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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

Educational Psychology Team

The Psychology Team, within Bedford Borough Council, work to promote the learning and development of children within the Borough.

Educational Psychologists (EP) offer consultation, advice, assessment and training on how our early year’s settings/schools and parents/carers might help children to learn effectively, and to make the most of their education.

We work with:
• Groups and individual staff in educational settings to develop ways of working with children as individuals and in groups
• Educational settings to provide guidance on managing whole school issues, such as reducing bullying, improving playground behaviour and teaching children to read
• Individual children and/or their parents/carers
• Other professionals from health authorities, social services and voluntary organisations
• Pre-school providers, parents and carers for children under school age.

Services we provide:-
• Free Drop-in service for all settings and parents/carers, within Bedford Borough
• Research and project work to promote inclusion and support school improvement
• Awareness raising and training for professional staff and voluntary groups about using psychology in education.
• Direct work with individuals and groups of children
• Advice and support in response to critical incidents in the community.
• Advice and support for strategic planning & policy development within the Borough Council

01234 276397

Kids

We support over 13,500 disabled children, young people and their families every year by delivering over 120 services throughout England.

KIDS is unique; there is no other organisation dedicated to providing such an extensive range of services to disabled children and young people, aged 0-25 years, irrespective of their impairment or condition.

Mencap

Mencap is the leading voice of learning disability. Everything we do is about valuing and supporting people with a learning disability, and their families and carers.

Our vision is a world where people with a learning disability are valued equally, listened to and included.

Play Therapy Bedford

The key purpose is to provide therapeutic support for children and young people (3 +). Play and creative arts therapy can help children to gain a better understanding of their emotions and feelings. It can help work through traumatic events, divorce, bullying, anxiety to name a few. I have a toolkit I use including art, clay, sand, puppets and music. A minimum of 12 sessions are recommended, though this depends on the level of need. Group sessions are available too.

07845 926788

Scope

Scope exists to make this country a place where disabled people have the same opportunities as everyone else. Until then, we’ll be here. We provide support, information and advice to more than a quarter of a million disabled people and their families every year. We raise awareness of the issues that matter. And with your support, we'll keep driving change across society until this country is great for everyone.

SEND Advice

The SEND Advice service provides impartial information to parents and carers (parent carers) of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) between the ages of 0 - 19. We provide advice and support on the SEND process, statutory assessments and statements or Education Health and Care Plans (EHCP), annual reviews and tribunal appeals.

When a parent carer calls us they can be confident that any information they share with us remains confidential (unless there are concerns around child protection). This means that no information will be shared with any person outside of SEND Advice unless we have the parent carer's permission to do so.

We give impartial advice based on SEND legislation and case law, the Code of Practice and local policies and procedures. Our focus is on education but we also advise parents on associated health and care issues, or sign post them to other support services that are better placed to help them.

Our aim is to provide parent carers with practical advice that will help them engage effectively with teachers and other professionals. We help parent carers think through what outcomes they would like and help ensure they have opportunities to express their concerns to professionals.

We will support a parent carer on an on-going basis for as long as necessary. Parent carers are welcome to call our service again in the future if further advice and support is needed.

01234 276267

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

Sky Badger

Are you looking for a grant? Help at school? Advice about finding support for your other children? Need an accessible family holiday? Want to find out what else is out there for your special needs or disabled child? Then you've come to the right place!

Sky Badger is an award-winning charity that finds help and adventure for disabled children and their families all over the UK. We do this by building bridges between disabled children and the charities and services available to help. We find everything from disabled sports clubs to sibling groups to help at school to ‘make a wish’ charities and tell families about them though our website, social media platforms, videos, information packs and helpdesk. We help about 1,000 families every day and we are completely free to use.

0845 609 1256

Urban Safari

With our amazing facts and professional animal handlers we visit schools, college’s, nurseries, children's centres and groups, SEN's, residential homes, clubs, private parties, corporate events, Fete’s and festivals fun days, promotional events, photo shoots, film work, Team Building, phobia sessions, Weddings and much more.

The main emphasis of our sessions is to be as hands on as possible, therefore giving you and your participants a truly memorable and empowering experience never to be forgotten.

01234 823004 / 07913 705378 / 07940 282094