Our Vision - By working together we aim to provide a range of services and resources that support pupils with Special Educational Needs in Somerset Schools.

Our aim is to offer:

  • Increased capacity for schools to meet the needs of all pupils with SEN

  • Local solutions: provision that responds to local area need, as part of a wider provision map

  • Practitioner led support (by people who are actively teaching on a day to day basis)

  • Increased confidence of teaching and non-teaching staff to deliver effective provision for all groups of learners

  • Targeted support to meet the professional development needs of all adults working with children

  • A co-ordinated approach working with and alongside other colleagues to complement and add value to support services

Our offer responds to local need and includes:

  • Modelling of teaching and learning
  • Observing pupils and giving feedback
  • Training/SEN Initial Teacher Training
  • Developing school to school support

  • Taking pupils on temporary placements (for example to avoid permanent exclusion)

  • Sharing resources and guidance in their use

  • Running local networks (SENCO groups)

  • Support for Leadership and Management

  • Support for parents for pupils with SEN

To access these services, schools are advised to make contact with their local special school or another if the service you need is available elsewhere.

The service availability: every effort will be made to accommodate requests, although it must be understood that there is finite capacity.

Avalon School

Avalon School

Headteacher: Alison Murkin

Address: Brooks Road, Street, Somerset BA16 0PS

T: 01458 443081

E: office@avalon.somerset.sch.uk

Brief description of school:

Avalon school is a newly rebuilt local authority maintained special school for pupils aged 11-19yrs with cognition and learning needs (PMLD, SLD, and MLD)

Avalon's outreach programme has been formulated in response to local mainstream schools. We regularly review its impact and development to ensure it continues to be responsive to local need.

Student Workshops

Series of one day workshops for mainstream young people with SEN (primary and KS3). groups are run by specialist teachers making use of Avalon's facilities and resources to build self-esteem, self-confidence and facilitate social skills and friendship groups. Mainstream staff welcome to stay and visit/work with other children as a CPD opportunity.

After School Club

Monthly After School Club for mainstream young people with SEN and their families. Student group facilitated by Parent and Family Support Advisor supporting social skills, independence and friendship formation. Parents' group facilitated by Educational Psychologist; opportunities for parents to meet and discuss issues.

Speech Language & Communication Groups

6 week courses for mainstream young people and their teaching assistants and/or teachers. Run by specialist Speech and Language Therapist. Supporting expressive, receptive and social use of language. Courses facilitate mainstream TA/teachers in setting up their own SpLT group. Follow up support from Speech and Language Therapist available.

Interaction and communication

STC Awareness sessions/PECS/multi-sensory environments. Introductory sessions for parents/TAs/teachers

Strategies for Pupils with ASD

TEACCH stations, social stories, sensory issues, visual strategies. Awareness sessions for TAs and teachers. Practical ideas and implementation.

Manual Handling Training

Training for staff delivered by Centaur accredited staff

Visits to Avalon School

Mainstream staff visit and observe/work alongside Avalon staff to share good practice, knowledge and resources.

Differentiation Workshops

For TAs and teachers, sharing good practice for differentiating curriculums for young people with SEN.

One day Placements at Avalon School

Mainstream young people access Avalon one day a week to access specialist resources, provision or specific programmes of study.

Brookside Community Primary School

Brookside Community Primary School

Headteacher: Brian Walton

Address: Brookside CP School, Brooks Road, Street, BA16 0PR

T: 01458 443340

E: office@brookside.somerset.sch.uk

Brief description of school:

Brookside Community Primary School is a large primary school giving all year provision for children aged 0 to 11yrs. It is unique in that it has 3 primary specialist provision classes within its mainstream setting, as well as a thriving Learning Support Centre on site which offers high quality resources (both published and developed by the LSC) and support to all educational practitioners.

Professional Development Opportunities for all staff

For SENCOs in, for example, Self Awareness, School Action Plus, De-escalation, IEPs, Managing behaviour, using Narrative Packs, Social Stories with children.

School to School Support

  • Sharing and modelling good practice
  • ICT support
  • Person Centred Reviews

Training Courses

  • Helping struggling learners/literacy
  • Making maths easy:- multisensory materials
  • Using 'Help Box' in your classroom
  • Making sense of P Scales

Numeracy Support

  • P Scales Maths:- A maths programme to support pupils working on the P Scales
  • Max's Marvellous Maths: An intervention programme for pupils working on P8 to Level 1 in number.
  • Numeracy Pocket Books: Discreet numeracy books developed to support pupils with dyslexia
  • Numeracy mats
  • Every Child Counts: Maths pack for small group work
  • Numeracy resources developed by experienced practitioners in the LSC. They are available to purchase by all schools, ready made or on disc.

Literacy Support

  • Phonics Resources
  • Resources to support dyslexia
  • Literacy Pocket Books
  • Spelling Support

Differentiated Resources

  • Topic Boxes: Supporting science, geography, history and PHSE for KS2/3
  • Story Boxes: Containing differentiated resources, artefacts and published books.
  • Modern Foreign Languages
  • SEAL: Resources
  • Dyslexia: Resources to support numeracy and literacy
  • Intervention: The 'SILC' programme
  • Help Boxes: Colourful, visual support resources for numeracy and literacy

All resources have been developed by experienced practitioners and trialled in school. They are available to all schools, and can be borrowed, purchased ready made, or on disc.

Critchill School

Critchill School

Headteacher: Mark Armstrong

Address: Nunney Road, Frome, Somerset BA11 4LB

T: 01373 464148

E: office@critchill.somerset.sch.uk

Brief description of school:

Critchill School provides education for between 40 - 50 pupils who are primarily drawn from the Mendip Area. All of our pupils have a statement of special educational needs


Recommendation and loan of resources, including:

  • Published material
  • Bespoke products
  • Reference books
  • Learning technology

Qualified Teacher of Visual Impairment

  • Specialist advice and support
  • Individual assessments of pupils
  • Curriculum content design

Continuing Professional Development

CPD, support & training for:

  • School staff
  • Other agencies
  • Parents

Advice & Support

  • Development & delivery of individual and group programmes across all curriculum areas and delivered both in mainstream schools and Critchill School
  • Intervention programmes specifically created to meet a wide range of individual needs of learners
  • Social inclusion opportunities, including joint venture projects
  • Teaching & learning strategies
Elmwood School Penrose School

Elmwood & Penrose Federation

Headteacher: Helen Farnell

Address: Penrose School (Primary), Albert Street, Bridgwater, Somerset TA6 7ET; Elmwood School (secondary), Hamp Avenue, Bridgwater, Somerset TA6 6AW; The Jean Rees Centre (post 16), Chilton Trinity Campus, Chilton Street, Bridgwater TA6 3JA

Penrose T: 01278 411222

Elmwood T: 01278 456243

The Jean Rees Centre T: 01278 423660

Brief description of school(s): Elmwood and Penrose is a federation of two special schools in Bridgwater. We meet the needs of children and young people from the age of 2 years old, through primary and secondary age ranges into sixth-form and adulthood. Our students have a wide range of complex needs and we teach from P level 1 to GCSE. Our focus is on developing independence and living full and rewarding lives.

Support for Pupils at Risk of Exclusion

  • Specialist TA available to local primary schools
  • Classroom audit
  • Lesson observations
  • Resources
  • Planned intervention and feedback to schools
  • SENCo forum


  • We offer training through an Educational Psychologist, Occupational Therapist and colleagues from Health to lead training

Individual bespoke requests

  • Initial teacher assessment
  • On-going TA support
  • Access to resources
  • Learning Resource Base access
  • Personalised resources - symbols and work station tasks

TA Support

  • Through negotiation we may be able to offer specialist support within your school to cover absences, staff leaving.

Learning Resource Centre

  • We host the LRC for Sedgemoor
  • Borrow SEN resources
  • Access training and support
  • Networking with other SEN staff

Support for CLP

  • Chaired by Headteacher Opportunities for CPD
  • Opportunities for shared support
  • Successful in funding applications for Big Lottery for community work, Malachi Trust

Outreach Centre

  • Primary aged students work on social and emotional wellbeing
  • Individual assessments
  • Individual sessions
  • Small groups
  • After school clubs
  • Targeted support in schools for class based staff
  • Support and training for lunchtime supervisors
  • Family support
  • Reports back to schools on progress
Fairmead School

Fairmead School

Headteacher: Tracy Felstead

Address: Mudford Road, Yeovil, Somerset BA21 4NZ

T: 01935 421295

E: SCColes@educ.somerset.gov.uk

Brief description of school:

Fairmead School is situated on the North East outskirts of Yeovil. It has a very wide catchment area taking pupils from Bruton, Chard and Somerton down and into parts of Dorset. The school caters for students with moderate learning difficulties and complex needs, aged between 4 and 19 yrs.

Working with Parents & Carers of Pupils with ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder)

Observation and discussion with family and pupil at home.

Strategies to support pupil at school and at home.

Visits to Fairmead

Visits by mainstream school staff to Fairmead to share good practice, knowledge and resources. This includes moderation activities.

Supporting Pupils in Mainstream with ASD

Discussion with school staff

Observation of the pupils in school setting

Staff INSET on different aspects of ASD eg TEACCH, Social Stories, PECs, Sensory Issues, Resources

Circle Time

Providing mainstream schools with practical activities to support Circle Time

Yeovil Parent Support Group

This group is open to parents and carers of all children and young people with additional needs, whether they attend a Mainstream school, Special school or are Home Educated.

Behaviour Strategies for Individual Pupils

Fairmead can support schools in developing behaviour strategies for individual pupils and whole school systems for behaviour management. All staff are trained in Team Teach.

Parent and Family Support Advisor (PFSA)

Our Parent and Family Support Advisor offers advice and support through the Family Links programme. This programme offers effective ways of encouraging co-operative behaviours, empowering both parents and children. It also offers an emotional literacy programme.

Visual strategies for pupils with ASD in mainstream schools

Useful classroom strategies and resources

Awareness Session for staff on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

ASD triad of impairment, useful classroom strategies and resources

SEN - Support for teaching and assessment

Working in collaboration with mainstream schools to support the teaching and assessment of children with SEN

Youth Club

Available weekly to pupils with additional needs.

Fiveways School

Fiveways School & The Partnership Teaching School (Specialists in Communication and Interaction)

Headteacher: Mark Collis

Address: Victoria Road, Yeovil, Somerset BA21 5AZ

T: 01935 476227

Brief description of school: Fiveways School provides for 68 pupils with Severe Learning difficulties, between the age of 4-19. It has been designated as a National Teaching School since 2011, in partnership with Fosse Way School in BANES.

The Partnership Teaching School (TPTS)

Is fortunate to have an alliance of schools and partners across Somerset and beyond to enable us to offer the following & more:

Bespoke support:

Schools or around individuals

CPD: A comprehensive range of training including SEN and accredited courses. Forthcoming events are on the website www.thepartnershipteachingschool.com or contact the school for details e.g. PCP/PCR training & support, Autism, TEACCH, Communication & Language, Challenging Behaviour, Manual Handling, Theraplay, multisensory approaches

Bespoke CPD: for schools and clusters

Annual South West SEN conference: based on current issues and initiatives

Teaching Assistant Pathway: from 'New to TA' to level 4 SEN and Foundation Degree (partnership with SCIL)

PGCE SEN route through Initial Teacher Training: (SCITT Partnership)

NQT training and network sessions: Primary, Secondary & Special Schools. NQT and new to special school training

Leadership programmes: Early Career Teacher to Aspiring Head. Including accredited programmes.

Modelling sessions: For school staff to enable development of expertise and confidence

School visits: Observation of excellent practice, the use of specialist strategies, facilities and equipment. Follow up support and guidance.

Social and Emotional Literacy: Therapeutic strategies to underpin the learning needed to reduce exclusions and make progress across the curriculum. Theraplay.

Positive Behaviour Management: A wide range of advice and support including Team Teach training.

Autistic Spectrum Disorders: Support staff to understand ASD and meet pupils needs by providing practical classroom strategies.

Somerset Total Communication: Training and practical implementation in the classroom.

Hearing impairment: Understanding HI within the context of those with learning difficulties

Differentiation & Personalisation: For pupils with the most complex needs

P Scales: Understanding the levels, assessment and differentiation

We welcome pupils, individuals or small groups who may need support in basic literacy and numeracy and those needing to improve self esteem and social skills.

Selworthy School

Selworthy School (Specialist centre for Cognition & Learning)

Headteacher: Mark Ruffett

Address: Selworthy Road, Taunton, Somerset TA2 6DZ

T: 01823 284970

E: selworthyLSC@educ.somerset.gov.uk

Brief description of school: Selworthy School is a maintained community special school for 3-19 year old pupils and students with learning disabilities and co-existing conditions. Excellent teachers and support staff use the latest research and information to remain at the cutting edge of educational thinking, skilfully adapting to the curriculum to enable learners to develop and grow.

Learning Support Centre:

The LSC is based at the school and offers a base where parents and professionals can browse and borrow resources and books and chat to knowledgeable staff.

The LSC has over 50 members (both organisations and individuals) and supports many Selworthy parents who receive membership through the school.


Selworthy has a thorough and embedded internal moderation process that has been opened up to all mainstream schools within the local area. Every subject is moderated throughout the course of the year.


Our Educational Psychologist provides bespoke support to parents and schools. She also provides a number of training opportunities:

  • Understanding, accessing and intervening when children with learning difficulties challenge their behaviour
  • Managing behavioural crises and using de-escalation skills in difficult situations
  • The impact of managing challenging behaviour on staff and carers with reflection on a range of coping strategies


We deliver clinics to support Sleep, Feeding and Dental Hygiene


Our Communication Specialist leads a wide range of support for organisations and individuals in the whole range of communication needs.

We offer a range of training opportunities alongside bespoke advice including:

  • Somerset Total Communication
  • Speech and Language and communication needs mapped to 'The Speech, Language and Communication Framework'
  • Common Strategies and INterventions (PECS, Intensive Interaction and use of symbols)
  • Augmentive and alternative communication

FAST team:

Our Families And School Together team is made up of Selworthy parents who are employed to support paremts on a peer to peer basis.

Tribe Club:

Tribe club is a group run by school staff for two evenings each month that is available to children aged 11+ with learning difficulties.

Sky College

Sky College

Headteacher: Richard Berry

Address: Pickeridge Close, Taunton TA2 7HW

T: 01823 275569

E: rberry@educ.somerset.gov.uk

Brief description of school:

Sky College is a specialist provision catering for boys aged 10 to 17, with Behavioural, Emotional and Social Difficulties. Our philosophy is to provide an holistic and individualised approach designed and tailored to support students to fulfil their potential. Staff are expert in their field and consistently challenge both students and themselves in order to overcome barriers to success and provide students with the tools they require to thrive.

Nurture groups

Sky College recognises that before a child can learn effectively they must first have the following social and emotional skills that underpin effective learning.

There are five social and emotional aspects of learning:

  • Self-awareness
  • Managing feelings
  • Motivation
  • Empathy
  • Social skills

Our nurture group aims to promote students positive experience of school life as it underpins effective learning, emotional health and well-being, positive relationships, appropriate behaviour and good attendance.

There are several programmes that we now offer in order to promote the five social and emotional aspects of learning. We are able to offer advice on setting up a Nurture Provision and in certain cases may be able to work in conjunction with main educational providers to offer full or part time provision to students from other schools.

Supporting Pupils with BESD

As a specialist provision we are able to offer advice and guidance on dealing with individual students to maintain their placements in the appropriate provision. As such we work closely with the four Area Partnership Schools (PRS) to provide mutual support and make best use of resources (including consideration of travel distances) to meet the social, mental, emotional and educational needs of students.

Alternative Provision

At Sky we both offer and access a wide and varied range of alternative curriculum packages. If you would like advice on packages for individual students we are able to support you in identifying the specific needs of students and arranging a bespoke package to cater for those needs.

Therapeutic intervention

We are also developing a number of therapeutic interventions to look to address behaviours based around attachment disorders such as play therapy; life story work; as well as speech therapy; drama therapy and general counselling.

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