Learning Difficulties and Disabilities
A team of Specialist Teachers (Learning Difficulties and Disabilities) provides advice and support to mainstream primary schools for children who are experiencing significant difficulties in making progress and accessing the curriculum as a result of a learning difficulty or disability. Staff have a range of specialist expertise to reflect the diversity of the range of learning difficulties and disabilities, but all have qualifications in specific learning difficulties/dyslexia.
Support to primary schools may include:
• specialist assessments to support planning for individual needs
• advice regarding suitable interventions and support strategies to support individual children, and review of progress
• advice on reasonable adjustments, including curriculum access for individual pupils with learning difficulties and disabilities
• liaison with school staff, parents/carers and relevant professional agencies as part of a coordinated and holistic approach
• delivery of school-based training and coaching to teachers and support staff
The team also:
- supports the transition of pupils to secondary school at Year 7
- contributes to the county training programme for primary schools
- provides drop-in consultations for school staff
- undertakes school audits of practice, including dyslexia
- facilitates local ‘special interest’ groups for primary school staff, such as practitioners supporting children with Down Syndrome and Severe Learning Difficulties
- supports the regular SENCO network update meetings
The team shares ideas and resources via the Pinterest website. The team’s Pinterest boards are designed to support school staff who are working with pupils who have learning difficulties and disabilities.
Families who have a child supported by a Specialist Teacher (Learning Difficulties and Disabilities) can contact the teacher directly, or via one of the following mailboxes:
MID (Braintree, Chelmsford and Maldon)
NORTH EAST (Colchester and Tendring)
SOUTH (Basildon, Brentwood, Canvey, Castlepoint & Rochford)
WEST (Epping, Harlow, Uttlesford)
Lead Specialist Teacher (Learning Difficulties and Disabilities): Susan.Pearson@essex.gov.uk
Who the service provides for
– mainstream primary schools in Essex
– supported transition work in Essex mainstream secondary schools for pupils transferring to Year 7
Pupils with high needs, where Learning Difficulties or Disabilities is the main category of need – typically pupils may have a statement of SEN (or an Education, Health and Care Plan) or are being supported through SEN Support (School Action Plus)
Hours of operation
Specialist teachers provide a service to primary schools during term-time only.
How the service is accessed
Schools access the service directly, by telephone consultation or local drop-in sessions. This may be followed by a school visit. Families cannot refer children directly and you should discuss any concerns about your child's learning difficulties with your child's class teacher and the school SENCO.