Inclusion Support

Inclusion support works across Sandwell to improve the education, learning, development and mental health and wellbeing of all children and young people (ages 0 - 25) with a particular focus on those who are vulnerable and / or have special educational needs.

It is a multi-disciplinary service that provides assessment and intervention, specialist teaching, advice, consultation, information and support for parents, carers, schools and other educational settings regarding children and young people who have a wide range of needs. These needs can range from severe physical disabilities to mild learning difficulties and serious social, emotional or behavioural difficulties.

Experience, expertise and excellence

With over 30 years experience of delivering services, inclusion support has developed a culture of excellence, innovation and ground breaking work. Educational psychologists have provided support in Sandwell for over 50 years.

Inclusion support has experienced and well qualified staff who have a high degree of specialist expertise within the field of education, school improvement, early years, special educational needs, and mental health and wellbeing.

If you would like more information about the work we do the service can be contacted by phone on 0121 569 2777, by email at or at Connor Education Centre, Connor Road, West Bromwich, B71 3DJ. Opening times are Mon-Thurs 8am-5pm. Fri 8am-4.30pm.

Educational and Child Psychology

The Educational and Child Psychology team is led by our Principal Educational and Child Psychologist Melanie Sutherland and Deputy Principal Educational and Child Psychologist Alison Bayliss.

In addition, we have educational and child psychologists with specialist interests in mental health, working with social care staff and early years. We also have assistant educational and child psychologists, trainee educational and child psychologists and a designated Psychology Project Manager.

All educational and child psychologists in our team have a rich and diverse experience of working with children and young people and have completed a professional training in Educational and Child Psychology.

To find out more about our team you can follow us on Twitter at @SandwellEdPsych or download our team brochure from the downloads section of this page. For the latets news and updates download our newsletter.

Our values and aims 

Within our educational and child psychology team, we are committed to putting children and young people first, promoting inclusion, staying true to our word, acting courageously in all that we do and achieving excellence. In doing those things, we are able to drive Sandwell Council’s values of trust, unity and progress. Learn more about our and Sandwell Council's ambitions.

Supporting each other

The personal and professional development of all of our team is a priority for us as a service. We welcome post-16 work experience placements, undergraduate placements and trainee educational and child psychologist placements. Apply for a work experience placement.

All team members can expect ongoing professional development opportunities to develop areas of interest which are then fed back to the wider Educational and Child Psychologist team and education staff to promote best practice. 

To find out more about becoming part of our team, please look at our team brochure in the downloads section of this page or contact Melanie Sutherland -

Find out more about how we support our team by reading the case studies in the downlaods section.

The Learning Team

What does the team offer?

We are a highly experienced team of specialist practitioners who can help schools meet the needs of children with learning difficulties

How do we receive referrals?

The team receives referrals directly from schools. An initial discussion of the pupil/young person’s learning needs is completed. Recommendations and strategies are provided to school based on a consultation with staff or through direct learning assessment work with the pupil.

As part of our role we:

  • Complete assessment and review of individual pupils’ learning needs
  • Advise on appropriate strategies and interventions
  • Develop individual programmes of work
  • Build capacity through training
  • Carry out assessments to support application for Access Arrangements for examinations.

Provide training and monitor interventions

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Spelling
  • Numeracy
  • Dyslexia awareness and identification and dyslexia friendly environment
  • Dyscalculia (difficulties with the use and processing of numbers

We develop and advise on effective and evidence-based interventions including:

  • Vocabulary and Inference Programme (VIP)
  • Sandwell Writing Intervention (SwIN)
  • Sandwell Numeracy Intervention (SNI)

Provide strategic development work and capacity building within primary and secondary schools

  • Sandwell SEND Quality Mark for Cognition
  • Reviews of Cognition and Learning SEND provision
  • Planning for provision based on school assessment data
  • Screening cohorts of pupils to inform learning provision
  • Support for teachers in meeting the learning needs of pupils

Deliver nationally recognised professional development for SENCos

  • Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Studies for special needs co-ordinators delivered in partnership with the University of Birmingham and other local authorities.

The Learning Team works effectively with schools and a variety of other professionals such as Specialist Advisory Teachers for Social Emotional and Mental Health, Sensory Support Team, Educational Child Psychologists, Complex Communication Autism Specialist Teachers and other agencies including the Speech and Language Therapy Service

Contact details

You can contact the team at Connor Education Centre, Connor Road, West Bromwich, B71 3DJ or by telephone on 0121 569 2777.

Alternatively you can email at

Advisory Teachers for Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH)

What can the team offer?

The team consists of Advisory Teachers with specialist knowledge of social, emotional and behavioural difficulties.

Pupil support

To support pupils we offer:

  • Consultation with school staff
  • Consultation with parents
  • Assessment to identify needs and strategies
  • Advice on interventions and  behaviour plans
  • Tracker tool established to monitor behaviour and impact of interventions on a weekly basis.
  • Individual and small group activities eg Anger Management/Self Esteem
  • One to one support for children at risk of permanent exclusion from the Preventing Primary Exclusions (PPE) Team
  • Transition support

School support

To support schools we offer:

  • Bespoke training to meet individual school need
  • Advice on classroom organisation / management
  • Re-integration advice and support
  • Behaviour audits - whole school/departments
  • Writing/reviewing Behaviour policies
  • Support to complete Anti-Bullying Charter Mark
  • Small group/whole class activities to support Anti-Bullying Week
  • Training

Our range of training activities includes

  • Nurturing School
  • Positive Behaviour Management
  • Social Skills
  • Non-Violent Crisis Intervention (NVCI)
  • Effective Communication
  • Anger Management
  • Training for Lunchtime Supervisors
  • Self Esteem
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): Strategies for the classroom and playground

Preventing Primary Exclusions (PPE) Team

The Preventing Primary Exclusions Team (PPE Team) comprises specialist practitioners who work within the school setting with children identified as displaying varied aspects of social, emotional and behavioural  difficulties which puts them at risk of exclusion.

The PPE Team works closely with school staff, parents, Behaviour Support Teachers and Educational Psychologists.

Our main role

  • One to one support for the identified child
  • Sharing child-centered strategies with school staff
  • Liaison  with parents/carers on daily progress
  • Liaison with other  professionals
  • Implement and contribute to assessment, daily monitoring and review
  • Monitor and review progress using the Behaviour Tracker programme for the child
  • Maintain Non-Violent Crisis Intervention (NVCI) certificate

We also provide group work in the areas of:

  • Anger Management
  • Social Skills
  • Circle of Friends
  • Circle Time
  • Self Esteem


The PPE Team contributes to the delivery of:

  • Non Violent Crisis Intervention
  • Nurture Groups
  • Behaviour Management
  • Anti-bullying Programmes

The principal aim of the PPE Team is to provide positive, nurturing and consistent support for children.

Contact details

You can contact the team at Connor Education Centre, Connor Road, West Bromwich, B71 3DJ or by telephone on 0121 569 2777.

Alternatively you can email at

Complex Communication and Autism Team (CCAT)

What does the team offer?

We are a highly experienced team of specialist practitioners who can help schools meet the needs of children with complex communication disorders and autism.

How do we receive referrals?

The team does not receive referrals directly from schools. The initial referral is made by the school to one of the school delivery team (Educational Psychologist, Advisory Teacher for Learning or Advisory Teacher for Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH)). If, as a result of that referral, it is felt that CCAT might need to be involved then an internal referral is made by the school delivery team. There will be a discussion about what involvement,if any, there will be on the part of CCAT and, if appropriate, CCAT will make contact with the school to discuss.  

As part of our role we:

  • Provide training tailored to individual needs, covering a wide variety of issues, topics and strategies relating to autism
  • Provide support and planning for transition

We can advise on programmes and target-setting by:

  • Conducting informative assessments
  • Writing useful individual education plans (IEPs)
  • Differentiation
  • Using visual strategies
  • Curriculum and resource adaptation

We can advise on effective and evidence based interventions and strategies including:

  • Communication friendly environments
  • TEACCH (a structured intervention programme)
  • Social Stories
  • Intensive Intervention

We provide direct support to set up and model programmes including:

  • Intensive support from specialist support staff
  • Modelling strategies and interventions
  • Developing programmes of work
  • Creation of resources to support curriculum access
  • Planning and supporting the set up and delivery of social skills groups

CCAT works effectively with schools and a variety of other agencies including the Speech and Language Therapy Service, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and Autism West Midlands to support children, their parents and families.

CCAT is also part of the Sandwell Multi Agency Assessment (MAA) Process which determines whether a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder is appropriate for a child.

Contact details

You can contact the team at Connor Education Centre, Connor Road, West Bromwich, B71 3DJ or by telephone on 0121 569 2777.

Alternatively you can email at

Sensory Support Team

What we offer:

The Sensory Support Team includes:

Qualified Teachers of the Deaf - teachers who are trained in specialist teaching and providing support to deaf pupils and children with a hearing loss.

Qualified Teachers of Children and Young People with a Vision Impairment – teachers who are trained in specialist teaching and providing support to pupils with vision impairment.

Specialist Teaching Assistants – with extensive knowledge and experience in supporting pupils with low vision who access modified learning resources and equipment, and pupils who learn through a tactile curriculum

Audiology Technician- with extensive knowledge and experience in supporting pupils with hearing technologies

Habilitation Specialist – teaches children and young people with a vision impairment to move around and complete independent living skills as safely, efficiently and independently as possible.

We provide specialist teaching and support to children and young people from birth to 25 years who meet the criteria for referral to our service.

We work with families, in Schools and Settings to remove Pupil’s barriers to learning, social interaction and help them to develop independence.


Our work with children and families includes:

  • Supporting pre-school children and their parents/carers from birth to three, including home visits, Sensory Tots playgroup and transition into nursery and school.
  • Support with hearing technologies: hearing aids, bone conduction aids, cochlear implants and radio aids.
  • A programme of social opportunities - day trips, residential breaks, access to clubs and groups.
  • Assessment of functional hearing/vision and advice on the implications for learning and development.
  • Information and guidance for parents including signposting to other relevant agencies.
  • Specialist teaching interventions for language and communication development.
  • Being a link to professionals in other areas, in particular health services.
  • Promoting social skills and high self-esteem.


Our Support to Settings includes:

  • Advice on teaching strategies and modifications to the curriculum.
  • Environmental audits and advice on modifications to the physical environment. 
  • A programme of central and school-based training.
  • Monitoring progress by developing and reviewing graduated intervention targets
  • Providing large print and braille versions of curriculum materials
  • Monitoring the correct functioning and use of assistive technology (for example, hearing and radio aids, cochlear implants, soundfield systems, Braillenotes, CCTVs and low vison aids). 
  • Contributing reports and attending reviews, reporting to parents.
  • Teaching specialist skills such as British Sign Language, Braille and touch typing.
  • Advice on special arrangements for tests and examinations.

 Useful links for support with hearing:

National Deaf Children's Society, the leading charity for deaf children and young people:

SDCA delivers specialist services to deaf and hard of hearing people on behalf of Sandwell Council:

Funky Kids is a local based Charity Group serving the needs of families whom are affected by deafness in the Midlands and surrounding areas:

BID Services is a charity. This team works in partnership with children, young people and adults and their families and carers. It supports people who are deaf, hard of hearing, visually impaired or have a dual sensory loss:

The Birkdale Trust. This charity exists to provide financial support to children and young people who have a hearing impairment and to organisations who provide help to them:

 Useful links for support with vision:

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), one of the UK’s leading sight loss charities and the largest community of blind and partially sighted people:

Beacon Vision helps people living with sight loss in the West Midlands to live fuller, more independent lives:

Guide Dogs charity has an ambition for a future where every person with sight loss has the confidence and support they need to live their lives to the full:

VICTA has a parent network, offers residentials to young people under 29 years and has a grant programme:

The Royal Society for Blind Children offers a range of services including emotional support and practical advice for families, opportunities for children and young people to build confidence and skills through activities, and a specialist further education college:

The Thomas Pocklington Trust is a national charity which supports blind and partially sighted people with a focus on Education, Employment and Engagement:

Contact details

You can contact the team at Connor Education Centre, Connor Road, West Bromwich, B71 3DJ or by telephone on 0121 569 2777.

Alternatively, you can email at

Or follow us on Facebook:

Support for SEND in the Early Years

Inclusion Support - Early Years Team (ISEY) supports children 0-5 years who are not yet at school in their early years who have individual or special educational needs (SEN) / disabilities. The service works in collaboration with other agencies to provide appropriate support packages and early intervention. The team works with children in their own homes, at the Coneygre Early Years and Child Development Centre and in a range of early years settings.

 Inclusion Support - Early Years (ISEY) and Child Development Centre is based at The Coneygre Early Years Centre, Tipton and supports children in their early years 0-5 who are not yet at school who have individual or special educational needs / disabilities (SEND). It is a multiagency service made up of professionals from health and education.

The service works in collaboration with other agencies to provide appropriate support packages and early intervention.

The team works with children in their own homes, at the Coneygre Early Years Centre and in a range of early years settings.

They provide packages of support tailored to the individual needs of the child to support transition into school

They provide advice, guidance and training to early years practitioners in preparation for a child entering nursery or reception class.

Provide advice and guidance to childcare settings so they can offer quality inclusive provision ensuring the needs of children with SEND are being met.

Work with agencies and early years professionals to support children with SEND who are accessing early years settings out of borough.

Provide funding for 1:1 support for those children who may be eligible for the Early Years Intervention Grant. 

The centre offers:

  • Paediatric clinics
  • specialist joint assessment play groups and individual sessions to encourage parent participation,
  • access to advice and guidance from other health and education professionals
  • Multi-disciplinary Team (MDT) meetings to discuss the child’s progress and future needs.
  • a sensory room.
  • Clinical Psychology support for children being assessed for Complex Communication and Multiagency Assessment for Autism (MAA) via the early years pathway.
  • Parent workshops including sleep, feeding, toileting, sensory needs, autism awareness, early attachment, social and emotional development
  • Educational and child Psychology support in preparation for school


Contact details

Telephone: 0121 569 2860 or 2859

Email address:


Coneygre Early Years and Child Development Centre
Sedgley Road East



Use DY4 8XA (satnav postcode)

Age Ranges: 0 - 5 years not yet at school

SEN Provision Type: Specialist

Fair Access and Exclusions Team

The Fair Access and Exclusions Team provides support for young people, their families, Headteachers, governing bodies and other professionals around exclusions. The team also places the borough’s most vulnerable young people via the Fair Access Protocol.

Support for families - exclusions

Families often get in touch following notification that their child has been excluded either for either a fixed period or permanently. The team offer support in the following ways:

  • Meeting with families and young people to offer advice
  • Signposting families to services
  • Attending meetings in schools with families to prevent further exclusions
  • Ensuring families and young people are aware of their right to have exclusions reviewed through Independent Reviews and First Tier Tribunals

School Support – exclusions

We offer support to schools in the following ways:

  • Offering Preventing Permanent Exclusion, Promoting Social Inclusion (PPEPSI) meetings
  • Attending disciplinary meetings
  • Training staff around exclusion law
  • Supporting schools with finding alternatives to exclusions such as School Sponsored Managed Transfers and providing access to Intervention Placements at our Pupil Referral Units
  • Working closely with the Behaviour Support Team  and Preventing Primary Exclusions Team to ensure pupils are well supported in schools


Fair Access

When a child meets the ‘Hard to Place’ criteria listed within the Fair Access Policy the team work swiftly to secure the right school place. The team regularly:

  • Works with families, schools and professionals to ensure all relevant information is used to find the best possible school place for our most vulnerable pupils in the quickest possible time
  • Liaises with families regularly to provide updates whilst consulting with head teachers to negotiate school places
  • Uses the New Beginnings – Readiness for Reintegration Programme to support schools to write a transition plan for each new arrival
  • Provides support to pupils on site during transition periods
  • Provides extensive training to governing bodies around their responsibilities as governors and to head teachers with regards to their responsibilities to act in accordance with current government guidance

The Team is based at Connor Education Centre, Connor Road, West Bromwich, B71 3DJ. It can be contacted by email on or by phone on 0121 569 8115

Page last reviewed: 19/09/2023


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