Making a Referral for Down Syndrome Support

Referral process for accessing support.

Making A Referral for Support from SENIS DS

Schools are reminded of the graduated response to supporting their children and young people with SEN under the new SEN Framework and SEN Code of Practice: Identification, Assessment and Provision by Schools.

The decision to make a request for Stage 2 provision should be made following the review of a child’s progress at Stage 1 of the Code of Practice through their Personal Learning Plan (PLP) and consideration that all appropriate school-based provision ( as detailed in the school’s SEN Provision Map) has been exhausted. Discussions should take place between the SENCo, the principal, teachers, appropriate EA advisory and support service and the parent or child over compulsory school age that Stage 2 provision may be necessary.

To help inform the school’s deliberations, the school should also review the actions which have taken place with reference to the appropriate checklist in the Annexes to the Code of Practice.

Referral Pathway

1 Educational Psychologist consults with SENCo

The Educational Psychologist consults with the SENCo to determine if a referral is required.

2 Educational Psychologist or Community Paediatrician Referral

An EA Educational Psychologist makes a referral to the Service on behalf of the parents or carers and either the school that the child attends, or a Community Paediatrician, for children who do not yet attend pre-school.

3 Assessment

If the referral is accepted the Service will contact the school to complete a profile of the child, gathering further information to help inform and guide appropriate support, which is needs led. 

This referral pathway is for a child or young person with a medical diagnosis of Down Syndrome alongside identified SEN, as recorded on the SEN Register of the school.

Referred children can access this support with or without a Statement of SEN.

  1. A referral from an Educational Psychologist employed by the Education Authority (EA) is made on behalf of parents or carers and either the school that the child attends or a Community Paediatrician, for children who do not yet attend pre-school.
  2. The EP, in conjunction with the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) or pre-school staff, completes a referral form which details the child’s strengths, presentation of Down Syndrome and their special educational needs. The child’s parents and their teachers, SENCo and school staff will have an opportunity to contribute information.
  3. Where a referral is deemed necessary, the referral form is emailed by the EP to the appropriate SENIS DS referral mailbox.
  4. Once received and processed, a designated Advisory Teacher will get in touch with the school SENCo to complete a profile of the child or young person, by gathering information from them, their parents and school staff. This assessment informs and guides appropriate support, which is needs-led.

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Contact the Down Syndrome Service

The Down Syndrome Service can be contacted for advice and information specific to children and young people who have, or may have, Down syndrome.