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Specialist Teaching Team

Specialist Teaching Team

Our Specialist Teaching Team supports the inclusion of children and young people from birth to 25 years old with low incidence/high needs, with a range of special educational needs and or disabilities (SEND).

The Team works to the York Children and Young People’s Plan and is one part of a range of services from the Local Authority (LA) and other agencies - work with other agencies is very important in ensuring a co-ordinated approach to planning and delivery of services.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: Support during the COVID-19 national lockdown
Use the links in this section to find useful information about how to support children and young people whilst at home.

- Supporting families working at home with children and young people who are deaf or hearing impaired
-Supporting families working at home with children and young people who have Autism



For more information and to meet the teams follow the links below:

Deaf and Hearing Support Team

Contact details
Senior teacher: Helen Martin  

T: 01904 555708 / 07780722132


Our Team:

  • Shelley Vermeijden: 07780 652535  
  • Helen Martin: 07780 722132      
  • Sandi Poston: 07917 087023   
  • Rosie Hitchen: 07923206156     
  • James Diggings: 07881913652
  • Annalee Green: 07826859179 (text only)

Contact us at Deaf and Hearing Support Team,  Specialist Teaching Team, CYC, West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA

The Deaf and Hearing Support Team work with children with all degrees of hearing loss from fluctuating mild hearing loss to permanent profound deafness. The majority of deaf pupils attend mainstream schools. The majority of children and young people use spoken language as their first language. Some children and young people use British Sign Language as their first language

All babies are offered screening for hearing loss following their birth, at York Hospital.

Referrals can only be received from:

The Audiology Department, where a hearing loss has been diagnosed.

After a referral is received a teacher of the deaf will contact the family within 3 days, to discuss the implications of hearing loss and level of support to be provided by the team.

If you have a concern regarding your child’s hearing, please ask your GP for a referral to Audiology, who will assess your child’s hearing. If appropriate and with your permission, the Audiologist will make a referral to the Deaf and Hearing Support Team.

Levels of support
Following an initial assessment and discussion with the  family, the child and education providers, the teacher of the deaf will decide with you on one of the following levels of support.

On request                         1/2 termly visits
Annual monitoring               Fortnightly visits
Termly monitoring               weekly visits

We will talk with you about our work and decide together on the level of support  based on your child’s needs and this may change over time.

We may also provide time limited interventions to support your child at different times through their childhood.

Things we may provide:

  • Support and advice to families regarding hearing loss, communication, language development, including sign communication
  • Links to Early Support and Key working
  • Early years support groups
  • Assessment of hearing, language development, literacy
  • Advice towards statutory assessment
  • Teaching support
  • Opportunities for your child to join groups with other hearing aid users
  • Advice to schools and early years providers
  • Provision of radio aids
  • Liaison with other agencies
  • Links with the voluntary sector, including charities for the deaf

Vision Support Team

Autism Support Team

Hospital Teaching Team

Physical and Health Needs Team

Contact details:
Senior Teacher: Emma Sharpe 

Tel:552536 |m: 07787 755447 


Physical and Health Needs Team
The Physical and Health Needs Team is part of the City’s Specialist Teaching Team (STT).  The STT provide high quality, personalised support and    services to children and young people (CYP), their families and educational settings. We work in collaboration with other support services to enable CYP to achieve the best learning outcomes for a happy, fulfilling, purposeful, positive and independent adult life.

The aim is always to make sure that children and young people aspire, achieve, feel valued and are happy.  

What do we do?
We provide support for children and young people with high need, low incidence special educational needs and disabilities.  We provide advice, guidance and training for staff in the child’s school or setting to help children with a physical difficulty or medical need to have the same opportunities as others.

The team offer support to children, their families and schools by liaising closely with colleagues in schools and other agencies.

Our aim, as far as possible, is to enable children and young people to lead independent lives and to be able to make their own informed decisions so that they can take a full part in their school life.

We may be involved on a long or short term basis, depending on need.  We may work more intensively at different periods of a child’s life at school, such as transition to another setting.

Who are we?
Lucy Hickey
Rob Shaw
Emma Sharpe
Verity Banister

What to expect

Following a referral to the team, we will contact the setting and make an appointment to go meet the young person and talk with the SENDCo and/or Key Worker. We will contact the young persons family and either meet them in their home setting or arrange a meeting in school.  We will feedback any advice to both the school and the family.

The level of ongoing support will be decided by the team and this information will be shared with parents and the school or setting.  The involvement of the Physical and Health Needs Team will be at one of the following levels:

Open Case. The child’s case will remain ‘Open’ on our caseload. No further active involvement will take place at this time..

Active Case. The Physical and Health Needs Team will have on going involvement with the child, providing assessments, training and support, as appropriate.

Intensive Support. More regular involvement with the child     and we would usually attend the child’s MSP or EHCP meeting to provide an update on their involvement or may provide a written report for the meeting if appropriate.

Closed Case. The team will have no further involvement with     the child or young person.

When visiting schools/settings or homes, the team will always wear a City of York staff badge with photograph. All members of the STT have an enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check and attend regular safeguarding training


Specific Learning Difficulties Team

Specialist Teaching Team Privacy Notice

We keep this privacy notice under review. It was last reviewed and updated in September 2020.

If you have any questions about this Privacy Notice, contact our Data Protection Officer.  See City of York Council's privacy and transparency policy.

Our legal basis for collecting and sharing personal data

The information you provide to us helps us to support children, young people and families and we are required to use the information in order to meet our legal responsibilities in accordance with the Children and Families Act 2014.

The information you provide enables us to fulfil our duties including:

  • statutory advice to the Local Authority as part of an education health and care needs assessment
  • monitoring of provision and outcomes as part of the annual review process for children and young people who have an EHCP
  • monitoring of the quality of provision for children and young people with special educational needs

The information you give us ensures that we can offer an appropriate assessment of need and provide recommendations regarding special educational provision.

We will ask for your written informed consent for our work with you and your child/young person.

What personal data do we collect?
We will collect your child or young person’s personal data, such as:

  • names
  • contact details
  • any special educational needs
  • why the referral has been made
  • school history
  • progress, attainment, attendance, any exclusions
  • medical information
  • NHS patient number
  • UPN (unique pupil number)
  • Information relating to relevant social care needs
  • Information about family, household and/or carers of the child or young person

It will also include the details of other professionals working with your child, including the details of the SEN coordinator in setting or their counterpart.

See further details about how we define personal data and non-personal data

How is the information collected?
Information about CYP is collected through:    

  • completion of the Specialist Teaching Team (STT) Referral form either electronically or a paper copy. This form will also ask for your consent for the STT to work with your child.
  • meetings with you, and your child/young person
  • consultation with other professionals
  • professional/relevant service reports or CYC databases
  • post, email and telephone conversations as appropriate
  • gathering of information in a Education, Health and Care Plan, My Support Plan or My Agreed Outcomes
  • Section 23 notifications from health partners
  • other local authorities where appropriate

When we ask you for personal data, we will:

  • ensure you know why we need it
  • only ask for what is necessary for the work we are undertaking
  • ensure access is only given to authorised staff on a need to know basis

We ask that you:

  • give us accurate information
  • inform us of any changes
  • tell us as soon as possible if you notice mistakes in the information we hold about you/your child

See further details about the steps we take when we collect your personal data.

How do we use your personal information?
We will use your information to:

  • Ensure that services and practitioners understand how they can best help you.
  • Help inform which services and interventions require
  • commissioning across the City of York to support families and communities.
  • complete the detail needed in an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) to describe your child’s needs, the provision, out comes and actions from planning meetings
  • Create statistics that are anonymous and cannot be linked back to you or your family for the purposes of local and national surveys.
  • Support our work with your child in his/her school or setting, or in your home or another setting for those children who are unable to attend school because of ill health.
  • Keep photographs and / or video recordings of your child for record keeping and assessment arrangements. Photographs will     not be used for any other purpose without asking for your additional explicit and informed consent first
  • Provide the child or young people with appropriate services
  • help inform which services and interventions require
  • commissioning across the City of York to support families and communities
  • to ensure compliance and high quality standards through audits, quality monitoring etc 
  • ‘Sign post’ the family to appropriate support
  • Measure whether our services are improving life for children, young people and families
  • Help us develop and improve our services
  • Administer and protect public funds

We will use the information to create reports or statistics that are anonymous and cannot be linked back to you or your family or individuals. For example, we could use these statistics to:

  • see how the council and its partners are supporting families and individuals help design better services
  • inform funding decisions
  • inform performance management
  • inform development of good practice
  • contribute to national surveys and government returns, for example, to the Department for Education (DfE)  

As a rule, we do not transfer your personal data to third party processors outside the European Economic Area (EEA). However, for as long as the provisions of the Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020/392 remain in effect we will be hosting strategic meetings to support school improvement and to work with schools to respond to the organisational and operational challenges created by coronavirus and we are currently using Zoom Video Communications Inc Pro or Business version (“Zoom”) to host meetings (version 5) for that purpose.

Where meetings are recorded, recordings will be kept locally on our server and will not be retained by Zoom. Some personal data, such as user’s names, email addresses; telephone numbers where applicable, IP address, MAC address, other device ID (UDID), device type, operating system type and version, client version, type of camera, microphone or speakers, connection type, etc. will be stored securely on Zoom’s system in the US (that is, outside the EEA) in compliance with the EU – US Privacy Shield Framework. Zoom’s certification may be viewed online.
Zoom does not sell personal data to third parties; collects only the personal data required to provide Zoom services; and retains that data only for so long as is necessary for the provision of those services. Zoom’s privacy policy can be viewed online.

See further details about how we use your personal data

Who we share personal data with
We share information about you/your child with other relevant professionals who are already involved, or who become involved, during the time that they are working with the STT to provide co-ordinated support and to improve multi-agency working.

Below is a list of parties with whom we regularly share information:

  • Educational and vocational settings
  • York Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Specialist     
  • Services including Educational Psychologists and services · which support transition to post 16 provisions
  • Professionals from Health, Social Care and Early Help teams

We are required by law to pass on personal child data to the Department for Education (DfE), other Government departments and our partner organisations who use it to help with policy development, service delivery, performance management, funding and to assist with the development of good practice.  

Sharing data under Data Protection legislation
We may be required or permitted, under data protection legislation, to disclose your personal data without your explicit consent, for example if we have a legal obligation to do so, such as when we feel that you or others are at risk.   

We must protect public funds and may use personal data and data-matching techniques to detect and prevent fraud, collect taxes and ensure public money is targeted and spent in the most appropriate and cost-effective way. To do this, your personal data may be shared with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds, including the Department for Work and Pensions, HM Revenue and Customs, the Police and other local authorities

How do we store your personal data and how long do we keep it for?
We will store your personal data securely and confidentially and when we no longer have a need to keep it we will delete/destroy securely.  
We only keep your personal data up to the age of 25 years for non-statutory files and 35 years from closure for statutory (EHC Plan)
At the end of the retention period, we may pass any relevant information to the City Archives where it is required or appropriate to do so.     

Further processing of personal data
If we wish to use your personal data for a new purpose, not covered by this Privacy Notice, then we'll provide you with a new notice.
The new notice will:

  • explain this new use before we start the processing
  • set out the relevant purposes and processing conditions
  • Where and whenever necessary, we'll seek your consent to the new processing, if we start to use your personal data for a purpose not mentioned in this Privacy Notice.

See further details about the further processing of personal data.

Your rights relating to personal data
When we collect your personal data we'll tell you how we are going to use it. Where we process your personal data, you have a number of rights under data protection law.

See further information about your rights relating to personal data.
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