Suffolk Support Services

On this page you can view a range of specialist services and programmes which support Suffolk schools. To view the full range of services for children and young people with SEND go to the Suffolk Local Offer.  


Dyslexia Outreach Team

This team has 5 experienced teachers who are trained in specific learning difficulties. They can work with schools to support pupils in Key stages 2 and 3 who have significant difficulties with literacy and are not making progress despite the school’s help and working with the pupil and parents. The pupils do not need a diagnosis of dyslexia. Schools will make the referral.

The team can offer some free support to academies and schools maintained by the LA – for example guidance and advice around teaching and resources to support and motivate a pupil. They may also do observations. Schools can choose to pay for further support which might include staff training, a consultation meeting or a pupil assessment.


County Inclusion Support Service

The County Inclusion Support Service (CISS) is an outreach service for mainstream schools to support pupils from reception to year 11 who have communication and interaction difficulties or social, emotional and mental health needs. The pupil does not need a diagnosis to be referred.

The team of Teachers and Inclusion Practitioners have a lot of experience in classroom practice and they focus on inclusion, putting the child at the centre.  Depending on the individual pupil’s needs, they might work directly with the pupil and offer advice and guidance to school staff.  A pupil will stay on the CISS caseload until year 11. The service can offer schools some initial free support including regular inclusion support meetings.  Schools can also pay for additional help like staff training and consultations.


SENDAT Outreach

(Outreach support for mainstream schools with pupils with a profile of complex learning needs.)

Suffolk County Council commission The Special Educational Needs and Disability Trust (SENDAT) to deliver outreach support to mainstream schools to help with the inclusion of pupils presenting with complex learning needs.

The aim of the SENDAT Outreach Service is to improve outcomes for pupils by building capacity through facilitating training and resource development. Members of the outreach team can visit schools and work with staff and students over fixed periods of time to develop specific skills. 



Sensory and Communication Service

The team includes specialist teachers qualified to support children and young people who are deaf, visually impaired, multi-sensory impaired and/or have speech, language and communication needs. They also have practitioners trained in sensory support and the use of specialist equipment. They can support children, young people and their families and support their educational settings. They work closely with other services and voluntary organisations to make sure that there is joined up support.


Psychology and Therapeutic Services

This is a team of person-centred Child, Adolescent, Community and Educational Psychologists, a School Counsellor, Family Systemic Psychotherapist and a team of Inclusion Facilitators.

They support emotional well-being, mental health and learning on an individual, group and whole school / organisational basis.  They are qualified to work with children and young people from 0-25 years as well as with the adults who care for and work with them.

They may work with the parent and their child/young person in order to help find ways forward.  This could involve helping to find solutions to the issues they are facing. Their involvement may also include working with groups of students and working with educational and pastoral staff, e.g. in training, research and project work.

As part of a traded offer they can deliver a range of training to school staff including person-centred planning, solution-focussed approaches and support for pupils with complex emotional needs.



Multi-Agency Assessment Programme

This programme, part of Suffolk’s SEND Strategy, aims to mainly support children in reception to the end of Key Stage 4 in mainstream education who have not progressed as hoped after advice from specialist outreach services.

Together, multi-agency professionals work with each child and their family to assess, plan and review an early health, education and care strategy that suits the child’s individual needs. The team include educational psychologists, speech and language therapists, health specialists, education specialists, social care and early help colleagues. Together, they listen to the views of the family and identify the child’s strengths and interests before making joint recommendations to help the child progress.

Referrals are made through specialist outreach services, schools and elective home education consultants for children wishing to go back into mainstream education.  



Alternative Tuition Service

This service combines the Education Other Than at School (EOTAS) 1:1 Tuition and Suffolk Online Learning Services, both of which ceased to operate as standalone providers in April 2018. The team of qualified teachers are supported by a leadership team of 4 specialist co-ordinators; Numeracy, Literacy, SEND and Online Learning. The service can offer blended learning packages appropriate to a child or young person’s individual needs. Children and young people referred to the service may be unable to attend school due to medical reasons or may have been permanently excluded. Or they may have special educational needs or a disability (SEND) and are waiting a specialist placement and are not currently in school.
The service works in partnership with families, schools, Family Services teams and other agencies in order to provide the best possible support, putting the child firmly at the centre of their work.


Specialist Learning Support Assistant (LSA) Service

(East and West Suffolk only)

The Specialist LSA Service supports pupils with complex medical conditions and who are reliant upon technology between the ages of 2.5 and 19 years in the east and west of Suffolk.  They work mainly in specialist schools but can offer support to mainstream schools or pupils in dual placements.  They can provide educational support in the home when pupils are unable to attend school due to their medical condition. The type and amount of support will vary depending on the child or young person’s individual needs.

Children and young people who meet the criteria for Continuing Health Care are usually referred to the service by a health professional or their school. Families can also express their worries about their child to the Community Nursing Team or school, and then a referral to the Specialist LSA Service may be considered. The service does not include the Great Yarmouth & Waveney CCG area.


Specialist School Nursing Team (county wide)

This service provides support for parents, carers and schools to assess and improve the physical, mental and emotional health and wellbeing of children and young people who attend special schools. They can also offer outreach support to mainstream schools for children and young people aged 3-19 years with additional needs.

The team offers workshops for parents and carers during term-time around toilet training, behaviour and emotional wellbeing and puberty.  The team includes a School Nurse, Staff Nurses and Child Health Advisors. They work closely with partner agencies including social workers, foster carers, health and education to help the child or young person. There is a referral system and parents/carers and professionals can call or email for advice.


Children’s Community Learning Disability Nursing -Behaviour Support

(East and West Suffolk only)

This team supports children diagnosed with a Significant Learning Disability (moderate to severe) who also have behaviour support needs up to the age of 18 years old.

Based on the child’s individual needs they will offer specific strategies to help with managing behaviour.  Their work might include visits to the home, school and wider community and contact with short break services. It might involve group work or clinic-based appointments.




Useful links

SEND Teams in Suffolk - contact details

Suffolk County Council Inclusion Service brochure (being updated) Opens PDF

Inclusion Service referral process (universal referral process from schools for alternative provision and tuition; specialist placements; specialist outreach services; and for the multi-agency assessment programme).

SENDIASS Helpful contacts leaflet (includes Suffolk services across Education, Health and Social care, and local/national organisations) Opens PDF