Services and how to access them

Local authority teams

Rotherham SENDIASS

Special Educational Needs and Disability Information, Advice and Support Service

Rotherham SENDIASS is the new name for Rotherham Parent Partnership. We can offer you impartial information, advice and support on matters relating to special educational needs and disabilities. if you are:

  • a parent or carer for a child or young person up to age 25 with special educational needs or disabilities
  • a child up to age 16 who has special educational needs or disabilities
  • a young person aged 16–25 who has special educational needs or disabilities.

The services we offer are:

  • trained staff and volunteers offering confidential and impartial information, advice and support
  • information about education, health and social care, voluntary organisations and support groups
  • a range of information leaflets on special educational needs and disability related topics
  • access to special educational needs and disability information such as books, CDs and video
  • training for parents and practitioners.

Education Health Care Assessment Team

Educations settings, schools and colleges must as part of their normal budget planning, determine their approach of using their resources to support the progress of children and young people with SEND. If a child or young person then fails to make adequate progress, planned interventions and increasing access to specialist expertise should implemented.

When a provider makes special educational provision for a child or young person without an EHC plan, they must tell the parent/carers or young person what is happening.

In colleges, planning and reviewing of SEND support should closely involve the student, parents (where appropriate), teaching and support staff and a member of staff who is aware of the additional SEND support along with any other relevant professionals.

Identifying SEND – Guide for parents and carers
For children and young people who have a Special Educational Needs or Disability (SEND), different levels of support are required at different times. Children and young people with the most complex needs, as well as their parents and carers, may need access to ongoing support and advice.

EHC plans are drawn up by the Local Authority after an EHC needs assessment. You, your child’s education provider or your child if they are aged over 16, can ask your local authority to carry out an assessment.

If the special educational provision being made for a child or young person by an early years setting, school or college is not enabling the child or young person to make adequate progress then it may be necessary to request an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Assessment.

All involved, parent/carers, settings and support services and (if appropriate) young people should work together to make the request to the Local Authority.

Educational Psychology Service

The Educational Psychology Service (EPS) is made up of a friendly, diverse team of applied psychologists using creative problem-solving approaches to enhance the lives, learning and emotional well-being of children and young people between the ages of 0 and 25.

Rotherham’s educational psychologists provide a service to children, young people and their families aimed at helping to remove barriers to achievement, inclusion and emotional wellbeing.

We work closely with staff in early years settings, schools and colleges. All Rotherham schools can access an educational psychologist who provides a statutory service funded by the Council. Most educational settings also purchase additional educational psychology time for consultation, casework and training.

We are committed to working in partnership with parents and support the development of the Rotherham Charter.

Hearing Impairment Team

The Hearing Impairment Team focusses on supporting deaf/hearing impaired children and young people aged 0–25 from diagnosis and their families. This specialist team is made up of qualified teachers of Deaf, Educational Audiologists, Deaf Instructors, Family Support Workers and Specialist Support Staff.

  • Peripatetic team working across Rotherham and within the two Specialist Provisions based at Bramley Grange Primary School and Wickersley School and Sports College.
  • Remit is to address the impact of deafness/hearing loss on learning, development and self-esteem; promote and enable the inclusion of deaf children and young people within their school and community; develop effective communication.
  • Open referral policy for children and young people with an identified or suspected hearing loss. All children referred will be assessed and the graduated response approach to need is followed in line with Rotherham Graduated Response.
  • Close working with Rotherham Audiology Services and regional services.
  • Co-work with local and national agencies including Rotherham Sight and Sound, NDCS.
  • Training for settings and families and social and emotional opportunities are offered.
  • Rotherham is a Centre for British Sign Language (BSL) and nationally recognised Signature courses and qualifications are run at the Kimberworth Centre (Levels 1 and 2). Family sign classes are run by arrangement as part of the service we offer.
  • Child centred and needs-led.
  • Offer support for children and young people using the National Eligibility Framework (NATSIP) which identifies the level of need and support package which is offered to families and schools/settings/education providers.
  • Work to National Standards and Guidelines for the delivery of support to Sensory Impaired Children and Young People.

Specialist Inclusion Team

Formerly Learning Support Service (LSS) and Autism Communication Team (ACT)

The Specialist Inclusion Team (SI Team) are part of Rotherham’s Inclusion Support Services and work within a range of educational settings in Rotherham, South Yorkshire and Derbyshire. We are a team of teachers, specialist teachers and autism specialists all with a passion for inclusion.

The service promotes inclusive practice through consultancy and CPD to deliver its key priorities:

  • Early identification and intervention
  • Targeted support for pupils with severe and persistent difficulties (e.g. Downs, dyslexia, dyscalculia, autism)
  • Advice for pupils with difficulties in cognition and learning, communication and interaction, social, emotional and mental health and sensory needs.
  • Continuing professional development for schools, parents/carers and volunteers, including the delivery of accredited dyslexia training by Skills and Education Group (SEG) and the accredited training programmes from the Autism Education Trust (AET).
  • Development of multi-agency working to best meet the needs of children and their families within the Borough and wider
  • Development of suitable environments and settings
  • Targeted support for pupils in transition between schools and across Key Stages
  • Targeted support for schools in challenging circumstances

We are a traded service and packages of support can be purchased by schools through Trade Rotherham.

Rotherham Enhanced Action for Dyslexia (READ)

READ are a team within the Specialist Inclusion Team that offer an outreach provision to support students with dyslexia. The outreach provision is aimed at supporting those students with severe and persistent difficulties who have received intensive and appropriate support but despite this are struggling to make progress which is impacting on their self-esteem and access to learning. This is a traded referral service where schools can purchase a package of support on a termly basis.

The service is available to students in years 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9:

  • in maintained schools or academies as part of a graduated response
  • who have an education, health and care plan as part of their offer
  • in a pupil referral unit or special school.

The provision is a short-term intervention aimed at boosting the students basic reading and spelling skills, self-esteem and confidence and motivation for learning.

Students will be accepted and offered a place through a referral process whereby evidence will need to be provided to meet the following criteria:

  • Student’s literacy difficulties are specific and persistent with strengths in other areas.
  • There has been a lack of progress despite appropriate targets and support.
  • Advice has been sought and followed to support the student.
  • Student’s difficulties are evident in writing.
  • Student’s lack of access to learning is impacting on self-esteem.

Visual Impairment Team

The Visual Impairment Team are educational professionals who are specialists in teaching children with a visual impairment. The team work with children and young people aged 0–25 with a vision impairment. The team includes:

  • qualified teachers of children and young people with vision impairment
  • specialist teaching assistants
  • a habilitation specialist
  • a resources and ICT co-ordinator
  • reformatting team.

Children may have differing types of vision loss which may affect visual acuity (close and distance vision), visual field (peripheral vision), visual processing or eye movement disorders. A significant visual difficulty, which cannot be corrected by wearing glasses can affect a child’s learning, development and access to the school curriculum.

The Visual Impairment Team provides support to visually impaired children, their families and their schools, working in a range of settings including nurseries, primary schools, secondary schools and colleges. The team also support very young children and their families in the home setting.

The Visual Impairment Team can provide assessment, advice, equipment, modified curriculum materials, training and direct teaching to enable children to fulfil their potential. The team can also offer habilitation sessions for students which helps them to develop their independence, living and mobility skills. Support from the team is based on the individual needs of the child or young person.

Rotherham Educated Other Than At School (EOTAS) service – exclusions

The Rotherham EOTAS team provides resources, advice and guidance to support all parties with the exclusion processes, many of which have challenging and complex issues.

  • An exclusion helpline (01709 334077) that is available 5 days per week for exclusion queries from schools, parents and carers and practitioners
  • Legal advice to head teachers, principals and school SLT on the exclusion process and good practice
  • Advice to parents and carers on the exclusion process
  • Attendance at Governor Review meetings for exclusions over 15 days in one term, permanent exclusions and Independent Review hearings
  • Training to school SLT and staff that have a role in the exclusion process
  • Training for clerks to governors regarding the Governor’s Disciplinary Meeting
  • Governor training around the legality of exclusions and updated guidance – offered on differing levels of expertise (legal requirement every 2 years)
  • Ensuring head teachers and principals follow the legal process for exclusion and the likelihood of challenge is reduced
  • Parents and carers receive relevant information and impartial advice on exclusion
  • Guidance, model letters and reporting forms provided through the Rotherham Exclusions Toolkit
  • Tracking and monitoring of pupils at risk of permanent exclusion
  • Contribution to preventative strategies to avoid exclusion
  • Signposting parents, carers, school staff and practitioners to other agencies/sources of support if appropriate
  • Where requested, facilitation of Managed Moves
  • Ensuring that pupils receive their statutory entitlements to statutory education, if they are subject to permanent exclusion/FX over 15 days per term/45 days per year
  • Attend and support Rotherham Social Emotional Mental Health Partnership’s Primary and Secondary Pupil Management groups

Autism Information and Advice Service

We are a post diagnostic service which offers information and advice to families relating to autism. This could be though advice sessions, training or literature.

We provide support for:

  • Families of children who have had a new diagnosis of autism and have been discharged from the Child Development Centre
  • Families of children who have received a new diagnosis of autism and been referred from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)
  • Families of children with a recent private diagnosis of autism
  • A young person 18–25 years who has had a recent diagnosis of autism

All children/young people need to be registered to a Rotherham GP practice to access the service.

The Autism Information and Advice Service includes:

  • Advice sessions – one hour bookable advice sessions with an autism family practitioner. These sessions offer opportunities to explore family, home and community based difficulties that are related to their autism diagnosis.
  • Training for families in a range of areas that is designed to increase knowledge, build confidence and increase resilience through practical strategies, guided learning and shared experiences.
  • Literature – booklets aim to provide simple straightforward information to support children and young people with a social communication difficulty including Autism.

Referrals for advice sessions and training can be made by the Child Development Centre and CAMHS. Referrals for training can be made by social workers, Early Help workers and families themselves.

Early Help

All families go through trying times at some point. Early Help staff will work with you at these times so that small problems don’t get bigger. We work with children, young people and families to offer support and advice when it’s most needed. We can work with you in your local area at one of our centres or even in your home.

We can help you:

  • if you are worried about a child’s health, development or behaviour
  • if you are a child carer or young person looking to find training or further education
  • if you are a child carer or young person looking for advice on employment or benefits+C8

Maybe your child or your family is, or has been, affected by domestic abuse, drugs, alcohol or crime. Or maybe you’ve had a bereavement which has made things harder.

We can provide help in a child’s early years. We also support children who are missing from school or home and give support when children or young people are involved in risky behaviour.

Children’s Disability Team

The Children with Disability Social Work Team and the Disability Family Support Team work with children and young people with the following disabilities:

  • Severe learning difficulties
  • Severe/profound physical disabilities
  • Autism spectrum conditions including high-functioning autism spectrum conditions
  • Complex health needs (including mental health)
  • Children who have a degree of disability that do not fall into the above categories and who are in need of a social care intervention will be provided for by mainstream social care teams.

The Disability Family Support Team provides an ‘Early Help’ service for families of disabled children. They will create a package of support for a family based on an Early Help assessment and multi-agency plan.

The Children’s Disability Social Work Team are the preferred service where families, in addition to requiring support for their disabled child or young person, require additional support because of issues in relation to family functioning, risk of family breakdown or other complex needs.

Aspire SEMH Primary Outreach

The team provide bespoke support for students in Rotherham mainstream primary and secondary schools with an identified social, emotional, mental health (SEMH) need.

It is appropriate to refer in to this team if you have been through at least one cycle of plan, do, review (which will usually take 10 weeks) but the approach you have tried is not proving sufficient to meet the child or young person’s needs.

Referrals are to be made directly by the school headteacher or SENDCo (with the headteacher copied into the email) to the Outreach Team email. These are reviewed weekly -receipt prior to Tuesday 12pm for Primary and Wednesday 12pm for Secondary each week to enable timely response, on a case by case basis. The aim is to then contact before the end of week for further information or to arrange a discussion.

Health services

Find more information about other specialist health services

Speech and language therapy

Speech and language therapy provides an assessment, diagnosis, intervention and advisory service for children and young people aged 0–19 with communication and/or swallowing difficulties. The service aims to work with families and education settings to help provide interventions and strategies to maximise the child or young person’s speech language and communication skills.

We see children with a variety or developmental or acquired communication or feeding difficulties. This may involve:

  • Speech sounds
  • Understanding language
  • Using spoken language
  • Stammering/dysfluency
  • Anxiety around talking
  • Voice quality
  • Retaining and recalling vocabulary
  • Social communication
  • Feeding and swallowing

The service operates in a variety of locations: community clinics, special schools, specialist provisions, mainstream schools and hospital outpatient clinics.

Around 2/3 of the service is delivered in school or specialist provision settings in order to allow joined up work with their nursery, school or college. Speech and language therapists regularly contribute to EHCP assessments and review meetings. Most school aged children who are seen by our service with have a programme of intervention that can be delivered by schools.

Speech and Language Therapy also provide a regularly run training package (SLICE training) which covers the full range of SLNC and also on request more bespoke training for schools. There is a small charge for these courses. Therapists also regularly attend Senco network meetings, new Senco groups and other MDT meetings to discuss their services or to talk about an area of SLCN.

Speech and Language Therapy also has a bought in service for both mainstream and specialist provisions. Schools buying in this service often use it for whole school communication approaches e.g. looking at the communication environment across the whole school, setting up language groups, training staff, foundation stage screening, targeting particular year groups vocabulary learning, parent workshops as well as some individual assessment and intervention sessions.

Our Speech and Language Therapy service has an open referral system so anyone including parents who has concerns about a child or young person’s communication or feeding skills can refer into the service. Referrals are triaged by a specialist therapist in order to decide whether the referral meets our criteria and if so to decide which part of the service the child/young person should be seen in. Any referrals that do not contain enough information to triage will be sent back to referrers with a request for further information. Parent consent is needed for all referrals.

Child and adolescent mental health services

Rotherham child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS) provides advice and support to children and young people, their families and/or carers and professionals working with them. Where need is identified we also offer mental health assessments, therapy and interventions for children and young people.

Getting advice team
If you are concerned about a child/young person’s mental health please contact the Getting Advice team:
01709 304808

With me in mind
There is also a new team of mental health support workers who are based in some schools in Rotherham (as a trailblazer project) to help children and young people with their mental health. The team help enhance support already in place from school counsellors, nurses, educational psychologists and the voluntary sector to treat those with mild to moderate mental health issues in school. The team can also help children and young people with more severe needs to access the right support and provide a link to specialist NHS services.

If you are a trailblazer school please book a consultation with the senior mental health practitioner in your school when you have any level of concern about a young person’s mental health and emotional wellbeing.

Speak to the mental health lead in school.

Neurodevelopmental team
This team provides a specialist assessment for children with neurodevelopmental disorders. The assessment will look at the child’s strengths and weaknesses to provide a full developmental profile. We may also assess their cognition and learning ability and their functional skills. Referral forms and questionnaires can be found on our website.

Intellectual disabilities team
Additionally, our Intellectual Disabilities team provides a service to children who have a significant intellectual disability and additional complex behavioural or mental health needs (typically this is a child or young person in a special school with an IQ of 55 and below). See the website for more details.

01709 304808

Enuresis service

This service offer assessment of daytime wetting, night time wetting or toilet training needs for any child or young person aged 5–19 years of age who has a Rotherham GP. Treatment plans and support offered at regular appointments either face to face or on the phone. Bedwetting alarms available if required.

Referrals can be made by the GP or 0–19 service (School nursing – Single Point Access 01709 423333)

01709 423333

For more information contact:
Marie Cutts, Children’s Enuresis Nurse – 07519 603597
Claire Swann, Children’s Enuresis Nurse – 07818 408251


The Rotherham community paediatric physiotherapy service offers a neurodevelopmental service for children with long-term neurological conditions from birth to 16years for children in mainstream school and to 19 years for children in special schooling.

Services are delivered in clinic, home or in education premises to meet the needs of the child and families. The service is subdivided into preschool, mainstream and special school services. The needs of the children are often complex and can vary throughout the child’s life.

Children can be referred for physiotherapy by any professional including their SENDCO, their GP, health visitor, therapist or a medical consultant. A referral should only be made if a graduated response has already been offered but is not proving sufficient. If you have accessed the materials and suggestions on this website but more help is needed, then your SENDCO can make a referral to the Physiotherapy team. We ask you to provide information about the support that you have already put in place as part of plan, do, review. We can only accept a referral if the child’s most recent support plan is attached. Children accepted for assessment might be seen in a clinic setting. A report will be written and activity advice provided for home and school to take forwards.

We work in an integrated way with the Occupational therapy team. There is a single referral form which covers both services. When we receive a new referral, we will make sure that the child sees the therapist who is best placed to help them.

Occupational therapy

Paediatric occupational therapy provides a service related to the needs of children with postural and functional motor difficulties that impacts significantly on everyday activity. This is primarily made up of children who present with complex neurological and medical conditions.

Our service to children attending mainstream school extends up to the age of 16 years. We see:

  • Children with neurological and physical conditions significantly affecting their functional motor abilities. They might be seen in school on a regular basis for certain equipment (seating, toilet aids) or occasionally for an environmental assessment at transitions (only available for children we already know).
  • Children with coordination difficulties which significantly impact on their motor function (gross and fine) within school and where a graduated response has already been offered by their school. If you have accessed the materials and suggestions on this website but these are not proving sufficient, then your SENDCO can make a referral to the Occupational therapy team. We ask you to provide information about the support that you have already put in place as part of plan, do, review. We can only accept a referral if the child’s most recent support plan is attached. Children accepted for assessment might be seen in a clinic setting. A report will be written and activity advice provided for home and school to take forwards.
  • Children requiring visual perceptual assessment, an assessment that looks at how the brain interprets what the eyes are seeing, it is not an assessment of eyesight. A report will be written and activity advice provided.

We work in an integrated way with the Physiotherapy team. There is a single referral form which covers both services. When we receive a new referral, we will make sure that the child sees the therapist who is best placed to help them.

Health visiting and school nursing

Our 0–19 service brings together the care which was previously provided by health visitors, school nurses and the Family Nurse Partnership Programme (for young parents).

Working with other agencies, our aim is to:

  • provide parents with the advice and support they need to make sure their children make progress in their development, keep healthy and stay safe
  • promote health and healthy lifestyles through our work in schools and provide advice and support for young people.

Our offer to schools includes:

  • School nurse drop ins at secondary schools
  • Advice and signposting to help children and young people stay healthy mentally and physically. We offer this through our 9 to 5 phone service (with follow up as necessary)
  • Height and weight checks in Reception class and Year 6. Parents will get a letter letting them know their child’s results. Where there are concerns about a child’s growth or weight, we will offer support
  • Opportunities for children to learn about how to look after their own health and get into good habits for life – for example, taking part in teeth brushing clubs
  • Vaccinations and booster injections to protect children from common diseases.

01709 423333

Our central helpline is open 9.00 to 5.00pm Monday to Friday

Community nursing services for children

Community nursing services offer a variety of support to children with significant health needs. This includes helping to look after children at home and keep them out of hospital.

There are specialist nurses attached to the diabetes, asthma and epilepsy teams at the hospital. There are also a small number of special education nurses.

Special Education Nurses are qualified nurses who provide specialist nursing care to a variety of children and young people with complex health needs to ensure that they can successfully access education.

The Special Education Nurses aim to make sure that children and young people with health needs can get the most out of life and their time in school. They will provide help to plan care, assess and review children’s needs, provide information for education staff and work with parents. They work closely with schools, special schools in particular, providing care plans when needed and training for school staff.

Sensory assessment

As part of the roll out of the new Sensory Model, Rotherham children now have access to sensory assessment from a number of different teams who have received training in this. These include some CAMHS staff, paediatric therapists, some specialist teachers and educational psychologists. Sensory assessments can be offered as part of a holistic approach to assessment of a child’s needs.

These practitioners also have access to a sensory specialist therapist based in Rotherham who offers advice, training and consultations, as well as face to face assessment sessions for children with the most complex sensory needs.

Community paediatrics

Community paediatricians work in the localities as part of the wider community team liaising with other health agencies (school nurses, health visitors, community therapist, CAMHS teams) as well as education services and social care services. We provide long term surveillance and support to children with additional health and developmental needs.

We see children from the age of 4 to 19 years within local clinics. We will:

  • Offer follow up for children who are discharged from Child Development Centre with multiple complex health needs
  • Assess health needs if a child is being considered for an EHCP
  • Monitor children with long-term or acquired disabilities or health conditions e.g. Cerebral palsy, head injury, Down’s syndrome
  • Investigate causes of coordination difficulties to exclude a medical cause (as part of Education led DCD/Dyspraxia pathways)
  • Investigate possible underlying reasons for other sorts of developmental difficulties, including learning needs, hearing or visual problems
  • See children who are ‘looked after’ who are having developmental delay and behaviour problems.

Children are referred to this service by their GP or other health professionals.

01709 426379

Child development service

We provide a ‘one stop shop’ for children under 5 who are having difficulties in more than one area of their development.

We work closely with families to:

  • Assess how children are doing in different areas of development
  • Try to find the underlying cause of any difficulties that a child is having
  • Provide support and therapy (if needed) to help children make progress

We make sure families are supported and know about other services that may be helpful.

We also work closely with the Early Years Inclusion team and educational psychology services to ensure that children with known needs make a successful transition into school.

The Child Development Service accepts referrals from all health professionals, nurseries, schools and portage workers.