Lewisham Council Homepage Skip navigation
Menu
navigation-end

Changes to our services for children with SEND

How our services for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) will operate during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
How to contact the SEND team

The SEND Team is available by phone on 020 3049 1475 and by email at sen@lewisham.gov.uk.

Annual reviews
  • Annual reviews can still be completed via phone and emailed to the SEND Team to be processed. This will need to be discussed and arranged with schools regarding the best way to do this.
  • Placement and provision panels to be run remotely.
Consultations with other settings

Consultations may still be sent to other settings, though exemptions to the 15 day response time may be made in line with present circumstance of the school consulted with.

Drumbeat ASD Outreach Service

Drumbeat Outreach is a team of teachers and specialist advisers offering support, advice and training to children, families and professionals in Lewisham. We work across all mainstream educational settings, including early years, primary and secondary schools, and post-sixteen provisions.

Drumbeat Outreach has a dedicated page of resources for parent/carers and professionals to access during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Drumbeat Outreach Service is now on Facebook. Visit the Drumbeat Facebook page. Follow the page for information, support ideas, activities and signposting. This is a page for parents and carers to find ideas for activities that you can do at home with your children, up to date advice, upcoming events, and links to relevant YouTube videos, podcasts, and websites that you may find useful.

Education, health and care needs assessment (EHCNA) requests
  • EHCNA requests will be processed and parents and schools will receive a decision within six weeks.
  • Panel meetings to discuss requests to assess will be carried out remotely. Panel members will submit their views for an overall panel decision to be reached by panel chairs.
  • If the panel decides to assess a request, a request for professional advice will be commissioned in line with the panel’s decision.
  • If the panel decides not to assess a request, parents will be informed in writing by email.
  • Assessments requested will be carried out remotely. Please refer to relevant team updates for details
  • If the panel decides not to issue, the team will inform parents in writing by email.
  • If the panel decides to issue, letters will be emailed and a phone call will be made to parents, where possible. Plans will be drafted and emailed to parents and schools. Parents agreements will be sent by email.
  • Final plans will be emailed to school and parents.
Specialist Teachers and Educational Psychology Service (STEPS)

Educational Psychology Team

Activities continuing as usual

  • For new referrals virtual/telephone consultations to be offered to staff parent/carers. This could be offered by individual educational psychologists (EPs) or in pairs remotely through zoom.
  • Writing up of consultation records and sharing of resources.
  • Virtual consultations for systemic issues offered by individual EPs or in pairs remotely through zoom.
  • Listening and well-being support for staff and parents
  • Writing education health and care plans (EHCPs) (following telephone consultations), especially in our link schools where we know the SENCO/have met parent and child.

Early Years

  • For new referrals virtual consultations to be offered
  • Writing up of consultation records and sharing of resources
  • Virtual consultations for systemic issues
  • Virtual supervision for Portage workers as required
  • Attending virtual LA meetings 

Communications Clinic

  • Weekly involvement with the Communication Clinic consisting of follow up telephone reviews with parents of CYP with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).     

    Continuing professional development

  • Continue reading and developing expertise in: 
    • Attachment behaviour mentoring
  • Local authority general data protection regulation (GDPR) and Safeguarding online training

    Suspended activities

  • Attending face to face meetings
  • Face to face assessment work with CYP
  • Providing face to face training
  • The team are not running any training events unless directed otherwise.
  • Staff have been instructed to work at home as far as possible
  • All school/home visits are cancelled until further notice
  • Communications Clinic

Additional activities

  • Virtual consultations with parents as required
  • Developing protocols for COVID-19
  • Bereavement
  • Developing COVID-19 relevant resources for staff and parents
  • Developing training packages that can be offered to schools in the future
  • School transition planning for vulnerable children

SpLD Team (Specialist Teachers)

Activities continuing as normal

  • The Team is in contact via email, text, phone and Zoom so that liaison about any school queries can take place and we can respond to any queries as soon as possible.
  • Parents and carers can obtain the team leader’s information from the Services for Schools website or by phoning STEPS business support if they have any queries.
  • The team is continuing to write up their reports and send to schools and parent/carers as normal with offers of telephone call discussion if anyone has queries
  • The team continues to send any relevant information about literacy/SpLD support to special educational needs and disabilities coordinators (SENDCOs) which they can share with parent/carers about learning at home but is conscious that at this early stage we don’t want to overwhelm them with too much information
  • The team is available by phone or email as usual to answer any queries, provide support and advice to SENDCOs or parent/carers

Suspended activities

  • The team is no longer going into schools for 1:1 face-to-face assessments of children and young people (CYP) unless directed otherwise
  • The team is not running any training events unless directed otherwise.

Additional activities

  • The team is planning work to complete once the reports have been written up
  • The work will consist of making training packages that can be offered to schools in the future
  • We aim to develop a series of useful advice/strategies for literacy handouts which will support teachers and parents with the recommendations that we make in our reports
  • We aim to draw up some advice sheets to put on the services for schools websites for parents based on reading and writing activities
  • Research and share relevant continuous professional development (CPD) opportunities
  • Team members expecting to complete their Assessing Practicing Certificate can complete this process.
Outreach Inclusion Service (OIS)

The Outreach Inclusion Service (OIS) is dedicated to supporting the social and emotional wellbeing of Lewisham’s children.  Assisting and working collaboratively with schools to make adjustments that will have a positive impact for all learners. As a service we offer every Lewisham mainstream Primary and Secondary school access to an Outreach Teacher and/or Mentor to offer support by way of improving the outcomes of children and young people (CYP) who are  most at risk of exclusion.

We work with:

  • CYP displaying varying degrees of challenging presentations
  • CYP vulnerable to poor attendance and/or refusing to attend school
  • CYP new to the borough with a history of challenging presentations
  • CYP reintegration from a specialist or AP (Alternative Provision) returning to a mainstream school
  • CYP who need support with transition particularly with changeover from primary to secondary school

In addition to this the OIS aims to be flexible in supporting  schools by taking into account their differing needs and requirements and  by responding in a ways that best accommodate their needs with their more vulnerable CYP.

How we can help

During the uncertain times of the COVID-19 outbreak, the OIS is still active and looking for ways to support CYPs and parents/carers.

If you would like any help with finding resources to occupy your young ones or timetabling your days to help build a routine, our team is here to help you. Within the team we have qualified counsellors and therapists who can offer sessions with CYPs and parents/carers, aiming to help people better cope at this trying time.


In the interest of everyone’s health we will mostly be working remotely. You can reach us via email or by calling us using the contact details below.


Name Job title Phone number Email address
Eva Tabaton Outreach Manager 07720 091 659 e.tabaton@newwoodlands.lewisham.sch.uk
Adrian Cairns Outreach Teacher 07720 091 661 a.cairns@newwoodlands.lewisham.sch.uk
Pat McCarthy Outreach Teacher 07720 091 660 p.mccarthy@newwoodlands.lewisham.sch.uk
Deb James Outreach Teacher 07720 091 658 d.james@newwoodlands.lewisham.sch.uk
Freddie Smith Outreach Mentor 07802 621 897 f.smith@newwoodlands.lewisham.sch.uk
Manny Brown Outreach Mentor 07456 492 478 e.taiwobrown@newwoodlands.lewisham.sch.uk
Michelle Singh Outreach Mentor 07720 091 655 m.singh@newwoodlands.lewisham.sch.uk
Dani Ashley Outreach Mentor 07515 416 379 d.ashley@newwoodlands.lewisham.sch.uk
Paris Archer Outreach Mentor 07921 924 625 p.archer@newwoodlands.lewisham.sch.uk
Monique Eastmond Outreach Mentor 07720 091 663 m.eastmond@newwoodlands.lewisham.sch.uk
Maggie Martin Outreach Teacher 07720 091 665 m.martin@newwoodlands.lewisham.sch.uk
Penny Hunter Outreach Teacher 07939 028 090 p.hunter@newwoodlands.lewisham.sch.uk
Ellen Stewart Outreach Administrator 0208 325 4579 e.stewart@newwoodlands.lewisham.sch.uk
Preparing for Adulthood (PFA)
  • The PFA team will move forward to meet the 31 March 2020 deadline. If consultation has been sent out to settings and it has not been replied to within 15 days, the PFA team will still finalise and name placement in the education health and care plan for September 2020.
  • Any reassessments will follow the same process, consent form to be sent out and once this is received the assessment process will begin. Caseworkers will notify family that it won’t be possible to assess face to face so they can look at delaying it or continuing it over the phone.
Lewisham EP Connect

An easy access phone service for parents and carers to link with the Lewisham Educational Psychology Team, who are available to discuss any concerns about education, learning at home, and emotional wellbeing.

• How to help your child with learning
• Managing routines at home
• Emotional responses (e.g. managing change, fears and worries)
• How you are feeling and managing

Monday afternoon 2pm until 5pm
Thursday mornings 9.30 until 12.30

Call: 07377 913 538 or 07377 976 518

Sensory Teachers Team (STT)

Activities continuing as normal

  • Individual team members are available by work phone or email to answer any queries special educational needs coordinators (SENCOs) or parent/carers may have.
  • Parents/carers and SENCOs have also been emailed/texted with current arrangements for contacting the Team Manager, Eileen Clifford, and STEPS business support if they cannot get through to their team member.
  • The Team are in contact with each other via email, text and zoom so that liaison about any parent or school queries can take place and we can respond to any queries.
  • Outlook diaries are kept up to date and accurate so that working logs can be completed centrally
  • Those children and young people (CYP) and their families at the highest level of support (NatSIP level 1* and 1) are being offered weekly support via video conferencing/telephone.
  • The team are continuing to write up these contacts as well as recent visits and reports and send to schools and parent/carers as normal, with offers of telephone call discussion if anyone has queries.
  • The team continues to send any relevant information about to SENCOs but are conscious that at this early stage we don’t want to overwhelm them.
  • The team manager continues to carry out supervision, case list management, budget monitoring, quality assurance and all other management duties.

Suspended activities

  • Staff have been instructed to work at home as far as possible
  • Weekly Teacher of the Deaf groups at Kaleidoscope are cancelled until further notice
  • All school/home visits are cancelled until further notice
  • Training for school staff is cancelled until further notice
  • Attendance at external meetings/training is suspended