Education Services

Do you have a question about SEND?

We recognise that this will be a worrying time for families of young people with additional needs and are committed to helping you with any questions or enquiries you might have about SEND.
As most Council employees are now working from home in line with Government advice, please contact us using the 'Get in touch' form on the homepage. Also, you can call the general SEND Advice Line on 01744 67 10 54
This will make sure that your enquiry is passed to the right person and you receive an appropriate response as quickly as possible.

You can also access information via SEND - Local Offer Facebook Group


Updated 05/08/2021

Guidance Schools COVID-19 operational guidance Updated 27 August 2021

Shielding Guidance and Supported Internships Returners Announcement

Firstly, we have updated the Additional operational guidance for special schools, special post-16 institutions and alternative provision. The main reason for this is to convert it into HTML format to make it more accessible and more searchable.  Additionally, we have replicated the updates in other guidance, clarifying advice on a small number of other areas.  

Secondly, you may have seen that from Thursday 1 April, shielding guidance will be paused for clinically extremely vulnerable people (CEV). From that date they will no longer be advised to shield and must continue to follow the national restrictions that are in place for everyone.   

From Thursday 1 April:  

  • all CEV children should attend early years provision, school, college, wraparound childcare and out-of-school settings, unless they are one of the very small number of children under paediatric or other specialist care and have been advised by their GP or clinician not to attend. 
  • CEV students who are enrolled in practical, or practice-based (including creative arts) courses should return to in-person teaching.  
  • CEV staff are advised to continue to work from home where possible, but if they cannot work from home, they should now attend their workplace. 

    There is guidance to assist school leaders in actions they should take to minimise the risk of transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) in their setting. This includes public health advice, endorsed by Public Health England (PHE).  

Finally, just to confirm that where staff and pupils or students are undertaking asymptomatic testing at home, this should continue over the Easter period. It is important for staff and students to keep testing through the Easter holidays to manage the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), as part of a regular habit of testing at home every 3-4 days (twice a week). NHS Test and Trace will be supplying sufficient test kits to schools and colleges to enable this to happen. 

For schools and colleges, a letter template has been added onto the secondary schools and colleges document sharing platform to support communications to parents and carers. This covers testing for pupils over the Easter holiday and reporting results, as well as a reminder of the offer of parent and household testing.  

Supported Internships Returners 

Supported interns who were not able to meet the core aim of their internship in the 2020 to 2021 academic year may continue their internship into the 2021 to 2022 academic year.  

It is not envisaged that all Supported Interns will need to extend their internship for a full year. Providers should determine the length of time that a learner will require based on the needs of the individual, and in agreement with the Local Authority.  

Please note that the legislative and funding arrangements for EHC plans do not allow for a plan to be extended beyond the age of 25. 

Where necessary and appropriate, priority for accessing work placements in the 2021/22 academic year should be given to Supported Interns who were enrolled on a Supported Internship in 2020/21. 

The FE operational guidance will be updated accordingly.


IASS - Service Update

You can contact the IASS Office on 01744 673428 between 9.30am and 3.30pm on Monday, Tuesday and Friday.

There is also a 24-hour answer machine on the same number; please leave a message and one of the IASS team will get back to you as soon as possible. We aim to answer all calls within 24 hours.
Due to unforeseen capacity issues IASS can not take any new referrals until further notice

The temporary changes in legislation around assessments and timescales for EHCPs have now been removed. 

The Local Authority have a duty to complete all statutory assessments and issue a final plan within 20 weeks. Once issued the Local Authority must ensure the provision specified in the plan is delivered. 

For more information on the statutory assessment process and EHCPs can be found here

All School SENCOs have been contacted and reminded that annual review requirements remain in place. All schools will continue to hold reviews, however, your ‘experience’ may be different to what you are used to.

As with all annual reviews, the local authority will carefully consider your views and wishes, so if you have any questions, concerns or suggestions for your annual review then please do not hesitate to contact your SEND casework manager. If you are unsure who this is, please contact the SEND team directly and we can put you in touch:

Tel: 01744 671054
e-mail: or use the ‘contact us’ section on the Local Offer.  


The purpose of the Local Offer is to enable parents and young people to see more clearly what services are available for children with special educational needs and disabilities in their area, and how to access them.

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