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Barnsley Education Inclusion Services - Social Communication Interaction Support

What does the Team do?

Our aim is to enable children and young people with social communication and interaction difficulties to achieve their full potential.

We provide specialist advice and guidance to educational settings, enabling them to support your child’s learning.  Support is offered to Children and Young Poeple (CYP) across the range of educational settings from the age of 0 - 25 years.

 The support we offer includes:

  • Providing advice and training to staff in educational settings on matters relating to social communication and interaction including autism.
  • Developing the specialist skills of staff working with children with social communication and interaction needs.
  • Providing guidance to settings in order to make the curriculum more accessible.
  • Supporting the child’s learning journey.
  • Ensuring that specialist  resources are apporpriately used,

The team consists of a Team Leader, Advisory Teachers and Support Workers

 Who do we work with?

In order to meet your child’s needs we often work with a large number of people.  The range of people we work with includes:

  • Parents, carers and families;
  • Teachers;
  • Early Years Practitioners;
  • Learning Support Assistants;
  • Health Professionals;
  • Speech and Language Therapists;
  • Voluntary Organisations;
  • Other educational services 

How to access support?

  • Through consultation at a Planning Meeting (schools), Social Communication Interaction Consultation Surgeries (Early Years Settings)
  • Post 16 Providers can contact the Service directly to discuss their needs. 

The type and level of support we give is determined by the following:

  • Ability to access the curriculum;
  • Expertise of staff involved;
  • Rates of attainment and progress;
  • Other personal factors.

Our aim will be to work with staff at a setting along with parent/ carers to help identify outcomes for CYP within the cycle of Asess, Plan, Do, Review.

Who to contact

Contact Name
Dr Naomi Robinson

Where to go

Inclusion Services
PO Box 634
S70 9GG

Other Details


Other notes



Local Offer


It is expected that an educational setting would have implemented a range of SEN support to meet the needs of the child or young person including adapting the curriculum and making reasonable adjustments.
If these strategies and interventions fail to address the barriers to learning that the child or young person is experiencing, then the educational setting may wish to take advice and guidance from our specialist staff who would use their knowledge, skill and expertise to have an impact on the educational outcomes for the child or young person.

We aim to meet a wide range of needs for children and young people and provide a wide range of training, strategies and advice to settings.  Examples are Makaton taster sessions, Music Interaction, Lego Therapy and written advice based on observations of the child or young person.  We will also attend meetings to share our recommendations and act as an advocate for the child or young person.

We provide a flexible, personalised approach to communicating with children, young people, families and educational settings.
The service uses additional communication systems if required e.g. Makaton, electronic communication (text/email) as well as face to face meetings, telephone calls and written reports/letters etc.

We are a highly skilled, expert team who have been trained in commnication and interaction difficulties including autism.  Our team continually takes part in professional development to ensure we can respond to the needs of the children and young people using up to date strategies and interventions.

Contact Name
Dr Naomi Robinson
Contact Telephone
01226 773577
Contact Email
SEN Provision Type

Schools Extended Local Offer Response

How do we offer support to children or young people with a special educational need or disability?

Discussion at regular consultation meetings between SENCO and SCI practitioner as to the nature of needs within the setting at whole setting, small group and individual level.

Pupils should be monitored at SEN Support level.

Parents should speak to the setting’s SENCO if they have concerns about their child.

 Through a variety of ways dependent on the intended outcome

  • Direct observation
  • Modelling of approaches with your child
  • Discussion and signposting at planning meetings with the SENCO
  • One to one work on a regular basis
  • Staff development and training to upskill staff who are in daily contact with your child
  • Consultation with parents/carers
  • Through evaluation of skills set in relation to the curriculum
  • Advice provided on making curriculum accessible
  • Element of life skills focus to enhance educational provision in setting
  • Contribution through advice Record of Visits
  • Contribution to TAF meetings either in person or by report/advice previously given
  • Contribution to Annual Reviews, monitoring of appropriateness of and progress made with regard to SCI provision within EHCP/Statement
  • Review of progress at consultations with SENCO
  • Provide advice for academic, social, emotional, communication, physical and sensory needs
  • Signpost to other agencies for support
  • Transition advice - generic and personalised
  • Forward planning – focus for development of required skills for future aspirations
  • Liaising with key professionals in different phases of education to ensure a supportive transition

 All needs are considered for support and planned through discussion at the planning meeting SENCOs are advised to involve parents and co-produce plans for their child to identify needs/provisions and include the involvement of outside agencies where it is necessary

  •  Outcomes and parental consent are sought at the point of referral/initial involvement
  • All Records of Visits and reports are provided to the setting  to share with parents/carers
  • Involvement in TAF and Annual Review meetings
  • Actively seeking and encouraging parental involvement wherever possible
What specialist training, experience and expertise do we have relevant to children with special educational needs and disabilities?

The SCI team provide advice and guidance in the following areas:

  • PECS - PECS stands for Picture Exchange Communication System. It is a form of Alternative and Augmentative Communication that develops expressive communication skills using pictures. PECS focuses on communication that is relevant and motivating for each student. Students are taught to give a picture of a desired item to a communicative partner in exchange for that item. For example, if they want a drink they will give a picture of a drink to an adult who will then give them a drink.
  • Autism Awareness – Autism Awareness sessions provide practitioners with an understanding of the four main areas of difficulty for individuals on the Autism Spectrum along with strategies and resources that will enable them to make a difference and improve outcomes for children and young people with a diagnosis of autism.
  • Lego Therapy – Lego Therapy is a social development programme which helps children and young people with Autism Spectrum Disorders and related social communication difficulties. By providing a joint interest and goal, Lego building can become a medium for social development such as sharing, turn taking, making eye contact and following social rules.
  • Music Interaction – Music Interaction is an interactive approach primarily to develop children’s social  communication skills through music.
  • Visual Support Systems – “When I can see it, I can understand it!” Visual support systems help children and young people with social communication and interaction difficulties to make sense of the world, access non-preferred activities and establish positive routines. By using visual support systems, children and young people with social communication and interaction difficulties can also improve and develop their independence skills, such as dressing and toileting and enable them to build on these and other important skills for life.
  • Makaton – Makaton is a language programme using signs and symbols to help people to communicate. The team can offer a Taster session to a setting which gives a general introduction into what Makaton is and who uses it, with the opportunity to learn a few signs and symbols too. The team can also offer the Beginners Workshop to parents/carers. The Beginners' Workshop provides a practical introduction to the Makaton Language Programme. Sessions include discussing commonly asked questions, hints and tips for effective signing and symbol use and how to start using Makaton in everyday situations at home or work. Parents will also learn the signs and symbols for Stages 1-4 and Additional of the Core Vocabulary
  • Sensory Processing – The SCI team can provide advice and strategies to enable practitioners to understand and support children and young people with sensory processing difficulties and disorders.
  • Reading Inference and Deduction Skills - A reading comprehension  intervention for pupils in KS2 and KS3 who have age appropriate decoding skills but who are experiencing difficulty acquiring full meaning and enjoyment from their reading.             
  • Social Scripts – are  short descriptions of a particular situation, event or activity, which include specific information about what to expect in that situation and why.
  • Transition – The team can provide support for transitions that occur on a regular basis for example a pupil moving from the carpet to their desk and during key transitions for example starting school, moving from one class to the other and from secondary school to College.

The SCI team are able to provide support to settings in the following areas:

  • PECS
  • Cygnet
  • Earlybird+
  • Lego Therapy
  • Music Interaction
  • Visual Support Systems
  • Sensory processing
  • Reading Inference and Deduction Skills
  • Social Scripts
How accessible is our setting?

Promotion of inclusive practice and equality of opportunity through Equality Act 2010

  • Support with information for risk assessments
  • Supports and aids provided or signposted to staff for extra-curricular or offsite activities
  • Core visits/support and planning available to all mainstream schools in the LA
  • Enhanced or ongoing support through SLA – traded work
Last updated on 30/09/2019
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