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Special educational needs advisory teachers (3-16 years)

Learning Support Advisory Teachers (LSS) apply their knowledge of child development and education to promote children’s learning, social development and emotional well-being, and to support schools and Nurseries to make the curriculum available to all learners.

Learning Support Advisory Teachers are postgraduate, qualified teachers with additional experience as Special Educational Needs and Disability Coordinators (SENDCos), Inclusion Managers, Senior Managers and Headteachers.

The Learning Support Service provides an advisory service to support teaching and learning of staff and pupils in our schools. The Service is a ‘traded service’ and schools can use their delegated Special Educational Needs (SEN) funding to purchase LSS hours to access the Service.


Who do we support?

We work through consultation and collaboration with significant adults in the child or young person’s life (for example, parents and carers, school staff and other professionals involved). Most of our work is directly with children and young people aged 3 - 16 to seek solutions to concerns and difficulties.  Following requests from our schools, and permission from parents, we work within schools.


What can you expect from us?

Work with children or young people may involve one, some or all of the following:

  • working directly with individuals to promote learning
  • this may involve observation of a child or young person in lessons or on the playground and individual assessments with the child or young person. Individual assessments will vary according to the nature of the request for LSS involvement and the child’s presenting difficulties.  
  • working through consultation with other significant adults to make plans to achieve positive change for individual children or young people whose learning, or development is causing concern
  • advising schools, settings and parents and carers on interventions and strategies including ways to evaluate their effectiveness
  • gaining the views of children and young people.

Work with schools may involve:

  • contributing to professional development (training) of teachers and other educational support staff including training on evidence-based and research-informed interventions. This could take the form of SEND surgeries for all staff.
  • working with SENDCos/ Inclusion Managers to develop good practice based on the SEND Code of Practice and to audit current school SEND practice
  • working with schools to help develop policies or evaluate practice to promote learning
  • liaising, coordinating information and working with other agencies involved with children and their families/ carers
  • supporting SENDCos to gather information contributing to Statutory Assessment of Special Educational Needs under Children & Families Act, 2014.


How to get involvement from the Service/ who can request involvement?

School or Nursery Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENCOs) can request LSS involvement for the children in their school or setting causing them concern.. Parents/ carers must give their informed consent for us to become involved with a child (there is a request for involvement form that the school/ setting must fill in and then ask parents/ carers to sign to give their consent).

Parents / carers may request to attend a meeting with the Advisory Teacher on the day they are visiting the school (or on another date if the one arranged is not convenient for parents/ carers).  

Parents and carers who feel their child needs LSS involvement should speak with the school’s SENDCo. 

The Virtual School has access to and can request involvement from LSS. 


What can you do if a school does not feel your child needs LSS involvement?

Your child’s school’s SENDCo may have put in place appropriate levels of intervention and support and most children and young people with special educational needs and Disabilities (SEND) are able to have their needs met from within a school’s resources and without the need for assessment by an LSS. If your child’s school do not think LSS involvement is required you could:

  • ask the school’s SENDCO if there are any other Special Educational Needs Support (SENS) Services that your child could access
  • search the Local Offer for other SEND Support Services, click on the pink ‘specific areas of need’ tiles or the ‘if you have concerns’ pathway.

Get in touch with the Special Educational Needs Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS). This team will be able talk with you about your concerns and can help you find information and support. 

Who to contact

Further information on the learning support service

Last updated 16/11/2020