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Special Educational Needs Specialist Service (SENSS)

We provide specialist professional support to schools to help with specific learning difficulties.

We aim to:

  • give specialist assessment
  • give specialist teaching and advice for pupils with SEN
  • promote awareness and understanding through excellent and informed training and practice
  • develop confident, independent learning in partnership with other professionals, schools and parents 

Service delivery

We provide support to pupils, schools and the local council for specific learning difficulties.

The difficulties we provide support for include:

  • dyslexia
  • language disorder
  • dyspraxia
  • dyscalculia
  • autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
  • the wider range of SEN

The service we offer to schools includes:

  • support for individual pupils
  • whole-school approaches to inclusion
  • training and modelling 

We must receive a referral from the school to provide this service.

Who delivers the service?

Our service has 16 specialist qualified teachers. They all have a wide range of SEN experience in both mainstream and special schools. They also have a range of post graduate qualifications in SEN.

There are two area teams:

  • east Dorset based in the Hanham Centre, Wimborne
  • west Dorset based in Winterborne Monkton

Ways of working

We provide:

  • advice on the inclusion of learners with specific learning difficulties
  • strategies and advice for children with disabilities
  • advice on the nature, identification and implications of specific learning difficulties
  • effective preventative provision; intervention, methods, strategies and resources
  • diagnostic assessments for the identification of specific learning difficulties
  • specialist teaching programme planning
  • special arrangements for public examinations
  • the monitoring and evaluation of pupil progress
  • specialist teaching for individual pupils or small groups

We also deliver specialist advisory packages on behalf of the local authority. These are for pupils with:

  • specific learning difficulties
  • complex literacy, language communication needs
  • an education, health and care plan or a statement of special educational needs

Professional development training 

We offer:

  • a range of training for the support and inclusion of pupils with specific learning difficulties
  • specialist accredited courses for dyslexia and speech and language support
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