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0-5 SEND Service (including the Portage Home Visiting Service)

Service Description The service offers support for children with Special Educational Needs and disabilities, their carers and education providers for children from 0-5+. We are a team of qualified SEN specialist teachers, teaching assistants and Portage home visitors delivering a citywide offer across the 7 localities. We work closely with families, settings and schools and partner agencies across education, health and care services to meet the needs of children with significant and complex additional needs. The service provides additional assessment of needs in relation to educational development and support and advice to carers and providers about meeting these needs. Casefile holders will be involved in the formal assessment process for children being assessed for an Education, Health and Care plan. We also offer training and development opportunities on a centrally maintained and bespoke basis (as part of a traded offer) and support min settings to enskill practitioners with specialist strategies and approaches for specific needs. This service delivers the Area SENCo support to Private, Voluntary and Independent pre -school providers on Behalf of the Local Authority. There is a focus on supportive transitions from home to first setting and for the more complex needs, into schools.


Accessing the service

The service is centrally funded by the city council and so is free to children, families and providers eligible to access the remit of this service. Referrals are open to settings and families, medical and care providers and are made by completing a service referral form or on receipt of a clinical report and covering letter from a medic after permission is gained from the carers. Referrers are welcome to contact the team by telephone to establish if a child would benefit and meets eligibility criteria for the service before completing the form or for help to complete the referral.


Our service is a specialist tier offer. Referrals are accepted for children above the SEN Support level of the local offer (whereby the setting is responsible for meeting need). The guidelines for referral are that the child will have complex needs to which there is a clear impact on their learning and development.

Referrals from Early Years pre - school settings are accepted for children who are assessed at Level 3 and above on the Early Years Sheffield Grid and for new referrals for children In FS2 / Reception classes in school -based providers at Levels 4 and above. New referrals for children presenting with social communication difficulties / Autism in FS2 should be referred to the Autism Education Service for continuity of care.

To accompany the form a setting is required to submit information about the work they have done at SEN Support stage including review information about discussions with carers.

All referrals are generic to the service and on screening, children who will benefit from the specialist input of Portage home visiting and meet the criteria and age band for this most significant and complex group of children will be allocated to Portage home visitors.

Who to contact

Contact Name
Helen Sanders
Contact Position
01142 736411

Where to go


Last Updated
specialist education support service
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