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Suffolk Local Offer

Specialist support for schools

Information on the teams who support mainstream schools to meet the needs of pupils with SEND in Suffolk.

There are a wide range of specialist support services that can offer advice, guidance, training and intervention to mainstream schools, to help them meet the special educational needs of pupils on their roll. These services include:

Specialist Education Services (SES)

Comprising the Cognition & Learning, Communication & Interaction, Sensory & Physical, Social, Emotional and Mental Health, Whole School Inclusion Services and the Education Access Team, the Specialist Education Services are part of Suffolk County Council.

They work together to support schools and children with SEND across the whole of Suffolk in a variety of different ways, including support for children with visual and hearing impairments, dyslexia, behaviour needs, communication difficulties and others.

Find out more about the Specialist Education Service on Suffolk Learning.

Psychology & Therapeutic Services (P&TS)

P&TS support emotional wellbeing, mental health, behaviour and learning on an individual, group and whole school or organisational basis. They work using trauma-informed and person-centred approaches that draw on the strengths of each individual child or young person to find what works best for them. 

Find out more about the Psychology & Therapeutic Services on the Suffolk County Council website.

Mental Health Support Teams (MHSTs)

Mental Health Support Teams are an early-intervention service that supports children and young people, their families and school/college communities with mild to moderate mental health difficulties. Each MHST is allocated to specific secondary schools/colleges and their feeder primary schools in Suffolk. They work directly in schools, on site, and in the wider school/college community, both in and out of term time.

Find out more about Mental Health Support Teams.

High Needs Funding

There are three different "pots" or elements to pupil funding that schools can use to meet a pupil's additional needs. You may hear these referred to as Core/Additional/Top-Up, or as Elements 1, 2 and 3:

  • Core Funding (Element 1) is the first £4,000 to fund a pupil’s education. In a mainstream school, this is called Age Weighted Pupil Funding or AWPU.
  • Additional Support Cost (Element 2) is the amount it costs to support an individual pupil above Element 1, up to the value of £6,000.
  • Top Up (Element 3) is the amount required to support an individual pupil above £6,000. In Suffolk, this is usually called High Needs Funding.

Find out more about High Needs Funding on the Suffolk Learning website


A blackboard saying SENCO Central with a pile of books and some pencils

Further Information on SENCO Central

Read more about how we support mainstream schools to meet the needs of pupils with SEND in the SENCO Central section of the Suffolk Learning website: