Bournemouth Council

Who's Who

People that may work with you and your child to offer you medical help or extra support

This is a brief A-Z introduction to the people involved in different areas of special educational needs that you might hear about or work with while your child is at nursery, school or college.

People who might work with you

Consultant paediatrician - is a doctor that specialises in treating children. They help with detecting and keeping an eye on the health of children with SEN.

Education social worker - will help make sure children with special educational needs (SEN) fully benefit from their education. They monitor school attendance, child employment, transport, neglect and holiday schemes.

Health visitor - is a nurse with extra training to advise on health issues and progress of children. They work with you, health providers and schools.

Hearing/vision support service advisory teacher - is a teacher that has extra training in teaching children with sight or hearing difficulties. They can assess their problems and give advice about how best to teach them.

Learning support teacher - is a teacher with extra training in teaching children who have specific literacy or numeracy difficulties, like dyslexia and dyscalculia or general language issues.

Special educational needs inclusion officer (SIO) and assistant (ASIO) - are people who work with, advice and support parents with SEN procedures. They do the case work for assessments and reviews.

Early Years SEN Officers - provide support to children with SEN in early years settings, such as pre-schools, nurseries, childminders and parent & toddler groups.

Independent supporters - help families with children who are getting an education, health & care plan (EHCP) or are switching from a statement of special educational needs (SSEN) to an EHCP.

Occupational therapists - are trained to assess and treat children with physical disabilities. They give rehabilitation and advice about exercises and equipment or other support the child may need.

Physiotherapists - are trained in assessing and treating children who have difficulty moving, or with physical development issues like balance or walking. They advise schools about support they can put in place.

Portage workers - do home visits with parents of children who are pre-school age and have developmental delay in at least two areas or other SEN. They give advice and support.

SEN coordinator (SENCO) - is a teacher at your child’s nursery, school or college who is responsible for the SEN provision.

Social workers - are trained to give support and advice to families. They can also offer help like counselling, therapy or activities.

Speech and language therapists - are trained to diagnose and treat children with communication difficulties. They can help the child directly but mainly advise parents and schools about other ways to help them.

Teaching assistants - help teachers at school to give extra support to children with SEN and make sure they get the right amount of attention. They are sometimes called a special needs support assistant, or learning support assistant.

Youth advisors - give help and advice to young people ages between 13-19 about moving in to higher education, training and employment. You can find out more on the B-Town Youth website.

Contact Us


General Enquiries

01202 451451


Customer Services Centre

St Stephens Road


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