At Wrexham County Borough Council we place a high priority on improving the outcomes and raising aspirations of our children and young people with special educational needs (SEN)/ additional learning needs (ALN).

The teams within the Inclusion Service reinforce this priority by working with families, schools/settings and professional agencies to meet the needs of children and young people with SEN/ALN. 

The Inclusion Service adheres to the Current Legal Framework in Wales, which consists of:

  • The SEN Code of Practice for Wales (2002)
  • The Education (Special Education Needs) (Wales) Regulations 2002

Advice

What should you do if you think your child has SEN/ALN?

If you think your child has SEN/ALN then contact your child's school and speak to either the class teacher, the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) or the Head Teacher. They will receive your concerns sympathetically and discuss the issues you raise. You can ask how the school supports children and young people with SEN/ALN and this information will also be available in the school's SEN Policy. If you feel the school's SEN Policy is not effective for your child you can raise these concerns with the school's SEN Governor.

Parent Partnership Service/Resolution of Disagreement Service

Parent Partnership Service

If you’re a parent of a child/young person with SEN/ALN you can access support from the Parent Partnership Service. The service is free to families and offers impartial, accurate information, guidance and support.

The Parent Partnership Service across Wrexham County Borough is provided by SNAP Cymru. SNAP Cymru has longstanding expertise and knowledge of working with families and other organisations. Their Parent Partnership Service makes sure that parents of children with SEN/ALN have access to independent advice so that they can make appropriate and informed decisions. 

Resolution of Disagreement Service

SNAP Cymru also provide a Resolution of Disagreement Service for Wrexham County Borough Council. Disagreement Resolution is the formal process where the local authority (LA) and/or schools and parents meet to try to find a solution to a difference of opinion related to SEN.

Parents and schools can contact us (as the local authority), the school, or SNAP Cymru to request disagreement resolution. We can request access to the service as well as parents, however both parties need to agree to take part fully in an attempt to reach an agreement.

What support can we provide?

The Inclusion Service has a range of teams to support children and young people with SEN/ALN. These include:

Special Educational Needs (SEN) Service

What do we do?

We manage and co-ordinate special educational needs provision for children/ young people between the ages of 3-19 years old.  

We work with other agencies to support inclusive practice in schools, along with offering advice and training regarding all aspects of inclusion and the Special Educational Needs Graduated Response.

The service is responsible for administrating and coordinating all statutory processes in line with SEN legislation. This includes identifying complex and long-term special educational needs of pupils, determining appropriate provision, reviewing and monitoring all pupils with a Statement of Special Educational Needs.

Why would my child be referred to the SEN Service?

For a small number of pupils, the help given by schools may not be sufficient to allow them to make adequate progress. If the rate of development continues to be a significant cause for concern, despite the school having implemented all recommendations from external agencies for a reasonable period of time, a request for statutory assessment may be necessary.

Who do we work with?

  •  Parents - to provide advice on the SEN graduated response and the provision available in schools. We support parents through the statutory assessment process and ensure they are fully informed and understand any decisions being made, their rights of appeal to the Special Educational Needs Tribunal for Wales (SENTW) and to signpost parents to relevant support agencies.
  • Pupils - to ensure that appropriate provision is available within schools to meet the SEN needs of pupils and ensure their views are considered by promoting person centred practices.
  • Schools - Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators (SENCOs) and school staff - to ensure compliance with legislation, effective communication, consistency in provision and to provide ongoing professional development.
  • Partnerships - to communicate and work with a range of education, social care, health and any other relevant organisations to meet individual pupil needs.

How to contact the service

Email sen@wrexham.gov.uk.

Educational Psychology Service

What do we do?

The Educational Psychology Service provides services for schools and for children/young people currently between the ages of 0-19 years (this age range will extend to 25 years when the system for the new ALN Code of Practice is brought in, during 2021). 

The Educational Psychology Service uses psychology to:

  • Work with children and young people to promote their well-being so that they can be successful learners, alongside their peers
  • Work with teachers, parents/carers and other professionals to establish what a child’s/young person’s emotional; learning, or developmental needs may be, and how to support them
  • Help with the understanding of how children develop, the importance of their emotional/social well-being and to identify how they learn best

Why would a school/parents request involvement from an Educational Psychologist?

Children and young people can receive support from the Educational Psychology Service for lots of different reasons. Before the involvement of an Educational Psychologist, the school will discuss any concerns regarding a child’s development, learning and or well-being with parents.

Where schools do not fully understand a child’s needs, or where there is concern regarding their rate of development or progress, a request for the involvement of an Educational Psychologist may be considered - providing written consent has been given by parents.

Who do we work with?

Educational Psychologists work with pupils, parents/carers, school staff and a range of professionals. Their work includes:

  • Gathering information with the pupils, their parents and teachers, using a variety of methods including consultation and observation. 
  • Direct work with pupils - this could include exploring their social and emotional well-being with them or assessing their learning needs.
  • Direct work with SENCOs, teachers and teaching assistants.
  • Working with schools to track the progress of a pupil, or groups of pupils - this might include work with individuals, groups, classes or whole school approaches.
  • Working collaboratively with other agencies such as Inclusion Officers, The Behaviour Support Team, Education Social Workers, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) and Speech & Language Therapists. 
  • Delivering training packages to school staff, such as Person Centered Planning (PCP), the Student Assistance Programme (SAP) or Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA) training. 
  • Contributing to a weekly consultation along with child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) and school staff

How to contact the service

Email educational_psychology_service@wrexham.gov.uk.

Preschool Outreach Service

What do we do?

The Preschool Outreach Service provides targeted support for preschool children, their families and setting practitioners where the child has identified additional learning needs (ALN). Our aim is to raise awareness of ALN, deliver targeted intervention, and provide training to support the needs of the child enabling them to reach their potential on entry to statutory education.

Why would my child be referred to Preschool Outreach Service?

A request for involvement from Preschool Outreach Service can be made if parents, health professionals or setting staff, have concerns regarding a child’s development. Before a request is made the area of concern will have been discussed with parents and parents will have given appropriate written consent. 

Who do we work with?

The service works with children, parents/carers, setting staff and a range of professionals. The work includes:

  • Working with educational professionals to identify strategies to support the child in setting
  • Training and skill sharing with practitioners to improve standards in settings
  • Home visiting using ‘Portage principles’ to support young children and their families at home
  • Individual play based intervention
  • Person centred thinking to identify the child’s need and plan the next steps with parents and practitioners
  • Setting observations to identify what is working and best ways to support the child
  • Enhanced transition support from home/setting into education
  • Multiagency working to support the child, family and education setting

How to contact the service

Email educational_psychology_service@wrexham.gov.uk (this email address can be used to contact the Preschool Outreach Service).

Primary Behaviour Support Service

What do we do?

The aim of the Behaviour Support Team is to increase capacity within schools to support children with complex social, emotional and behavioural needs, promote their well-being and remove barriers to learning.

We work with children from Reception age up to Year 7 (until the end of the Autumn Term). Year 7 pupils can receive this support if required (they will need to have had previous involvement from the team).

We offer advice to schools regarding: early intervention strategies, the Graduated Response, writing ‘SMART’ Individual Education Plan targets (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-related) and reintegration plans following fixed term exclusions.

Why would my child be referred to the Behaviour Support Team?

Some children need additional support around issues such as self-esteem, anger, regulating emotions, anxiety, grief/loss, transitions, social skills, empathy and risky behaviours.

Where schools have concerns about a child’s social, emotional or behavioural needs, a request for involvement of the Behaviour Support Team can be made - providing parents have given appropriate consent. If required, the team can undertake observations and compile a report outlining next steps/recommendations.

Who do we work with?

  • School staff– to develop effective and consistent strategies to manage complex social, emotional and behavioural needs. We also work with school staff to co-facilitate interventions and support programmes that improve children’s emotional literacy (such as The Student Assistance Programme or Fun Friends)
  • Support staff – to support with developing consistent strategies to manage challenging behaviours through modelling, mentoring and coaching
  • Individual children – specific programmes tailored to individual needs 
  • Groups of children (such as transition groups)
  • Multi agency-attending and contributing to the ‘Together Achieving Change’ process, Individual Development Plans, Pastoral Support Plans and re-integration meetings where appropriate.

How to contact the service

All schools in Wrexham County Borough can request the involvement of the Behaviour Support Team via a referral form (providing parents have given appropriate consent). Members of the team make pre-arranged school visits and parents can discuss the progress their child is making with the support by speaking to their child’s school.

Email BST@wrexham.gov.uk or contact the school directly.

Traveller Education Service

What do we do?

The Traveller Education Service works with children, young people and their families, schools and a range of professionals to promote high standards of attendance, engagement and attainment in education.

The service supports schools and settings to improve the capacity of schools to meet the needs of pupils from the Gypsy Traveller community to maximise their learning potential to ensure good outcomes, whilst being considerate of their cultural needs. 

Data analysis of attendance forms the basis for a transparent and fair system of support for pupils and schools in Wrexham, to improve attainment. 

The service also provides specialist, knowledgeable and up-to-date advice and training.

Who do we work with?

  • Children and young people
  • Parents and carers
  • Staff in educational settings
  • Staff within the Inclusion Service and other Education Services 
  • Staff from other departments within the local authority (such as transport)
  • Staff from other support agencies (including health agencies)
  • Staff from third sector agencies

How to contact the service

Email tes@wrexham.gov.uk or contact the school directly.

Literacy Support Service

What do we do?

The Literacy Support Service is an outreach service which provides support to children who appear to be demonstrating a specific difficulty with acquiring functional literacy skills, in comparison to their ability in other cognitive areas. We work with primary-aged children from Year 2 to Year 6.

Pupils need to meet the referral criteria in order to be accepted for support via this service. Following a successful referral, pupils will be assessed by the service and provided with targeted teaching intervention if felt appropriate. Some pupils will also be monitored for a period of one term.

In addition to providing advice and support for individual pupils, we also offer skill-sharing and training opportunities for school based staff. 

Why would my child be referred to the Literacy Support Service?

Some children show ability in most areas of learning, yet their reading and/or spelling assessment scores are significantly underdeveloped in relation to their overall cognitive abilities. Pupils accepted by the service would be demonstrating reading and/or spelling accuracy scores in the well-below average range.

Before submitting a referral schools must demonstrate how they have attempted to maximise the pupil’s progress, by utilising a range of appropriate school-based resources and interventions over a minimum period of two terms. They are required to submit a minimum of two Individual Education Plans (IEPs) containing specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-related (SMART) targets. 

Who do we work with?

  • School staff - including the SENCO, class teacher and identified keyworker. The child’s assessment report will be discussed and an appropriate programme of work will be put in place
  • Parents - the service will ensure that the school invites parents to any interim and final reviews so that parents are kept fully informed of their child’s progress. Programmes of work and resources can be provided to parents on request
  • Other agencies where appropriate - some pupils being supported by the service may also be involved with other agencies (such as the English as an Additional Language service, the Educational Psychology Service and the North East Wales Sensory Support Service). Where required, the service will participate in multi-agency reviews or carry out joint visits if this is considered to be appropriate 

How to contact the service

All primary schools in Wrexham County Borough Council can request the involvement of the Literacy Support Service via a referral form providing parents have given appropriate consent.

Email literacysupport@wrexham.gov.uk or contact the school directly.

Language Outreach Service

The Language Outreach service is a joint service between us (as Wrexham’s local authority) and Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board. It is a school based service provided by Speech and Language Therapists and Language Outreach Coordinators.

What do we do?

We support children and young people with specific speech, language and communication needs, by working with health services (Speech and Language Therapy). We can provide targeted intervention for children with speech, language and/or communication needs when referred to the service. 

We also provide advice, support, training opportunities and skill-sharing for schools and settings.

Why would my child be referred to the Language Outreach Service?

You or your child’s class teacher may have raised concerns over key aspects of your child’s speech and language development with the Wrexham NHS Speech and language therapy department. 

Following on from advice/assessment by a speech therapist it was thought that further support was needed; guidance would have been sort from a Specialist Speech and Language Therapist who would have visited the child and carried out a Specialist Speech and Language assessment. 

This assessment would have determined that your child would benefit from accessing an intensive specialist approach to speech and language therapy input delivered in their mainstream school setting.  

Who do we work with?

  • Children who have received advice from the Speech and Language Therapy Service identifying they have fallen in to the category of pupils who have specific speech and language difficulties, that require an intensive approach to speech and language therapy within their normal school setting
  • The child’s class teacher, the school’s key worker and/or the SENCo and parents to discuss progress/next steps

How to contact the service

Email speechandlanguageoutreachservice@wrexham.gov.uk or contact the school directly.

English as an Additional Language (EAL) Service

What do we do?

The EAL service is a team of specialist teachers and teaching assistants, including bilingual team members that can provide support to minority ethnic pupils whose first language is neither English nor Welsh.

The EAL service works with schools to provide support for pupils’ language development and access to the curriculum.

The service provides advice, support and training to develop schools awareness, understanding and capacity to provide for the pupils.

Who do we work with?

The EAL Service works with schools and pupils to:

  • Assess and moderate the pupils’ language ability using the Needs Assessment Survey, Welsh Government 5 stage model of language acquisition and monitor progress
  • Identify appropriate targets with the class/subject teacher
  • Provide training and advice to schools, other services and agencies on good practice and classroom strategies
  • Provide opportunities and support for first language GSCE examinations
  • Assist schools and other services in meetings with families where possible
  • Provide short term interventions for identified pupils meeting the support criteria

How to contact the service

Email EALService@wrexham.gov.uk or contact the school directly.

North East Wales Sensory Support Service (NEWSSS)

What do we do?

The North East Wales Sensory Support Service (NEWSSS) is a regional service which supports children/young people with a hearing or vision loss, as well as their families and schools. This joint service is led by Flintshire County Council and is provided across Wrexham, Denbighshire and Flintshire.  The team works with children and young people between the ages of 0-19 years.

Who do we work with?

  • children and young people with a significant sensory loss.
  • provide support to families of these children and young people.
  • schools and other agencies to meet the individual needs of children and young people with a significant sensory loss.

How to contact the service

Email sen@flintshire.gov.uk or call 01352 703911 / 703917.

Useful website links