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The Local Offer services directory

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The Sensory and Physical Teaching Service (SaPTS)
The Sensory and Physical Teaching Service (SaPTS)

***If you or someone you know would like details of our Local Offer in large print or Braille please contact us.

What are we?

Educational provision for children and young people with hearing, vision or physical difficulties.

The Sensory and Physical Teaching Service team is a large multi professional team that has a wealth of knowledge and experience in meeting the educational needs of children with Hearing Impairment (HI), Vision Impairment (VI) and Multiple Sensory Impairments (MSI).  The team also works with schools and other settings to ensure that they are able to meet the needs of students with physical difficulties. Independent schools can access our service but are charged for this provision.

All mainstream schools, and settings within the East Riding admit pupils with hearing vision and physical disabilities. The majority of pupils with hearing, vision or physical disability attend their local school. Support can be provided by SaPTS to ensure that pupils are successfully included dependent upon the level of the pupil's individual and assessed need. Some children and young people with additional needs attend one of the Local Authority's special schools, a very small number attend specialist provision outside East Riding. Information on schools can be found in the choosing a school section on the Local Offer website.

What age range do we cover?

0 -25 years

Babies who are diagnosed with a permanent childhood hearing impairment by the NHS Newborn Hearing Screening Programme are referred to us within 24 hours of a diagnosis and we make contact with the family within one working day. Babies who are diagnosed with a permanent vision loss may be referred by an Ophthalmologist or Health Visitor and again contact is made with the family within one working day. The team can visit families, babies and preschool age children at home or in childcare or nurseries when a permanent deafness or vision impairment has been diagnosed.

We use the term ‘deaf’ to refer to all levels of hearing loss.

What do we provide?

We promote inclusion, independence and equality of opportunity to ensure improved outcomes for children and young people who are deaf, vision impaired or have a physical disability. These children and young people are considered to have Special Educational Needs and/or disabilities (SEND) as they require specialist support in addition to the support which is available in mainstream schools. This specialist support is provided by SaPTS.

The purpose of the service is to:
•Support the Local Authority's statutory and core SEND functions
•Provide early assessment and to work closely with families and in partnership with everyone who supports the family and their child to ensure the best possible experience for them
•Provide training, advice and support for schools and settings so that they feel confident they can meet the needs of children and young people who are deaf, vision impaired or have a physical disability
•The team provide specialist teaching support for children with a high level of sensory need and short term programmes for some physically disabled pupils.

We work in close partnership with a wide range of medical, education and social care professionals. Many of our pupils are also supported by a Specialist Speech and Language Therapist and can be referred to the Deaf Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (Deaf CaMHS.) Support is also available from the Early Help and Support Hub (EHASH) which can signpost families to a range of services which can provide support including social care if necessary.

Some of the voluntary agencies and transitional services the team are linked with include:

National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS)

•Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB)

•Action for the Blind / Guide Dogs for the Blind

•Positive Eye


•East Riding Voices in Partnership

•The Together Group

•Hull and District Deaf Children’s Society (HDDCS)

•National Sensory Impairment Partnership (NatSIP)

How do we decide who to support?
We use the National Sensory Impairment Partnership (NatSIP) Eligibility Framework for Scoring Support Levels for deaf and vision impaired children and a Physical Disability Eligibility Framework to:
•ensure fair and equitable allocation of resources
•provide entry and exit criteria for support
•provide a means of identifying the levels of support required
•inform statutory assessment
•inform staffing level considerations
•support service quality assurance
•facilitate benchmarking across local authority sensory impairment support services
Whilst the eligibility framework is comprehensive and designed to provide the basis for a fair allocation of available resources, it doesn’t replace a full assessment and the professional opinions of our specialist teachers. Parents who are concerned about the level of support their child receives should speak to their SaPTS teacher.

Our Manager, Lesley Gallagher was on the national working group that devised the current NatSIP Eligibility Framework.

It is usual for support needs to change throughout a child’s education. For example the Service often provides higher levels of support at transition times. At such times taster days can be arranged for the pupil. Training is offered to the new school and meetings can be held prior to transfer to ensure that the new school and staff are fully prepared. Equipment also needs to be in place to ensure a smooth transfer and a lesson can be delivered to classmates to ensure that they understand the needs of the pupil. Support may decrease if the pupil is making good progress, or is preparing for examinations and needs to focus on studying for these.

Schools do have a responsibility to also provide support to children and young people with a hearing or vision difficulty. They are required to make reasonable adjustments in line with the Equality Act 2010 and make sure that pupils are not placed at a substantial disadvantage. Schools have the overall responsibility for teaching the curriculum and managing a pupil’s learning and behavior.

There are a very small number of children who have a Multi-Sensory Impairment (MSI), this is also known as deafblindness and is a combination of sight and hearing loss. One of our teachers (Natalie Battle) has recently completed the five day NatSIP Regional Centre of Expertise Course for MSI

The service is funded through the High Needs Block of the Dedicated Schools Grant. The majority of work is free at point of delivery. The Service does not make any charge to parents.

This includes training for school staff and lessons for classmates on deaf, vision and physical disability awareness. We ask everyone who attends our training including children and young people to fill out an evaluation form so we can improve our future courses.

From our budget we provide specialist teaching support and Sensory Support Assistant Support to pupils depending on their level of need. Schools do not pay for this support. So unlike pupils with other types of SEND the Resource Panel does not allocate funding to schools for these pupils unless they have needs in addition to their hearing or vision impairment.

We also provide specialist equipment for deaf and vision impaired pupils – please see details of this below in the section about auxiliary aids.

Physical disability:
The service is funded through the High Needs Block of the Dedicated Schools Grant. The majority of the work is free at point of delivery; thisincludes training in specific manual handling techniques and in the use of specific equipment/aids. We ask everyone who attends our training including children and young people to fill out an evaluation form so we can improve our future courses.

How do we check what we are doing? Quality Assurance

We check the outcomes for deaf and vision impaired and physically disabled pupils by using or participating in the following:
•The Consortium for Research into Deaf Education (CRIDE)
•The National Sensory Impairment Partnership (NatSIP) National Outcomes Benchmarking
•The National Sensory Impairment Partnership (NatSIP) Quality Standards
•The National Deaf Children's Society Quality Standards for the Use of Personal Radio Aids
•Quality Standards in the Delivery of Habilitation

In addition we carry out rigorous staff appraisal through the Teacher Appraisal system and East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s Employee Development Review process.

Each year we ask pupils, families and schools to complete a survey of our performance which we evaluate.

The service produces an annual service development and improvement plan. We incorporate national, regional and local authority priorities and initiatives into our plan, in addition to self-evaluation. Our plan feeds into the East Riding Specialist Services plan and the East Riding Children and Young People Plan and is monitored by senior managers.

SaPTS Service Development and Improvement Plan 2018 - 2019 ( PDF 29Kb, opens in window)

We are always looking for ways to improve the service we provide and are very interested in your comments or views. If you have any suggestions or would like to discuss issues relating to our work, please do not hesitate to contact us.

0-25 years
Location and access
The Sensory and Physical Teaching Service
The Children's Specialist Services Hub
Springhead Lane
Anlaby Common
East Riding of Yorkshire
Contact: (01482) 394000
Vehicle access is from Springhead Avenue (HU5 7BZ).  Parking is available on site and there is an additional carpark on Springhead Avenue.
Access to this service
How do you access our service?
The service is delivered into homes, nurseries, settings and schools. Referrals to the service can be made in the following ways:
  •     Deaf children are referred by a Paediatric Audiologist
  •     Children with a Vision Impairment are referred by health services and schools (with medical information)
  •     Children with a Physical Disability are referred by schools (with medical information) 
We require parental consent and evidence of a medical diagnosis,  then a further educational assessment will be carried out.

We decide how much support to allocate by using the National Sensory Impairment (NatSIP) Eligibility Framework for the Scoring of Support Levels.

Who can access our service?
Birth -25 year olds providing the child or young person:
  • Is deaf – diagnosed as educationally significant by a Paediatric Audiologist and issued with at least one hearing aid, Cochlear Implant or Bone Conduction Implant / Bone Anchored Hearing Aid (BAHA)
  • Has a Vision Impairment – referrals are accepted from health services and schools if accompanied by evidence of a medical diagnosis of a vision impairment which cannot be corrected by glasses
  • Has a Physical Disability – referrals are accepted from settings and schools if accompanied by evidence of a medical diagnosis
Referrals will not be accepted unless parents or carers have signed a Service consent form.

The Service is not a diagnostic service and is not responsible for the detection or diagnosis of deafness, vision impairment or physical disability. Families who have concerns about their child should visit their GP or Optician in the first instance. However schools and settings or parent and carers can always contact the service directly for advice.

We will no longer be involved if:
  • The child or young person moves out of the East Riding of Yorkshire, or attends higher education or attends a school outside of the East Riding of Yorkshire unless they have a statement of SEN or an Education and Health Care Plan
  • The NatSIP Eligibility Framework or the Physical Disability Framework assessment indicates that support is no longer necessary
  • The child or young person is discharged from the Hearing Aid Review Clinic as they are no longer using hearing aids or discharged from Ophthalmology as their vision is no longer of concern
Provision of auxiliary aids
In accordance with the Equality Act 2010 the Local Authority and schools have a duty to provide access to auxiliary aids for sensory impaired children and young people. This includes access to supportive listening and vision technologies. Our teachers assess for and recommend these aids which we provide or provide funding to schools so that they can purchase these on our behalf. This equipment helps pupils to fully participate in education by minimizing the barriers that deafness and vision impairment create to learning. We recognize that learning does not stop at the school gate and equipment can be used at home by both preschool or school-age children and young people. If you would like your child to use this equipment at home contact your SaPTS teacher who will organize this and provide a loan form for you to sign. This equipment is expensive and we ask it is treated with care and returned to school fully charged each day so pupils can use it in school. Our teachers will also recommend equipment that schools can purchase for pupils with physical disability. In some instances schools can approach the Equipment Resource Panel to request assistance with funding.

For deaf young people, we assess and dependent on need provide equipment to help maintain and check NHS provided hearing aids, we provide and manage radio hearing aids and classroom based amplification systems such as soundfield systems and handheld microphones where necessary.

For vision impaired young people, we assess and dependent on need provide or fund a range of specialist IT equipment such as laptops and iPads and specialist magnification and touch typing software and the technology required to support pupils using Braille. Low vision aids such as magnifiers are provided by NHS.

Schools are required to make reasonable adjustments for disabled pupils and therefore they fund low cost items and consumables.

SaPTS has a Habilitation Officer who works with Guide Dogs to provide habilitation support (mobility training) and training in independent living skills to young people as necessary. We are supported in delivering this service by Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Parent and sibling involvement
Parents and carers need to be present at all times if the service is delivered within their home, they do not need to be present within nurseries and schools. Siblings cannot access this service however the team liaises with families to work together to ensure appropriate individual levels of support that will encourage inclusion, good educational outcomes and help develop social and emotional well-being. 
We provide copies of all our reports on pupils to parents and welcome the opportunity to meet to discuss them. Some pupils are seen frequently (weekly or fortnightly for example.) We ask for parent for their views on their child’s progress and what they think is important and these views are included on the teacher’s planning. This planning is given to parents and schools and when it is reviewed parents are also sent a copy. Our planning is called Making a Difference as we aim to show how our teaching will help make a difference to each child or young person. 
Training acquired to support children and young people with SEND and their families
 In our team we have Specialist Sensory Support teachers (Teachers of the Deaf and Teachers of the Vision Impaired) and Physical Support Teachers.  We also have a large team of Sensory Support Officers (SSOs) and Sensory Support Assistants (SSAs), an Habilitation Officer, and a Technical Resource Officer. One of our Sensory Support Assistants is deaf and provides a positive role model for deaf children. The teachers within SaPTS are all qualified teachers with experience of teaching in mainstream and/or special schools and have the additional mandatory qualification in teaching deaf or vision impaired children. This qualification is obtained by studying for a further two years. Our Physical Support Teachers have experience of working with physically disabled children and young people. They also have passed the CENTAUR Handling People with Special Needs Education Masterclass Course and attend regular refresher courses

Our Sensory Support Officers and Assistants have had additional training in specialist skills such as British Sign Language or Braille.

We check that all our staff are eligible to work in the UK. The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) helps employers make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, including children. It replaces the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB).

All of our staff have a current criminal record check from the DBS Service at the enhanced and barred level.

Staff receive at least 5 days of specialist training each year and classes in British Sign Language and Braille are also held weekly. Sensory Support Assistants supporting vision impaired pupils also study to obtain the RNIB Partners In Learning, qualification. Volunteers and peers are helped to support children and young people by the provision of specialist training.

There is a safeguarding policy for staff/volunteers.

Opening times
Monday to Friday 8.30am-4.30pm 
Cost of service and payment options
Free at the point of delivery
Contact information
The Sensory and Physical Teaching Service
The Children's Specialist Services Hub
Springhead Lane
Anlaby Common
East Riding of Yorkshire
Tel: (01482) 394000
Contacts for comments, compliments and complaints
Contact Sarah Fox (Hearing Impairment/physical disabilities) or Donna Brady (Vision Impairment) on
Tel: (01482) 394000

You can also contact the council's 'Tell us how it is' services either:
  • text your comments to 07786 208207
  • tell your local councillor or staff member
  • complete a 'Tell us how it is' form available from any customer services centre, leisure centre or library.

In writing the SaPTS Local Offer we consulted with:

  •     SaPTS staff
  •     Parents of pupils supported regularly
  •     Pupils supported regularly
  •     The local Children’s Hearing Impaired Services Working Group
  •     The National Deaf Children’s Society
  •     Guide Dogs for the Blind
We would welcome further comments or contributions. Please contact:
Tel: (01482) 394000

What do you say?

Parents of secondary age vision impaired pupil:
“we are pleased with the transitionally help B got from your service (primary to secondary school) B has come on since getting full-time support from the SaPTS service! Thankyou for ur support, we know it’s been a long journey and B has had many different VI support teachers, but for now having stable reliable teachers…it is proving to help B considerably well. Keep up the good work!”

Mum of primary aged deaf pupil:
“Just wanted to let you know … A spent Saturday afternoon with my Dad … just the 2 of them for most of the afternoon. My Dad rang me on Sunday to say what a difference he noticed in A's speech since he last saw him at Christmas. He said it was in general his sentences made more sense and were not as jumbled as they had been he found him easier to understand. … I mentioned he has had full support from specialist SSA since my Dad last saw him and this may be why. Just thought I'd pass on that your hard work has been noticed, Thank you”

Lecturer at a local college following a deaf awareness training session:
“Just wanted to thank you for doing the session yesterday. I found it very informative and the informal feedback from the participants I spoke to was very positive.”

Art teacher in a secondary school teaching a vision impaired pupil:
“Fantastic! Perfect! What a great service…”

Parent of a blind student aged 17:
“The equipment here is fantastic, far better than other Local Authorities!”

General information

Useful Documents and resources: 

Avaliable Training:


We work with a range of partners outside the East Riding of Yorkshire including:
•National Sensory Impairment Partnership
•National Deaf Children’s Society
•Guide Dogs
•Positive Eye
•Deaf Child and Adolescent Mental Health services (Deaf CAMHs)
•Christopher Pickering Primary Academy, Hull
•Sirius Secondary Academy, Hull
•New College Worcester
•Royal National College for the Blind
•Doncaster School for the Deaf
•Doncaster Communication Specialist College
•York Hospital Audiology and ENT Departments
•Hull Audiology and ENT Departments
•Sheffield Children’s Hospital
•Great Ormond Street Hospital
•Yorkshire Auditory Cochlear Implant Team
•Signature (BSL courses)
•Scottish Sensory Partnership (UEB / Braille)
•RNIB (UEB Braille / Partners in Learning)
•Manchester University
•Birmingham University

Yorkshire BSL Interpreters ( website for freelance British Sign language interpreters ( external website) 

We apologise if you are a partner and we have not included the above list, please contact us and we will ensure you are included.

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Page last updated: Wednesday, 11 April 2018