Who's Who

People that may work with you and your child and, or young person to offer 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 or young person is at nursery, school or college.

We also have a Who's Who visual leaflet if you'd prefer to print that?

People who might work with you


Consultant paediatrician

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

Help’s 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

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

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

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)

People who work with, advice and support parents with SEN procedures. They do the case work for assessments and reviews.


Early Years SEN Officers

They 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

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.


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 work

They perform 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)

A teacher at your child’s nursery, school or college who is responsible for the SEN provision.

Social workers

Trained to give support and advice to families. They can also offer help like counselling, therapy or activities.

Speech and language therapists

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 assistant

They 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.