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What we do

We work with children, young people, their families, and schools offering information and support where physical difficulties may impede learning or development.

We will assess children and young people who have a physical impairment.

We will then offer advice on teaching strategies and the management of the needs of the pupil and their access to the curriculum. This may involve advice on the use of certain equipment and materials. We may also advise on any physical adaptations to school buildings to ensure access at transition.

The service will also monitor the pupils progress, needs and provision.

Staff will provide training on issues concerning the education of children and young people with a physical impairment and give advice on any assessment, teaching assistant provision and equipment necessary.

The service regards itself as part of the team surrounding each child or young person it supports, and values the involvement and expertise of parents, carers, and colleagues from other agencies. It actively contributes towards target setting, action planning meetings and statutory reviews.

Support varies according to need, but our core offer would be to make a minimum of 3 contacts per academic year. These contacts would most likely be a mixture of in-person visits, virtual visits, and attendance at meetings. Again, this will vary and change depending on an individual’s circumstances.

Criteria for involvement

The acceptance of a referral to the team is based on the following criteria:

A child or young person has a substantial and long-term physical impairment/disability or medical condition that will affect their access to the early years setting or school environment and curriculum.

A child or young person that is aged 0 to 16 years of age (or up to 19 if the young person attends a school post-16 provision). If a child is of a pre-school age, we will begin to work with the families and settings in the term prior to the child starting a placement in a setting to support the transition process.

The child or young person must be:

  • A Derbyshire child (i.e. council tax for the property that is the child’s permanent address is paid to Derbyshire County Council),
  • Due to attend a mainstream school or pre-school setting within the county.

For a Derbyshire child attending an out of county setting, there are separate arrangements. The team will not need to get involved where the child or young person is attending, or heading towards a special school placement, as specialist support will be provided in-house.

We do not support at home, in-work, Further or Higher Education settings.

Conditions which we would consider to be substantial and long term could include, but are not limited to:

  • cerebral palsy
  • muscular dystrophy
  • brittle bone disease
  • children with short stature
  • amputations
  • acquired brain injury
  • genetic conditions where there is a physical impairment (for example, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome)
  • spina bifida and hydrocephalus

Some physical conditions are manageable and may not need the support of a specialist teacher, although each referral would be considered by the team referral panel.

Where we receive a referral and it is not entirely clear what support is needed, we may contact the referrer or do an assessment visit to gather more information, before making a decision about ongoing involvement.

Once we have received and accepted a referral, we endeavour to make contact and arrange visits within 4 working weeks.

Referral Routes

A referral may be made by any person involved with the child or young person.

It is helpful if as much information about the difficulties the child/young person is encountering with their physical difficulties is included.

Please note both forms require a parental signature/agreement before they can be considered.

For a child aged 0 until the end of Nursery, please use the Early Years SEN Panel Referral Form. For a child who is in Reception or above, please use the RFI Physical Impairment Form. Both forms can be found in the related documents section on this page.

Contact details

Donna Carter, Acting Head of Service
Email: Donna.Marie.Carter@derbyshire.gov.uk

Rachel Wessels, Acting Principal Advisory Teacher
Telephone: 07824 839585 or 01629 532908 (Term-time only)

Alfreton Office
Sensory and Physical Support Service – Physical Impairment
SEN Support Services
Grange Street
Alfreton
DE55 7JA
Telephone: 01629 532391

Chesterfield Office
Sensory and Physical Support Service – Physical Impairment
SEN Support Services Centre
School Road
Chesterfield
S41 8LJ
Telephone: 01629 537686

Related documents