Barnsley Education Inclusion Services

Social Communication and Interaction Service

We work collaboratively with others to build capacity and to bring about positive change for children and young people with autism/social communication and interaction needs.  Our practice is underpinned by our service values and beliefs

Our values 

  • Collaborative working
  • Evidence based practice
  • Transparency
  • Person centred
  • Open and honest communication
  • Respectful engagement

Our beliefs

  • Equality
  • Empowerment
  • Inclusion
  • Strengths based
  • Building Inclusive Environments

Who we are

We are a team of Specialist Advisory Teachers and Specialist Advisory Support Workers for children and young people with autism/social communication and interaction needs.

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 autism/social communication and interaction needs.

Our Social Communication and Interaction Support Team are:

  • Dr Naomi Robinson - Principal Educational Psychologist
  • Andrea Eaton - Specialist Advisory Teacher
  • Toni Harvey - Specialist Advisory Teacher
  • Melanie Booth - Specialist Support Worker
  • Lucy Shea - Specialist Support Worker
  • Louise Stringer - Specialist Advisory Teacher
  • Lora Moore - Specialist Advisory Teacher
  • Gemma Whitfield - Specialist Support Worker



What we do

We support children and young people with a range of social communication and interaction needs, including those with a diagnosis of autism. We work in a range of educational settings across all age phases, providing hands-on strategies to meet the holistic needs of the child or young person.

Our aim is to support practitioners and families to meet the needs of children with autism/social communication and interaction differences by working collaboratively to support the 'assess, plan, do and review' process and promote inclusive education.

Our service offer

Our service model has been developed to support the delivery of a fair and equitable service that meets the needs of our most vulnerable children and young people and supports settings to prioritise children and young people for Social Communication and Interaction (SCI) team involvement. A tiered system has been established within the needs-led model that supports the graduated approach outlined in the SEND Code of Practice (2014) and promotes early intervention.

Tier 1: Building Capacity 

Termly planning meetings with SENCOs to discuss pupil and school level needs and agree priorities for SCI work.

A centralised training programme for schools which includes:

  • Introduction to Autism/SCI Needs
  • Using Visual Supports
  • Social Stories/Comic Strip Conversations
  • School Transition Preparations Y6 to Y7 and Y11 to Post 16
  • Music Interaction
  • LEGO Therapy
  • Makaton Taster

A centralised training programme for parents which includes:

  • Parent Transition Preparations Y6 to Y7 and Y11 to Post 16
  • Cygnet Parenting Programme
  • First Steps/Footsteps Parent Workshops
  • Thinking Differently Parent Workshop

Tier 2: Consultation 

We will prioritise advice for pupils who:

  • Are early years pupils with identified SCI needs (these pupils must have a completed Needs Analysis)
  • Are at risk of exclusion and have a diagnosis of autism
  • Have significantly low levels of attendance and have a diagnosis of autism
  • Need support to settle into Y7 and have a diagnosis of autism

All work within tier two must be agreed through a termly planning meeting.

Tier 3: Individual work and modelling 

Where a higher level of support is identified by the SCI practitioner, school may need to access tier three involvement. This could include:

  • Individual work with a pupil e.g. gaining pupil views
  • Small group intervention
  • Modelling strategies/techniques to staff and/or parents/carers e.g. Inclusive Practice, use of PECS and/or Makaton
  • Observation of staff practice

All work within tier three must be agreed through a termly planning meeting.

How to get in touch

Schools can discuss children and young people with autism/social communication and interaction needs who may require support from the service during regular planning meetings.

Early years settings can seek advice and support at one of our Social Communication and Interaction Consultation Surgeries.

Please leave us some feedback