Learning Inclusion Service

Supporting schools and settings.

Improving attainment and achievement for vulnerable learners, children and young people with SEND is the primary aim of all our Learning Inclusion teams.

Inclusive learning and teaching recognises all children and young peoples' entitlement to a learning experience that respects diversity, enables participation, removes barriers and anticipates and considers a variety of learning needs and preferences.

Our Learning Inclusion teams support schools and settings across the age range in addition to some teams providing support and advice to parents and carers. Each team has a range of resources across all phases to support the design and delivery of teaching, learning and assessment methods that allow all students with SEND to engage meaningfully with the curriculum and achieve their full potential. 

Learning Inclusion Service

Educational Psychology

What we offer

Educational Psychologists (EPs) are trained to understand how children and young people learn, problem solve, develop relationships, communicate with others, and understand and manage feelings. 

EPs work with partners to support CYP with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) from 0-25 to improve educational and life outcomes. EPs facilitate problem-solving consultation to agree appropriate interventions to meet need as part of a graduated approach. We contribute to the assessment and planning of special educational needs at an individual case work level, using person-centred approaches. Individual work includes Education, Health, and Care (EHC) needs assessments for CYP. EPs also work with educational settings at a systems level, including training and development to build their capacity to support CYP with SEND. 

The EPT also offer Critical Incident support to head teachers and senior leaders from all education providers across the city, including schools, colleges, and early years settings, to plan a response to a critical incident impacting on the setting and their community. A critical incident may involve significant loss and bereavement, or a may be major incident, which significantly affects members of their community, needing a planned response. The EPT will offer short-term support to senior leaders, in managing the immediate aftermath of an event, including advice and support around communication, practical arrangements and containment of emotions.

Who we are

The Educational Psychology Team (EPT) includes EPs who support the inclusion of CYP with SEND through the application of psychology. We have a professional qualification in educational psychology; are trained in assessment and research; apply our knowledge of child development and learning. We are registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), and as such undertake regular professional development to ensure our knowledge and understanding remains current. 

Our team includes Trainee EPs, who are currently completing a three-year doctoral level training course to become a qualified EP. 

The EPT also includes Assistant EPs, who hold a degree level qualification in psychology. Assistant EPs have experience of working with children and young people within an educational, health, social care, youth justice, childcare or community setting.

Why choose us

The EPT are part of the Leeds SEND Service, this ensures our support is specific to Leeds and tailored to your setting or cluster, and therefore provides a quality service to improve outcomes for CYP with SEND.  We provide a high-quality service which:

  • delivers high challenge and high support to promote inclusion
  • focuses on your developments and improvement
  • provides a range of specialisms and expertise
  • provides excellent, well-embedded, local multi-agency links
  • understands local processes alongside national SEND reforms
  • knows you and your context, placing an emphasis on relationships

What people say

“Our EP was amazing at helping to problem solve and be solution focused”. SENCO

“It is always so hard to get people to understand the challenges we face daily, and you have captured all aspects in the report you have written”. Parent of a child with SEND

“Heartfelt thanks for the training, your time and expertise once again! We had the most amazing session and when you had finished, we made so many changes based on the knowledge you shared. Everyone agreed it was perfectly pitched to stretch our thinking and promote deep dialogue without feeling too out of our depth”. SENCO

“You have been incredibly supportive this year… patient, professional and you go above and beyond to ensure the children get everything they need”. SENCO

One minute guide: Educational Psychology (leeds.gov.uk)

SENIT (Special Educational Needs and Inclusion Team)

Working with staff, parents and other professionals in our schools and further education colleges, the school-age SENIT team provide consultation, advice and training around meeting the needs of pupils with learning and cognition needs. The Early Years SENIT team support the understanding and meeting of needs of children with SEND within the Foundation Stage.

Working with you we aim to improve attainment and achievement whilst giving children and young people with SEND the opportunity to have a positive experience in their educational setting.

The school-age SENIT team of specialist teachers have expertise in the area of cognition and learning across all phases. We have a wealth of experience understanding and meeting the needs of children and young people with SEND up to age 25.

We pride ourselves on developing good relationships with our schools, building trust, listening to your concerns and responding to your context whilst always putting the child/young person at the centre of what we do. Our team have vast experience, knowledge and expertise across a wide range of issues relating to SEND; from understanding the law to assessment, identifying needs, pedagogy and offering practical advice.

What people say

“I could do it in my own time and stop and start the videos whenever needed. Presented really well and was very informative.” SENCo; eLearning: ALK

“The trainers were very knowledgeable. The resources available were very useful.” Teacher; Virtual: Primary SENCO training - Meeting the needs of children with SpLD (dyslexia) and literacy difficulties

“An amazing overview of everything a SENCo needs to know.” New SENCo; New SENCo Training: A SENCo Survival Kit

"You do a superb job at supporting schools and SENDCos with the demands of the job." SENCo

One minute guide: Special Educational Needs and Inclusion Team (SENIT) (leeds.gov.uk)

EY SENIT (Early Years Special Educational Needs and Inclusion Team)

The Early Years Special Educational Needs and Inclusion Team (SENIT) provides advice and guidance to develop and build a setting’s capacity to meet the educational needs of young children who present with significant learning, communication and interaction, and/or personal, social and emotional difficulties or delay.

Who we are

The Early Years SENIT is a team of teachers and inclusion workers who work collaboratively with families, early years’ settings, and professionals to support children with special educational needs and disabilities.

Why choose us

Do you have children in your setting who may have special educational needs?

Would you welcome some advice and support?

Would you like to work collaboratively with an experienced Early Years professional?

If the answer is yes to any of these questions, then choose us.

We are a professional, approachable team dedicated to building good relationships with early years’ settings and families. We are passionate about making a difference, having high expectations for all learners. We will work with you to empower and enable.

Get in touch for an informal initial discussion about how we can help you.

Email: SEND@leeds.gov.uk 
Phone: 0113 3782888

What people say

“The team have been an amazing support system for us at nursery. They have always treated all our children as individuals and have really taken the time to get to know them and their families. The strategies given are well modelled and are practical, and the funding applications have always been explained full to us.”  Prospect House Day Nursery, Horsforth.

“EY SENIT offer excellent support, guidance and ideas which support staff and parents to help children to achieve to their individual best potential.” Armley Moor Children’s Centre.

“The EY SENIT have helps us with some of our very complex children and enabled us to provide and enhance the resources to enable their progress and learning, and also upskill staff to be confident in their delivery.” Blenheim Primary School.


Portage is a pre-school home visiting teaching and support service for families of young children ( 0-3)  with special educational needs and disability. The service is delivered by the SEN and Inclusion Team ( SENIT) which is part of Leeds Learning Inclusion Service. Portage project workers work in partnership with parents to help them become teachers of their own child, working together to identify goals to help children learn in all areas of their development e.g. physical, communication, social, play and learning. A small steps teaching approach is used to achieve these goals.

Following an assessment, the family may be offered home visits, telephone consultations or signposting to other relevant services. The offer is based upon the child and family’s needs. If the assessment indicates that home visits would be beneficial, families are allocated a Portage Home Visitor, who makes regular home visits. 

Home visit support is dependent upon the child and family’s progress and their ongoing level of need. There are three main elements to each home visit: structured teaching; child-led play; and family focus.

A Portage Home Visitor supports parents and carers to take an active role in finding out what their child can do, identifying goals, and planning activities towards next steps in their child’s development. Leeds Portage Service is registered with the National Portage Association (NPA) .

The Portage service works closely with other professionals involved with the child, for example, ICAN (Integrated Children’s Additional Needs Service) teams, SENIT (Special Educational Needs and Inclusion Team), and Health Visitors.

The Portage service offers support to early years’ settings around transition, individual learning plans, and Early Years Funding for Inclusion (EYFFI) for children receiving Portage. The service also delivers the accredited NPA Portage workshop.

How are requests made to the Portage Service?

There are three ways to make a request to the Portage service, dependent upon who is making the request:

  • parents and carers can make a request by completing a Leeds Portage Service Request Form. Also, any practitioner working with the family can make a request as long as they have the agreement of the child’s parents or carers
  • all health professionals should complete a Health to Education Notification (HEN), ensuring they have the agreement of the child’s parents or carers
  • if the child is attending an early years’ setting and the family agree home-based support should be requested, the SENCo (SEN Coordinator) in the setting should complete a One SEND Services Request for Support. The form should be completed on the understanding that the Portage offer will be home-based.

Requests to the Portage service can be made in the following circumstances:

  • the child is aged between 0 and two and a half years of age
  • the child presents with 50% delay in two or more areas of development: cognition and learning; social communication and interaction; speech and language; social, emotional and mental health; physical; nursing or medical; hearing; vision; and sensory.
  • the family are living in the Leeds local authority area.

A member of the Portage team will contact parents and carers to inform them of the outcome of the request and the Portage offer for them and their child.

Contact Details:

One minute guide: Portage (leeds.gov.uk)

Inclusion Support Worker team

The SEMH team, working as part of the Educational Psychology team, is a service that consists of a team of Inclusion workers and Senior practitioners who provide advice to settings and, where appropriate, may provide assessments, recommendations and training to build capacity and support needs.

About our team

The SEMH team consists of specialist inclusion workers and senior practitioners who have expertise in the area of Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs across all School-Age phases. 

The team consists of an Inclusion Worker Coordinator and three Senior Practitioners: who work with school and setting requests for Children Looked After with an identified SEMH need. 

The team also includes six Inclusion Support workers who support settings and school requests for support for a child or young person with SEMH needs.

We have a wealth of experience understanding and meeting the needs of children and young people with SEND and Social, Emotional and Mental health Needs.

About our service for settings

Working with staff and other professionals in our schools and further education colleges, the school-age SEMH team provide consultation, advice and training around meeting the needs of pupils with Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) needs. 

The Early Years SENIT team support the understanding and meeting of needs of children with SEND within the Foundation Stage.

In some instances we provide joint working with other teams such Early years SENIT, SENIT School age and STARS. Working with you we aim to improve inclusion, attendance,  attainment and achievement whilst giving children and young people with SEND the opportunity to have a positive experience in their educational setting.

SEMH and requests for support

The range of social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs are broad and varied, this makes it difficult to formulate a brief definition and criteria. Children and young people who have difficulties with their SEMH development may have immature social skills and find it difficult to make and sustain healthy relationships. SEMH difficulties may be displayed through the young person becoming withdrawn or isolated, as well as through challenging or disruptive behaviours. The CYP we would generally have on our caseload usually have an evident and marked deterioration in social, emotional, and mental health presentation.

We would expect settings to evidence the graduated approach and upload this with the ONE SEND Request form.

Settings can also request support at setting level where there are a number of CYP presenting with SEMH we can support SENDCO's with a consultation around SEMH provisions within a setting or school.

DAHIT ( Deaf and Hearing Impaired Team)

What we offer

The Deaf and Hearing Impairment Team (DAHIT), part of Learning Inclusion, supports deaf or hearing impaired children from the time of diagnosis to when they leave school or further education.

The team works with children in their homes, early years settings, local schools, specialist resourced provisions or further education settings. We conduct assessments and provide advice and training to ensure that families and staff in settings have the knowledge and skills to support the development and achievement of their child or young person. We also provide direct support and teaching to the child or young person as required.

The level of support offered to each child and family is based on the child’s needs in relation to their deafness, their stage of development and the knowledge and support that they have around them. Some children will require support on a weekly (or more) basis for many years while others will be seen far less frequently or only on request from the school or parents.

Who we are

We are a team of specialist staff, including teachers (QToD – qualified teachers of the deaf), communication support workers (CSW) and deaf instructors (DI), who work to promote the educational inclusion and achievement of children and young people with a diagnosed hearing loss.

Why choose us

We work with deaf and hearing impaired children both with and without additional special educational needs and disabilities. We work with children who are multi-sensory impaired (MSI) or deafblind i.e. they have an impairment of both hearing and vision.

The service is available to support all children with a diagnosed permanent hearing loss. This does not include children with temporary hearing problems such as glue ear.

What people say

“It was lovely to see you too. Thank you for the visit. Hanah was happy afterwards and she has been learning more about dinosaurs in nursery.’’ (Parent of nursery child 2020)

“She is also fantastic support and nothing too much trouble for her. She is very supportive in her role and wants the best for him…” (Parent of primary school aged child 2019)

Visual Impairment Team

The Visual Impairment Team (VIT) promotes the educational inclusion and achievement of children and young people with visual impairment from the time of diagnosis to when they leave school or further education. The team works with children in their homes, early years settings, local schools, or further education settings.

They conduct assessments and provide advice and training building knowledge and skills to support development and achievement as well as provide direct support and teaching as appropriate including specialist skills such as braille, touch typing, use of low vision aids, improved use of functional vision, mobility and independence skills.

VIT, part of Learning Inclusion, is made up of:

  • qualified teachers of the visually impaired (QTVIs)
  • specialist children and families officers
  • resource officers
  • habilitation officer

The Visual Impairment Team promote achievement, inclusion, independence and wellbeing for all children and young people with visual impairment so that they live fulfilled lives now and as adults in the future, by:

  • working in partnership with families, education settings and other professionals
  • working with children and young people with sensory impairments so that they have the aspirations, skills and resilience to achieve their full potential.
  • promoting the voice and influence of children, young people and their families. 

What people say

'Thank you all for your support, guidance, foresight, proactive measures and all your hard-work towards making our child a happy and confident individual.  It means the world to us!' Parent feedback

'We’re so proud and thankful to work with such dedicated professionals and feel that we all work so well together to get the best outcomes for our pupils.' Feedback from a school


What we offer

The Special Educational Needs Statutory Assessment & Provision (SENSAP) service is a statutory local authority service responsible for implementing the legislative frameworks of the Children and Families Act 2014 and High Needs Funding guidance. 

The services is comprised of three main teams:

  • Funding For Inclusion (FFI): delegating high needs funding to schools, early years and post-16 settings
  • Education, Health and Care (EHC) casework: completing EHC Assessments, monitoring and reviewing EHC plans, including oversight of specialist and resource provision places
  • SEN Monitoring and Quality Assurance: working with mainstream schools and settings to monitor, audit and support high quality, inclusive SEND practice

Who we are

SENSAP is a large and bustling service, which has increased significantly in size since 2022. We are administratively based in Adams Court, alongside other Learning Inclusion and Learning Improvement colleagues, and our officers have a varied mix of remote working, office working and being out and around in the communities they serve. 

Why choose us?

Moving on up

We acknowledge that over the last few years SENSAP has not been performing in the way that we'd hoped. We are open and transparent about the fact that we've not had sufficient staffing to do any of the things we believe are important: meet our deadlines, be present in meetings, communicate effectively and efficiently. 

We are working hard to address the issues that we've found and are slowly starting to see the fruits of the investments and changes we've made. I'm confident that we can start building on these early signs of improvement so that we can return to being the effective, efficient, forward-thinking and ground breaking service we once were. 

Thank you for your patience whilst we've undertaken this important work.

One minute guide: SENSAP Team (leeds.gov.uk)

Funding For Inclusion (FFI)

Funding for Inclusion (FFI) is the mechanism for delegating funding from central government to all schools and settings for children and young people in Leeds who require additional support for Special Educational Needs (SEN).

The process of allocation is based on need; those with the most complex SEN and requiring the highest level of provision receive the most funding. Funding is allocated to most schools, settings and providers on an annual basis, although for children in early years settings this is carried out termly.

Who We Are

We are a team of dedicated professionals with years of experience in the education sector. Through working within schools as leaders we have developed a sound understanding of the complex nature of effectively supporting SEND in mainstream and specialist settings. 

Why Choose Us?

Our understanding of the needs of children and young people in Leeds, the resources and needs of our settings as well as the professional relationships we have forged with our customers, ensures our training and advice is second to none. 

We offer support to SEND co-ordinators on how to make good applications for EY SENDIF, EYFFI, FFI and post-16 as well as quality assurance challenge and support for effective use of funding.

Currently, our briefings are free of charge but individual settings may arrange bespoke paid sessions to review and provide advice on funding.

What People Say

“Good clear understanding of application process which should impact on specific children already within our setting.  Very clear, well presented, opportunity to ask questions throughout.”

“Outcomes - very clear.  All questions answered - thank you.  Very clear now on how and when to make an application.  Will widen the provision we are able to give and provide important staff training. Thank you!”

"I just wanted to pass on my thanks for the support you have provided with the E band application process. I really struggled with this last year and was unclear of how to record observations and gather together speech and language information by the deadline provided. The clarity of the format and examples of observations really helped. Thank you for all the input in making this process easier to understand."

Children Missing Out on Education team (CMOOE)

What we offer

The CMOOE team work with schools and local services to achieve the best possible outcomes for children and young people.  As the needs and requirements of schools and educational provisions change, we remain committed to achieving the best possible outcomes. In such challenging times, it is vital that we work together to ensure that we deliver the range and quality of services necessary for you to provide the best learning experience for Leeds' children and young people.

Who we are

We are a team of people who cover the following areas;

  • School attendance service (SAS) 
  • Children missing education team (CME)
  • Elective home education team (EHE)
  • Exclusions monitoring and support service
  • Medical needs teaching commissioned service (MNTS)
  • Pupil tuition team (PPT)

Why choose us

We can offer advice and support as well as a range of resources to guide you. Referral forms are available for some services and handbooks for reference. We offer some traded services for you purchase alongside core offers for all schools and other services. Each team offers specific advice and support to follow statutory processes.

One minute guide: Children missing out on education (leeds.gov.uk)  

Supporting pupils with medical conditions – Individual Healthcare Plans (leeds.gov.uk)


Elective Home Education Service

What we offer

The Elective Home Education (EHE) team provides:

  • advice to schools when a parent mentions home education;
  • advice to parents on what EHE entails;
  • information and signposting  to EHE parents;
  • data to AIP on EHE figures.

Who we are

The EHE team is part of the Children Missing Out of Education team, Learning Inclusion.

Why choose us

The EHE team supports children and young people to return to school where there is no evidence of suitable education being received.

The EHE team works with social care, EP, SENSAP, SENIT and other agencies working and supporting the child and family.

One minute guide: elective home education (leeds.gov.uk)


Attendance Service

What we offer

The Attendance Service works with primary and secondary schools and educational settings to deliver improvement in pupil attendance leading to better attainment and achievement outcomes for children and young people. Attendance matters!

Who we are

The Attendance Service specialises in direct work with families in partnership with schools, clusters, and educational settings to improve attendance and, therefore, enable attainment and achievement for children and young people.

We are a skilled and experienced team with a proven track record for raising attendance at a whole school and individual pupil level.

The service fulfils both the LA’s statutory and non-statutory functions in relation to compulsory school age children and young people.

Where additional needs or barriers have been identified, we will offer advice and support before pursuing legal action under section 444 Education Act 1996. Where children’s whereabouts are unknown, e.g. stopped attending school, the attendance team have a statutory role in identifying and locating missing children – supporting the LA’s safeguarding duties.

Why choose us?

We offer flexible and bespoke support packages for schools, clusters, and educational settings to enable individual children and families to access teaching and learning. These packages are designed to give specific targeted support and training to meet the needs of your school, cluster, or educational setting.

What people say

‘Although I have some knowledge, I felt after the course I knew lots more relevant and useful information.   As I am relatively new in post (a newly created post) it has increased my confidence in using policies and legislation – though continuing to be high support – the high challenge when required can be appropriate and more likely to have an impact.’ City wide SILC cluster Attendance Support



School Exclusions Service

What we offer

Schools and settings continue to work in your commissioned local Area Inclusion Partnership to reduce exclusion and promote inclusion. The local authority can support with:

  • advice on exclusions process;
  • LA rep at PX governors meetings;
  • independent review panels;
  • exclusion data to AIP partnerships;
  • regular meetings with AIP chairs and lead officers;
  • signposting to parents and carers and advice on exclusion processes.

Who we are

Support is available from Learning Inclusion teams ie EP team, SENSAP, SENIT and Children Missing Out on Education.

Why choose us


Schools must without delay notify the parent/carer, VSH/Social worker (if appropriate) and the Local Authority of all suspensions regardless of the length. Where a child has had multiple exclusions in a term, the school should consider an early help meeting to consider the needs of the child and reduce potential further exclusion. Suspensions which would result in the pupil being excluded for more than 15 school days in a term leads to a governors meeting with parent/carer.

Please notify the LA via e-form

Permanent exclusions

All Permanent exclusions must be reported immediately to the Local Authority. Schools should seek immediate support from their Area Inclusion Partnership lead.  As part of the partnership in Leeds, schools will be invited to the SEMH Panel to discuss the permanent exclusion and seek to explore alternative pathways.

Please notify the LA via email: exclusions@leeds.gov.uk 

For queries on exclusion processes, training and advice: Exclusions@leeds.gov.uk 

Pupil Tuition Team

What we offer

The Pupil Tuition Team (PTT) is a small support team that offers short-term sessional education to the full school range up to year 11, to pupils who for reasons other than illness or injury are unable to attend full time school.

Who we are

The Pupil Tuition Team is part of the Children Missing Out on Education Team, Learning Inclusion. The teachers offer one to one or small group tuition tailored to the learning needs of the young person, based on the curriculum and resources from their school.

This service is available for children and young people who have a main domestic address in Leeds.

The team works closely with the pupil's school/ academy and Area Inclusion Partnerships, and with other services including Social Care, Educational Psychology service and the Virtual School.

Why choose us

The team currently provides 1:1 or small group maths and English tuition for up to 5 hours per week to young people who are disengaged from their education provision and are below expectations in terms of literacy and/or numeracy, from very basic skills to falling behind with GCSE work. This tuition takes place in the learning base at the West Leeds Activity Centre.

The team may support pupils who are involved in reintegration packages, having been out of school for some time, to help them gain the confidence to re-engage with their learning in mainstream provision. This may under special circumstances include those returning from home education who are back on a school roll.


Young people must be willing to attend and feel able to manage their own behaviour in the calm, nurturing environment provided. The PTT is a learning support service, not a behaviour management service, although the social and emotional aspects of learning are addressed through academic tuition.  Schools in consultation with the PTT teachers will set the learning objectives for the pupils referred to the service.

Generally if young people fail to attend, their place is withdrawn and all agencies involved are contacted.  

Regular information on the progress of a young person is shared with the referring school. The best outcomes for the young person are reliant on the positive relationship between school and the team.

A closure report is shared with all agencies involved at the end of the tuition period reflecting on work achieved, progress made and attendance.

Referral process

Any referral to the PTT must be submitted by a school.

The decision of the panel will be communicated to the referrer with a call and follow up email within 2 days.

School duties

Transport arrangements for pupils to and from the Learning Centre (currently based at the West Leeds Activity Centre) are the responsibility of the referrer. Schools should arrange taxis or bus passes as appropriate to enable their pupils to attend the Learning Centre.

The referring school/academy must provide the appropriate educational materials for their pupil. The PTT will provide regular update to the named school contact. It is the school/academies responsibility to let PTT know of any changes that may affect the pupil’s attendance/progress.

Parent duties

The PTT always work closely with parents/carers and have regular contact. Parents are expected to ensure that pupils attend all tuition sessions offered.

Email: PTT@leeds.gov.uk 

Medical Needs Teaching Service (MNTS)

The medical needs teaching service is a commissioned service by Leeds City Council of r further information on this team please visit https://mntsleeds.org/ 

Supporting children to attend school 

Under the Children and Families Act 2014, schools and education settings have a statutory duty to make arrangements to support pupils with medical conditions.

The aim is to ensure that children and young people with medical conditions affecting either their physical or mental health (or both) are properly supported in school so that they can play a full and active role in school life, remain healthy, and achieve their academic potential.

Children and young people with long term medical conditions need to have reassurance that the school understands their condition and their particular requirements.

An Individual Healthcare Plan (known as an IHP) is a shared plan that is written in collaboration between healthcare and education practitioners, parents and children or young people. An IHP primarily clarifies medical needs and care as it relates to school, including emergency arrangements and daily medical care. IHPs also support conversations and planning about the impact of medical needs upon a child’s education, identity, inclusion and personal experiences. An IHP is part of a graduated approach which includes identifying universal, targeted and specialist provision.

Individual healthcare plans should specify the type and level of support required to meet the medical needs of children and young people. Schools should have a clear individual health plan for CYP with medical conditions that require additional support or monitoring in school.

An IHP is distinct from an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP). An IHP can be put into place as soon as a health need is identified, it does not depend on a formal statutory process, and it can be reviewed at any time if health needs change.

Where children and young people also have SEN, their provision should be planned and delivered in a co-ordinated way with the healthcare plan.

Schools need also be aware of how to code non-attendance for regular hospital appointments so that rewarding attendance includes pupils with expected times out of school for health issues and appointments.

Schools are required to have regard to statutory guidance ‘Supporting pupils at school with medical conditions’

It is a statutory requirement for all schools to have a policy that makes clear the arrangements to support pupils with medical conditions.

More information about supporting young people with long term medical conditions can be found here: https://www.leedsforlearning.co.uk/Page/22740 

Virtual School

What we offer

Children who have needed a social work intervention at any point in their lives are likely to have had early life experiences that can develop as barriers to their development and learning at any age and any stage. That’s why the Virtual School is a statutory role to ensure that services, schools and settings make effective provision that understands those barriers and seeks to promote the attendance, attainment, achievement and progress of looked after, previously looked-after and children who have or had a social worker. All of the children for whom we have a duty remain the responsibility of the school/setting where they are on roll: our job is to support, enable and enhance the services that support their learning so they can achieve their potential and respond to the challenge of finding the best possible outcome for any child or young person.

The Virtual School works in partnership with all services, social workers, schools and settings in every phase and type. designated teachers, Independent Reviewing Officers, foster and kinship carers, residential settings, SEND services, regional adoption agencies and other Virtual Schools. These are just some of our key provisions that support schools and services:

Looked After Children

To always support and challenge schools and settings with the corporate parenting test: would this be good enough for my child?

Support and advice to social workers to secure timely access to a full-time school place/education offer at the setting best suited to their needs

Designated Teacher Visits – a restorative support/challenge framework that all schools/settings need to complete to secure Pupil Premium Plus

Ensure Pupil Premium Plus is being used effectively and within the conditions of grant for evidence based interventions that enhance the child’s attendance, attainment, achievement and progress

Every looked after child has a high-quality, personal education plan which is implemented and overseen by the school and reviewed termly with the child’s social worker, carer/s and young person  

A regularly refreshed, high quality, differentiated training offer including the role of the Designated Teacher

Termly Designated Teacher networks in each of the three geographical areas of the city

For looked after children aged 3 and 4, access to a building underdeveloped sensory systems assessment through the LEAPlets programme

Support schools explore their understanding of the impact of early childhood trauma and theories about attachment on the development of a child and how becoming ‘a trauma responsive’ school or setting means looking after adults too

An annual conference with nationally and internationally renowned speakers – free to all DTs and DSLs

Bringing a wealth of knowledge and skill to support whole-school practice and provision, inclusive strategies and approaches to meet the specific needs of our children and young people*, promoting and working to the SEND Inclusion Strategy

Ensure children and young people are given a meaningful voice in decisions about them, their learning and their progress

Ensure services, schools and setting demonstrate and embody high aspirations

Previously Looked After Children – left care through adoption, special guardianship or child arrangement orders – all provisions marked * above also apply to PCLA

Provide advice and guidance to parents, carers and families, schools and settings

Work with the regional adoption agency, kinship and SGO services to build the capacity of those teams to support the learning of these children at every age and stage

Work with third sector partners such as Kinship Charity to ensure children in other family arrangements can benefit from the knowledge and experience and functions of the Virtual School

The Virtual School also has a strategic responsibility to raise the profile of learning and education outcomes for the cohort of children in the city who have or ever had a social worker. Designated Safeguarding Leads in school hold this responsibility as a requirement in Keeping Children Safe in Education. The role includes raising awareness and understanding of how educational settings, social care and other partners can work together to support the best outcomes for these young people.

This includes:

  • Using the EIF as a lens, the DT Visit framework includes children with a social worker , links with KCSIE and provides external validation/support/development around the functions of the DT/DSL and SENCO in school
  • Development of a ‘lines of enquiry’ framework to enable DSLs and social workers create a common language for understanding the extent to which learning and education are protective factors for children that might need a social work intervention
  • Implementation of multiagency frameworks for information gathering
  • Termly Designated Safeguarding Lead networks in each of the three geographical areas of the city
  • Promoting an understanding of how learning and education are protective factors and how this can be captured effectively in child and family assessments, child in need  and child protection plans

Who are we?

Our team consists of skilled practitioners with a range of experience in teaching, school/senior leadership, SENCO and learning support services from early years to post 16 education, mainstream and specialist who have a foundation in understanding the needs our children can face and building the capacity within schools to understand and meet those needs.

Our ‘new to care’ PEP Co-ordinators (PEPCOs) ensure the first PEPs for young people just entering care are of the highest quality and ensure children start their journey in care, whatever that looks like, with the best possible plan to support their learning for the time in care and beyond

Our advisers and consultants offer senior consultative advice and support using their extensive knowledge of teaching and learning, inclusive practice and provision, a range of services. Whilst our team are often called upon in particularly challenging circumstances such as responding to a breakdown in a home/care placement or suspension/exclusion, we aim to also provide proactive support that prevents needs escalating or crises.

Our Senior Inclusion Lead is an expert in developing systemic/individual inclusive practice and provision that can increase the capacity of schools and settings keep our children engaged and making progress in mainstream settings.

Our Youth Justice Education Officer helps the Youth Justice Service and schools/settings understand how learning and education can be protective pathways for children experiencing risks around criminalisation and exploitation.

Our Attendance Manager helps us keep track of children whose attendance is a barrier to their progress.

Why choose us?

It’s a statutory requirement for schools, settings and services to access the training we provide. All our training is free, targeted and designed to meet the needs of the audience, easy to access and you will be provided with notes and additional resources where appropriate.

We offer a differentiated programme of training for Designated Teachers so whether new to role or a longstanding leader, there is always something to learn and we ensure that all our content is regularly curated and refreshed for the latest in policy, research and practice.
Whilst children remain the responsibility of the school they are on roll, the Virtual School is an enabler. The team has an extensive understanding of the local context and works closely with schools to ensure they are maximising access to the range of support services available whilst ensuring settings fulfil their statutory duties to secure improved outcomes for those children and young people.

Email: virtualschool@leeds.gov.uk 

LIS SpLD (Dyslexia) guidelines

Learning Inclusion Service Guidelines for Specific Literacy Difficulties: Dyslexia

These guidelines have been written to support schools and settings to develop their understanding of and provision for children and young people (CYP) in Leeds with a profile of Dyslexia. We hope they provide a useful resource for schools and settings to develop their practice working with CYP with or without a formal diagnosis of Dyslexia.

The guidelines were revised following a review of current research and previous local authority guidance.

Dyslexia is a common learning difficulty (or difference) that can cause problems with reading, writing and spelling. It's a specific learning difficulty, which means it causes problems with certain abilities used for learning, such as reading and writing. Many children and adults with dyslexia will have a range of strengths and talents.

Click here to download the Leeds Inclusion Service guidelines.

Click here to download the parental guide.