Making a Referral for Severe Learning Difficulties Support

Referral process for accessing support.

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 Special Educational Needs Coordinator

The Educational Psychologist consults with the Special Educational Needs Coordinator to determine if a referral is required. 

2 Educational Psychologist Referral

An EA Educational Psychologist makes a referral to the Service on behalf of the parents or carers and the school that the child attends.

3 Baseline Assessment

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

This referral pathway is for a child or young person with Severe Learning Difficulties as recorded on the SEN Register of the educational setting/school.

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

  1. A referral from an Education Authority Educational Psychologist (EP) is made on behalf of parents and the school that the child attends.
  2. The EP, in conjunction with the Special Educational Needs Coordinator, completes a referral form which details the child’s strengths, presentation of Severe Learning Difficulty and their special educational needs. The child’s parents, their teachers and school Special Educational Needs Coordinator 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 Special Education Needs Inclusion Service Severe Learning Difficulties referral mailbox.
  4. Once received and processed, a designated Advisory Teacher will get in touch with the school Special Educational Needs Coordinator to complete a baseline assessment of the child, 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 Severe Learning Difficulties Service

The Moderate Learning Difficulties Service can be contacted for advice and information specific to children and young people who have, or may have, severe learning difficulties.