SEND specialist advice and guidance

The services on this page offer more specialist support for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). They are generally accessed through a referral.

0-25 service

The 0-25 service is a Southampton City Council Service and will support families with a child or children with special educational needs and disabilities in relation to their education, from their first point of contact with the council. It looks to help find the support they need either directly or through the assessment processes which may be required to establish the level of their needs.

You can contact the service directly and your child’s early years setting/school/college can refer to this service for advice and to organise any additional support, if required.

The Children’s Resource Service

The Children’s Resource Service will ensure that children and their families receive the right help at the right time. We will give you information about the local support that is available and offer you advice and guidance. If required, the Children’s Resource Service will refer you to the relevant specialist team that can offer the support required by your family.

If you are looking for help for your own child or family, or for a family you know in a personal or professional capacity, we would encourage you to contact the service by telephone for a discussion.

Children and Families First Team – Early help for families

For those children and families who need some additional help, the Children and Families First Services will provide support and expertise to the child and family. Building on a One Family, One Worker, One Plan principle the Early Help Assessment, will ensure they receive all the support they deserve. You can self-refer to this service and/or a professional involved with your child can also refer you to this service.

You can also contact the Children’s Resource Service as a first point of contact, and they can refer you to this team if they feel your family would be eligible for support.


JIGSAW (Children with Disabilities Team) is a specialist and statutory multi-agency health and social care service that undertakes assessments and provides services at the complex level of needs. A professional involved with your child can refer you to the service.

You can contact the Children’s Resource Service as a first point of contact, and they can refer you to this team if they feel your family will be eligible for support.

Southampton Portage

Southampton Portage is a home teaching service for young children with special educational needs aged 0-3 years who are delayed in at least two areas of development. You can self-refer to the service and/or another professional involved with your child can refer you to the service too.

If your child is experiencing difficulties with speech and language and another area of development, this would be a useful service to refer to get some support and advice.

The Specialist Teaching and Advisory Team

The Specialist Teaching and Advisory Team provide a statutory service for families and schools around children and young people with sensory impairment, aged 0-25yrs, in Southampton, following hospital referral.

Access to this service is by referral from a medical professional.

Educational Psychology

Educational Psychologists (EPs) are professional psychologists with specialist training in child development, how children learn, their emotions, behaviour and how environments affect learning.

A member of staff from your child’s school or college will talk to you about whether a request for an Educational Psychologist involvement should be made to support your child.

Inclusion Services

A child or young person may not have a Special Educational Need but a condition and/or disability that requires support from school that is over and above the usual support required. 

Please see information about the inclusion services that are available, this could include supporting pupils with medical needs, emotionally-based school avoidance and elective home education.

Please also see the guidance document for pupils with medical needs which explains the process in more detail.

If you have a child or young person that has a condition that requires support with medical needs, in the first instance, please contact your school and they will be able to guide you through the process.