Barnsley Education Inclusion Services

Children we work with

We support children from birth to four years of age who have special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Depending on the child's learning development needs, we can either work with them at home, alongside their parents, or with other professionals in the child's setting.

What we provide

  • Assessment and teaching for individual children, either in the family home (portage based service), or in settings, family centres and schools.
  • Support and guidance to parents who have pre-school children with additional needs.
  • Co-ordination of the team around the family (TAF), if there are several agencies working together to support the child.
  • Training for parents, settings and schools.

Meet the team

Between us we have a breadth of knowledge and specialist expertise to help you meet the needs of children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND).

Our Early Years and Portage team are:

  • Joanne Patterson - Principal Educational Psychologist
  • Sheradene Faver - Portage Practitioner
  • Kate Bray - Portage Practitioner
  • Julie Thompson - Early Years Area SENDCo

Support at home

Our portage service provides home-based educational support for children with SEND. Children may be eligible to receive portage if they live in Barnsley, present with a significant developmental delay, and aren't yet attending a setting for at least 15 hours a week.

We offer a structured but flexible system to help parents become effective teachers of their own children, providing fortnightly visits by a trained portage worker. We work with parents on activities for the child to support specific areas of development. The activities are demonstrated by the portage worker for parents to practice during the week. A developmental journal is left with parents to record their child’s progress. Portage worker home visits are offered in blocks of three or six, depending on need.

The portage worker can also offer transition support by developing links with the early years setting the child will be attending. They can share developmental information and strategies with the setting to support the child’s transition. 

You can find more information about portage on the National Portage Association website.

Visit the National Portage Association

Support in settings

When we're supporting children within a setting we'll:

  • liaise with key staff working with the child
  • assess children and advise on specialist targets and strategies
  • monitor and review children’s progress
  • provide training to the setting staff
  • provide visit records and reports so that families are fully informed of our involvement

Benefits for children

  • All children will have a specialist individual assessment to identify their strengths and needs.
  • Following the assessment, some children may receive a specialist intervention programme to build on the child’s strengths.
  • Children’s progress will continue to be reviewed so that they achieve the best outcomes.
  • Children will have consistent support from a key worker or staff liaising with the child’s setting regarding targeted strategies.

Benefits for families

  • They're supported throughout the process of identification of SEND so that they can make informed choices.
  • They have a better understanding of their child’s needs.
  • They're given advice on the intervention strategies that are needed to support better outcomes for their child.
  • They're signposted to relevant services.
  • They'll have a key worker who'll co-ordinate their child's support.
  • They'll receive a written report outlining their child’s developmental needs and stating any necessary interventions and strategies.
  • They'll be part of the assessment to source and appropriate placement for their child.


Children are usually referred to the service by health or social care professionals who may already be working with the family. Referrals can be made by completing our referral form and emailing it to us.

When we receive a referral we'll carry out an initial visit at the family home to discuss the child's needs and possible portage offer.