The Sensory and Physical Teaching Service (SaPTS)
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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
•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 Funding:
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.
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.