Communication, Learning and Autism Support Service (CLASS)
1. What is CLASS?
The ISEND Communication, Learning and Autism Support Service (CLASS) offers support, advice, guidance and training to schools. We work with other ISEND Services to support children and young people to successfully access full time education. Our advisors and practitioners hold qualifications in specialisms such as Speech, Language and Communication Needs including Autism, and Specific Learning Difficulties such as Dyslexia.
CLASS can provide:
- An experienced team of Advisors and Practitioners
- High quality training and support to all education settings (5-19)
- A link Advisor for every primary and secondary school in East Sussex
- A service to parent/carers through CLASS+.
please see the CLASS Training Programme booklet (2021-22)
2. What CLASS offer
- CLASS Adviser observations leading to strategies to support inclusion and progress
- Working with teachers to develop related practice
- 1:1 Practitioner support – working with young people and/or modelling to an Individual Needs Assistant (INA)/Teaching Assistant
- Small group work intervention on an identified need (e.g. social skills groups)
CLASS also offer a Link Adviser to:
- as a key point of contact within CLASS for the school
- have an overview of the needs of the school in relation to communication, learning and autism
- support early identification and intervention regarding needs
- Support SENCo to build capacity in the school to identify training needs and areas for development
- Support the whole school understanding of Speech Language and Communication Needs, Autism and Specific Learning Difficulties including Dyslexia and signpost to appropriate training, best practice and other resources
- Training in all aspects of SLCN, Autism, motor coordination, dyslexia and other learning difficulties
- Individual observation and diagnostic assessment in cognition, literacy, numeracy and ICT
- Parent and carer workshops in all aspects of learning
- Exam access arrangement testing at KS4 and 5
- Assistive technology assessment
CLASS also offers bespoke training and services. See our offer on the Services to Schools Webshop.
3. How to access support from CLASS
Referral can be made to CLASS as shown below:
can be accessed via the ISEND Front Door
Speech, language and communication referrals
Referrals for school age children with speech, language and/ or communication needs are made using an ISEND Front Door referral. The needs of the child will be considered holistically, and onward referral may be made to the Children's Integrated Therapy and Equipment Service (CITES) if appropriate.
For any further information or queries please email CLASS@eastsussex.gov.uk or contact your CLASS Link Advisor. Alternatively, contact the CITES Speech and Language Therapy department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CLASS+ works across East Sussex to support families/carers of young people with ASD. Our aim is to provide guidance and training that enables families/carers to build their understanding of the strengths and challenges faced by children and young people with Autism and so to develop greater confidence in how to support them. The team is part of the CLASS service.
What do we offer?
- Weekly advice line
- Coffee mornings – support groups and schools
- Training for parents
- Short pieces of home based support (for school aged children)
How can parents/carers access support from CLASS+?
If you think a parent/carer could benefit from CLASS+ support, please advise them to contact CLASS@eastsussex.gov.uk, message us on our Facebook page or call 01273 336887 for more information.
5. Spectrum autism support
Spectrum is a service that helps young people with autism aged 0 to 19 to join in activities in their community.
With our support, young people:
- become confident with activities and travel,
- develop life skills,
- explore social situations, and
- enjoy the same opportunities as their peers
How can parents/carers access support from Spectrum?
Parent/carers can self-refer directly to this service using the online referral form.
6. Autism Resources
Guidance for the Autism Spectrum Diagnostic Pathway - SENCO role
It is important to note that the Autism Diagnostic Pathway is not a universal screening tool; only children who meet the threshold for assessment should be referred to the pathway.
Documents have been co-produced with parent/carers to support parent/carers to understand the different stages of the diagnostic pathway.
At the point of referring a child to a health professional to start the autism pathway assessment process, SENCOs must ensure they talk the parent/carer through the correct age pathway document and explain that they will move on to the pathway if their child meets the threshold for assessment. It is essential that the pathway document is shared in a face-to-face meeting with the parent/carer; it will be ineffective if posted or handed over without explanation. Based on the family’s geographical location, the correct clinic leaflet should also be shared in this conversation about referring to the autism pathway assessment process.
First stage of the pathway:
Pathway documents should only be used as part of a face-to-face conversation, the documents for the start of the pathway are not published here but have been circulated to schools. There is a ‘Pre-school and Primary’ document and an ’11-18 birthday’ document. To request your copy please contact: ISENDProjects@eastsussex.gov.uk
Clinic appointment leaflets:
These documents are designed to support parents to understand the different stages of the process. For further information please go to Community Paediatrics – East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (esht.nhs.uk)
Post-diagnostic support information (to share with parents/carers)
Please see the multi-agency agreed PDA Statement for East Sussex