Specialist Teaching and Learning Service
The Specialist Teaching Team for the Gravesham District aim to advise and support early years settings and schools to build the capacity and confidence to deliver high quality provision for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
The team include;
Mandy Braisted - Assistant Head and Director of Inclusion, managing the Ifield School SMILE Service and Specialist Teaching and Learning Service (STLS) supporting SEN provision in the Gravesham District.
Jason Owen– Specialist Teacher for Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH), offering advice and support for school aged children within the Gravesham District.
Ruth Cubitt –Specialist Teacher in Cognition and Learning, offering advice and support for school aged children within the Gravesham District. Areas of interest include literacy, maths and Foetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder (FASD).
Helen Cottage - Specialist Teacher for Communication & Interaction and Cognition & Learning, offering advice and support for school aged children within the Gravesham District.
Claire Noordally – Specialist Teacher for Communication & Interaction, offering advice and support for school aged children within the Gravesham District.
Julie Hawkins - Specialist Teacher for SEND, offering advice and support for children with complex needs within the Gravesham District.
Julie Bruce - Specialist Teacher for Hearing Impairment, offering advice and support for children throughout North Kent.
Shelley Robinson – Specialist Teacher for Physical Impairment and Multi-sensory Impairment, offering advice and support for children throughout North Kent.
Andy Taylor – Specialist Teacher for Visual Impairment, offering advice and support for children through North Kent.
Mrs Catherine Fidgett - Early years specialist Teacher
Mrs Janice Gibson - Early years specialist Teacher
Catherine Hall - SMILE Centre Administrator
Ellan Iaquaniello - SMILE Administrator
How to Access Support from Specialist Teachers and other agencies in Gravesham District
- When schools identify concerns about teaching and learning issues in relation to SEN and Disability, for an individual pupil or a group of pupils, they should first use the Core Standards Criteria to identify what can be done to support the pupils access the curriculum and ability to make progress from within the schools own resources.
- If it is considered that additional advice, training or support is needed then the Local Inclusion Forum Team [LIFT] request form (including the parental permission form) should be completed and a request made for the issues to be discussed at the next allocated LIFT Meeting. Each group of schools will have access to six LIFT meetings per year.
- At the LIFT, the school representative (usually the SENCo) will have an opportunity to discuss the issue or case in more detail with colleagues from other schools, an Educational Psychologist, Early Help and the Specialist Teachers. The aim of the discussion is to find solutions to problems, drawing on the knowledge, experience and expertise of everyone in the group.
- There are four main outcomes from a LIFT discussion:
- Advice, support and ideas from the discussion at the meeting to take back and try.
- Access to training programmes or the opportunity for bespoke training.
- Support from another school.
- Specialist intervention from a specialist teacher, outreach teacher, Educational Psychologist and/or support from Early Help.
If there is an unexpected and / or urgent issue that occurs between LIFTs that cannot wait until the next one, then schools should contact the Inclusion and Outreach Manager to discuss a way forward.
Early Years Settings
When settings identify concerns in relation to SEN and Disability for an individual child or a group of children, they should first use the Best Practice Guidance for SEND in Early Years to identify what can be done to support engagement and well-being, access to the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum and ability to make progress from within the settings own resources and experience.
If it is considered that additional advice, support and/or training is needed then the Early Years LIFT form and parental agreement form should be completed
The outcome of such meetings could be:
• Setting to Setting support and advice
• Support from the Equality and Inclusion Service eg training for setting staff
• Support from the Specialist Teaching and Learning Service
• Support and advice from Specialist Nursery/Setting