home and/or in their pre-school setting in order to facilitate and monitor speech, language and communication development. In Bedford Borough’s mainstream and special schools, including the Hearing Impaired Provision, pupils who have a hearing impairment are offered support from a qualified Teacher of the Deaf (ToD). Pupils who have hearing aids/cochlear implants are seen regularly; advice is given regarding pupils who have temporary fluctuating hearing difficulties or who have a unilateral hearing loss.

The HI team aims to work with the relevant professionals and parents/carers to enable the pupil to access all aspects of the academic and social life of the educational setting. The ToD visits the pupil at agreed intervals according to need, as identified in conjunction with the National Sensory Impaired Partnership (NATSIP) eligibility criteria. The ToD. liaises with a designated member of staff on issues relating to the particular needs of the pupil. The team liaises with, refers to and receives referrals from other agencies as appropriate e.g. Speech and Language Therapy.

Role of the qualified Teacher of the Deaf

• Visits to pre-school children at home, in clinic and the educational setting
• Observation of school age pupils in class as appropriate
• Discussion with the pupil to ascertain and assess any problems of difficulties
• Discussion with the SENCo and staff involved with the pupil
• Under discussion with the SENCo, contribute to an IEP
• Contribute to the statutory assessment process and to annual reviews
• Acoustic check and maintenance of hearing aids and FM systems
• Carry out language assessments
• Offer advice on modification and differentiation of curricular materials
• Provide INSET to the school/setting, either small group or whole staff to raise awareness of the implications of a hearing loss in the classroom.
• Write a report following each visit the school/setting outlining observations and discussion points arising from the session. This may include practical advice relating to the hearing impaired pupil to be shared with all relevant staff. Any action points will be recorded. This information will be shared with parents / carers and other professionals involved with the pupil as appropriate
• Follow Local Authority Guidelines on Safeguarding Children

01234 300710 (voice & text)