This section contains information about the four main areas of SEND needs and offers links to websites and signposting to other institutions which can help and support.

Communication and Interaction

This area of special educational need covers children and young people who have speech, language and communication needs and/or autism (having a speech, language or communication need does not necessarily mean that a child has autism).

Children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) have difficulty in communicating with others. This may be because they have difficulty saying what they want to or understanding what is being said to them or they do not understand or use social rules of communication. Every child with SLCN is different; they may have difficulty with one, some or all of the different aspects of speech, language or social communication at different times of their lives.

Communication and interaction does not have to involve the use of language and speech. Many children with difficulties in this area are delayed in using language and shy away from using speech; so other methods of communication need to be established before speech and language will follow, for example, physical gesturing, facial expression and body language.

Communication and interaction needs also include autism. Autism is often described as a ‘hidden’ disability because children and young people with it can be quite able and appear like everyone else. However, children and young people with autism will usually have noticeable differences when they are interacting with others, for example, not responding typically when they are approached or finding it difficult to start conversations and make friends.

Children and young people who have communication and interaction needs are supported in schools by their teachers and Special Educational Needs Coordinators. Schools may receive visits and support from the Speech and Language team who work with education settings to help staff to understand the learning, emotional wellbeing and behaviour of children and young people with communication and interaction needs and to develop strategies to support them more effectively.

More information:

Cognition and Learning

Children and young people with learning difficulties have a need which affects their ability to learn and do well at school. Specific learning difficulties (SpLD), affect one or more specific aspects of learning. This includes a range of conditions such as dyslexia, dyscalculia and dyspraxia.

Children with these needs may have support from professionals in that area from the local authority via the Local offer.

Children who have needs in more than one of these areas are considered to have ‘complex needs’. A child may also be described as having ‘mild’ or ‘severe’ learning difficulties depending on the degree of their needs and the impact these needs have on their lives.

Support for learning difficulties may be needed when children and young people learn at a slower pace than their peers. Learning difficulties cover a wide range of needs. Pupils with moderate learning difficulties (MLD) may need extra support in some areas of the curriculum. Those with severe learning difficulties (SLD) are likely to need support in all areas of the curriculum and have associated difficulties with mobility and communication. Pupils with profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD), are likely to have severe and complex learning difficulties as well as a physical disability or sensory impairment.

For more information on which services are available to children and young people with these needs please see Support available in schools.

More information: 

Social, Emotional and Mental Health

Children and young people may experience a wide range of social, emotional and mental health difficulties which can affect their behaviour in different ways, for example, they may be:

  • withdrawn or isolated

  • disruptive and disturbing

  • hyperactive and lack concentration

  • immature in relation to social skills

  • exhibiting challenging behaviour arising from other complex special needs.

All of these can suggest underlying mental health difficulties such as anxiety or depression, self-harming, substance misuse, eating disorders or physical symptoms that are medically unexplained. Other children and young people may have disorders such as attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) or attachment disorder.

Children and young people who have difficulties in this area may find them a barrier to learning and reaching their potential. This can make them more frustrated and unable to access opportunities.

Children and young people with social, emotional and mental health difficulties may struggle to cope with school routines and have trouble building relationships. They will be considered to have special educational needs if they need educational arrangements or interventions that are different from those generally offered in a mainstream school.

Schools and colleges should have clear processes to support children and young people, including methods for managing the effects of any disruptive behaviour so it does not adversely affect other pupils. There are a range of things that can be done to support children or young people in school if they have social and emotional difficulties that affect their behaviour. 

More information:

Physical and Sensory

Some children and young people require special educational provision because they have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of the educational facilities generally provided.

Many children and young people with physical disability (PD), vision impairment (VI), hearing impairment (HI) or a multi-sensory impairment (MSI – both hearing and vision difficulties) may need specialist support and/or equipment to access learning and other opportunities available to their peers. They may also need habilitation support to help with daily tasks such as eating or travelling.

Children and young people with physical and sensory needs are supported in schools by their teachers and Special Educational Needs Coordinators. 

More information

Estimates tell us that around 1 in 100 children have an Autism Spectrum Disorder – or ASD -which means there are children with an ASD in most schools, whether diagnosed or not. Children with ASD present with a variety of strengths, difficulties and sometimes behaviour issues. For these children the cause of behavioural difficulties usually relates to the core symptoms of autism not being appreciated, and suitable support and adaptions not being put into place.By adapting strong practice, a child with ASD will feel safer, less anxious and have an increased understanding of what is expected of them. This in turn will mean that the child is more likely to have increased attainment, improved behaviour and therefore is at a reduced risk of exclusion.

It is widely recognised that the methods used to support children with ASD can also benefit other children in the classroom.
All children with ASD have impairments in social communication, social interaction, social imagination and a preference for routines. Many have sensory issues and a restricted pattern of behaviours. It is important to remember that the way in which this affects a child varies, and strengths or weaknesses in one area are not necessarily accompanied by strengths or weaknesses in other areas.

For example, many children with higher functioning ASD have good or above average use of language. Having a complex vocabulary does not mean that the child will understand the same level of vocabulary, nor that the child understand the vocabulary that he or she is using. We shouldn’t forget the many positive attributes of children with an ASD. They often bring skills and knowledge that come from following a special interest, maybe showing close attention to detail, often picking up on things that others have missed. These abilities can be used to encourage engagement in school work, and enable them to make their own, unique contribution to school life.

Five Things To Know About ASD

DLD stands for Developmental Language Disorder. Having DLD means your child may have difficulties with understanding and/or using all known languages. DLD can be identified in children from the age of 5 who are likely to have difficulties which may affect their academic progress and persist into adulthood. DLD is believed to affect around 2 children in every classroom. DLD is more common in boys than girls.
DLD was previously known as Specific Language Impairment (SLI).

Developmental Language Disorder


There is no known cause of DLD, which can make it hard to explain. DLD is not caused by emotional difficulties or reduced exposure to language. However, a child or young person with DLD may or may not have difficulties in other areas. A child may or may not have medical conditions co-existing with DLD, but these do not cause DLD.

Signs that a child or young person may have DLD:

  • Speech is difficult to understand

  • Difficulty saying words or sentences

  • Lower than average literacy skills e.g. reading, writing and spelling

  • Difficulty understanding how and when to use language appropriately in social situations

  • Difficulty understanding words or instructions that they hear from others

  • Difficulty understanding or remembering what has been said to them

  • Remember: DLD looks different in each individual child.

Please see below for information on supporting children with dyslexia from the Made by dyslexia foundation who we are working with to support all young people in school. We are working with Made by Dyslexia who are a global charity led by successful dyslexics. Their mission is to help the world properly understand, value and support dyslexia.
EY’s groundbreaking “Value Of Dyslexia” report highlights how important dyslexic thinking is for the future, and that educators and employers should be better equipped to enable dyslexics to flourish.

They have produced some excellent fact sheets and information to support child and adults with dyslexia.

Spelling It Out

What is an Educational Health and Care Plan?

For some children with complex needs even the wide range of services available in nurseries and schools is not enough to help them achieve their full potential. If your child is still not making progress, even with support from school, you can ask us to assess him or her for an education, health and care plan (EHCP).
An EHCP is a legal document which describes your child’s needs. It sets out the education, health and care services needed to meet those needs and the type of educational place that would best suit your child. Your child could have a plan from birth to 25 if he or she stays in education, and the plan will change and develop as your child gets older. The EHCP replaces the statement of SEN or, in college or further education, a learning disabilities assessment (LDA).

What an EHCP will mean for your child?

The plan brings together in one place all the information we need to help us support your child. There can be a lot of organisation needed and the plan is a single clear guide to providing services to meet your child’s individual needs.

What an EHCP will mean for your child?

Providing a secure, digital touchpoint for everyone involved in the 20-week EHC process, the Hub transforms how requests are managed, monitored and shared, and encourages collaboration by improving communication at every stage.The plan brings together in one place all the information we need to help us support your child. There can be a lot of organisation needed and the plan is a single clear guide to providing services to meet your child’s individual needs.

EHC Hub: Education, Health and Care Plans

The EHC Hub is a new digital approach for assessing needs and creating and reviewing EHC plans. It puts families, professionals and young people at the heart of the process and enables true collaboration and transparency between all the groups involved.

What does the EHC Hub do?

Providing a secure, digital touchpoint for everyone involved in the 20-week EHC process, the Hub transforms how requests are managed, monitored and shared, and encourages collaboration by improving communication at every stage.

What they offer

  • Young people / families a voice so they can input and be updated

  • Local authorities a single, secure platform to coordinate planning and collaboration

  • Healthcare professionals a simple way to contribute digitally

  • Education settings a seamless EHC referral method direct to local authorities

By working closely with stakeholders, Open Objects has developed a product that digitises what is typically an extremely complex, paper-heavy and demanding process for all involved. The Hub ensures coordination and allows the stakeholder network to work collaboratively.

How to access the hub

  • Accessible via mobile, tablet and PC, the Hub greatly improves tracking capabilities, noting the date an assessment request is made and the commencement date of the EHC process. Once recorded, neither of these can be changed, ensuring transparency and ownership.

  • The Hub puts young people back at the heart of the EHC process, and ensures every voice is heard by enabling a wide-range of people to submit their contributions to the same digital platform from multiple locations. Young people and parents can even upload photos and videos in support of the ‘All about me’ section. Being able to deliver cohesion at every point in the EHC journey is a fundamental step forward for the sector.

  • Find out more about the EHC Hub on the Open Objects website or by calling 01223 422200.

  • “Ensuring a transparent and a truly family-centred approach should be at the heart of any EHC process and being able to offer a dedicated online hub for families to access and actively contribute information is key in achieving this.”

  • Marj Povey Lead for SEND Services City of Stoke on Trent

Contact details

  • Special Educational Need Assessment and Review Team (SENART)

  • Email: 

  • Telephone: 01472 326292 option 6

  • Opening times: Monday to Thursday 8:30am to 5pm and Friday 8:30 am to 4:30pm, except bank holidays

Here you will find information from other agencies to support parents along with our policies and key information.

Family Hubs

NE Lincs Council


SEND Policy

At St Joseph’s we seek to support all children regardless of their medical needs and have the below forms for parents/carers to complete to ensure that all medication required in school is accurately recorded.

Please download and bring into school if there are any changes to your child’s medical needs.

Epilepsy Information

Individual Heath Plan Proforma

Eczema Information

Asthma Information

Allergy Information

Emergency Inhaler Consent

This section has key information about the different agencies which we work with in school to support children.  It also has contact information and guidance for parents on what these services do and how we refer to them.

Specialist Advisory Service (Early Years – Child Development Centre Education Team)

This small team of experienced Early Years Teachers and Practitioners is based at the Child Development Centre (CDC) within the Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital site. As part of a larger team of specialist professionals, they are available to families and Early Years providers to assist in the identification and assessment of children under 5-years -old with significant additional or complex needs.

The CDC Education team work closely with the Portage Service and provide specialist advice and support to families and practitioners as part of North East Lincolnshire’s Early Help pathway.  They also integrate with the CDC Nursery team of Children’s nurses and Play Specialists. The Early Years Teachers within the team are also available to advise North East Lincolnshire’s school-based Foundation Stage practitioners on personalised planning for young children’s learning and development.

The Education team provide two specific services:

  • Multi-Agency Developmental Assessment

  • Educational Outreach Support

Multi-Agency Developmental Assessment

The Multi-Agency Developmental Assessment is designed to help families and practitioners to understand a young child’s development when concerns have been expressed about it. The team work in partnership with parents and other professionals to build a picture based on the child’s play in the home, in their educational setting and at the CDC during a small number of sessions.  Observation of their play and some developmental testing activities provide the basis for:

  • Short-term advice and support with their development for everyone caring for or working with the child

  • A Multi-Agency Support Plan focussed on family priorities

  • Ideas for further assessment

  • Continued monitoring of the child’s progress where this is needed

Referral for this assessment is usually through the Early Help pathway after the completion of a Single Assessment form by a professional involved with a family.  After assessment, families and practitioners can seek further advice or review by contacting a team member (see below).

Educational Outreach Support

The CDC Education team also offer practical advice, support and expertise to educational settings after an assessment for a limited period. They share the understandings gained about children during Multi-Agency Assessment with Early Years practitioners and help them to improve and implement personalised plans for their development.  They will also support the engagement of parents and carers in their child’s progress. The Early Years Teachers who work as part of the team also provide Early Years-specific SEN and Disability advice to schools as members of the Specialist Advisory Service.

Portage Team

The Portage Service is a term-time home visiting educational service for pre-school children with additional support needs. The needs of individual children may present as either severe, complex or profound and multiple difficulties. All pre-school children with learning support needs are eligible for the service. The service has an open referral system, so parents/carers or anyone with concerns regarding a child’s development and with the parent/carers permission, can refer a pre-school child. A general guide to referral would be that a child demonstrates significant developmental delay when compared with their peer group or that the child has a recognised medical condition.

Whilst the service is based at the Municipal Offices in Grimsby, all the children are supported in their own homes. Visits are arranged with the parent/carer on a weekly or fortnightly basis.

The aim of the service is to work in partnership with parents/carers to support young children‟s development through play, using the Portage Checklist, which encompasses the following skill areas:

  • Infant stimulation

  • Socialisation

  • Self-help

  • Cognition

  • Motor and Language.

Support given through Portage is based on the principle that parents are the key figures in the development of their child, and that they bring considerable experience to the partnership with professionals. Portage helps parents to be confident in their role, whatever their child‟s needs may be.

Speech and Language Therapy (Salt Service)

Development of Speech and Language

Children can develop at different rates, so it can be helpful to have some general guidelines about what to look for, and the following websites might be helpful

Talking Point can give you an idea of what to expect as your child develops.

Don’t forget that all new parents are issued with a “red book’ that is a good general source of information on children’s development. If you cannot find your red book you can access an electronic version on the website.

The Communication Trust provides some information and resources for parents.

The British Stammering Association provides help and information regarding stammering.

Concerns about development of speech and language – under 5 years of age

If you have any concerns about your child’s speech and language, the following people are a good first point of contact.

  • Your health visitor

  • A member of staff at your local family hub. To find your local family hub go to our Family hubs page.

  • Your nursery provider

They can talk with you about your concerns and start to assess what support if any might help. This support might be available at the family hub, or in some cases could be from other services including specialist speech and language therapists.

Concerns about development of speech and language – over 5 years of age

Where your child is school age and you have concerns a good first port of call is  school. We will talk with you about your concerns and help identify what support if any might help. This support might be services provided by school staff, or in some cases could be from other services including specialist speech and language therapists.

Please note that parents cannot refer their child to specialist Speech and Language therapists themselves. A referral is made to the specialist therapists health visitors, family hubs or schools once appropriate assessments have been made.

Communication and Interaction

The local authority specialist Communication and Interaction Service working together with Barnardo’s Autism Outreach Service.

All requests for Advice and Support from Outreach Services for Autism should be sent by schools via email at

Any queries please contact 01472 355365 or 01472 355 365.

Specialist Advisory Teachers for Cognition and Learning

Mainstream Key Stage Team: Tel: 01472 323172


This small team of Specialist Teachers provide educational guidance and advice to schools for Children and Young People with the most severe and complex Special Educational needs. They offer guidance on the SEN Code of Practice and advice on how schools can best meet the learning needs of children through high quality teaching, adaptations, effective interventions and a graduated approach.

The team also includes two further Specialist Teachers who are highly experienced in the areas of Communication and Interaction and Social, Emotional and Mental Health.

The team is committed to finding innovative ways to help schools remove barriers to learning, in order to best teach Children and Young People with SEN. They also provide support and guidance on whole school management of SEN to SENCOs.

When a Child or Young Person is referred for learning support by a school, the Specialist Advisory Teacher will seek engagement from parents with a view to close collaboration. A person-centred approach is central to the work of the team.

Emotional and Mental Wellbeing

North East Lincolnshire Community Educational Psychology Service

If you are a young person in need of some help at school then please go to Educational Psychology – Support for young people to find out more.

For parents and carers of young people in need of support go to Educational Psychology – Support for parents and carers.

For information about the support available to schools and education settings go to Educational Psychology – Support for schools and education settings

Contact details

Telephone: 01472 323183 and 01472 323314


Autism, Communication and Interaction Needs

Nationally, Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC) remains the most common primary type of need for pupils with a statement or Education Health and Care plan.

Some families begin by suspecting that their child may have Autism as they are displaying ASC type behaviours. For many children and young people Autism is not the root cause of their communication and interaction needs.

In North East Lincolnshire we have a communication and interaction pathway that helps families, with the support of other agencies, to determine what works best to support their child and help them achieve.

Children and Young People aged 5 to 16

  • Parents who worry that their son or daughter are displaying Autistic type behaviours can talk to the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) at their child’s school or setting. If parents or carers need support to talk to their child’s school they can ring Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Independent Advisory Support Service (SENDIAS) Tel: 01472 355365. A SENDIASS worker will be able to accompany parents/carers to meetings with school and help with any questions.

  • The school SENCo can ask for support from our Specialist Support Service Teacher for ASC who works alongside SEND Outreach Service. Their role is to support mainstream schools across the local area providing them with advice and strategies to teaching and learning, to meet the needs of pupils displaying Autistic type behaviours. No diagnosis is required to access the service. School SENCOs  refer to this service. The school will be contacted within a week of receipt of the referral form.

  • The school SENCO will work with parents to complete an observation checklist (Word). This will help identify the child or young person’s needs. The school with then be assigned a communication and interaction specialist who can offer support.

  • The school, parents, SEND Outreach Service and the young person will then meet and decide together the outcomes they would like to achieve. A programme of support is then put in place and reviewed after an agreed period of time. ASSESS, PLAN, DO, REVIEW.

  • If this graduated approach is not having an impact, a Single Assessment might be made.

  • For more information please contact

You can also find more advice on the Autism Society website.

SEND Outreach Team Process Map (PDF)


NE Lincolnshire Council & CCG has commissioned a new resource in North East Lincolnshire to support Young People with their emotional and mental health and wellbeing: is a safe, confidential and non-stigmatized way for young people to receive free counselling, advice and support on-line.  This very popular service is used by large numbers of young people across the country and delivers 1000s of counselling sessions each year.  Staffed by fully trained and qualified counsellors and available until 10pm each night, and weekends from 6pm – 10pm, 365 days per year, it provides a much needed confidential and instant access service for young people aged 11-25.

This includes:

  • A chat function for a young person to drop in to speak to a readily available counsellor

  • A messaging function for young people to contact the service

  • A schedule function to provide booked sessions with a named counsellor on a regular basis

  • A range of forums, all of which are pre-moderated, to offer facilitated peer support for CYP.

  • Live discussion groups – run by professionals (with all comments moderated) to enable groups of CYP to interact with each other in a safe environment

  • An online magazine with full content moderation, creation and editing which includes opportunities for CYP to submit their stories or write articles, all of which is moderated

  • Information, activities and self-care tools and resources on the site for CYP to download.

Our Local Offer is the place on the NE Lincolnshire council’s website that provides and directs you to information that will support children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

It helps parents, children and young people aged 0 to 25 years find information about specialist and targeted services and activities in North East Lincolnshire.

Please click the link below to view the website.

The Local Offer

SEND Information Report 2022-23

Please read our SEND Information Report to understand our school local offer.

The SEND Code of Practice accompanies this legislation and it can be found on the Department for Education’s website:

SEND Information Report 2022 – 2023

SEND Parent and Carer Newsletters

SEND Newsletter Monday, 7 – 13 February

SEND Newsletter 13 – 26 December

SEND Newsletter 3 – 9 January

SEND Newsletter Monday, 24 – 30 January, 2022