Social Communication Interaction & Learning (SCIL) Team

Social Communication Interaction & Learning (SCIL) Team

What is the Social Communication Interaction & Learning (SCIL) Team?

We are a team of Specialist Teachers, Practitioners, Access & Inclusion Officers and a Project Support Officer for Early Years Inclusion Funding.


Our aim is:

“To offer a flexible and responsive service, supporting schools and private, voluntary and independent (PVI) (birth-5 years) settings to better understand and meet the needs of children and young people across Bradford in order to improve outcomes and life chances”.





We offer specialisms in four key areas:




We are a service for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) across the Bradford district aged 0-25.  We offer support to maintained mainstream schools, free schools, academies and early years / PVI settings. In addition, statutory advice can be sought from the team for a child or young person who has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) and lives in Bradford but is educated out of the Bradford District.




Our team of Specialist Teachers, Practitioners and Access & Inclusion Officers are able to work alongside key staff in schools and PVI settings to:

  • Help to better understand the needs of pupils with SEND
  • Support to plan provision which better meets pupils needs
  • Advise on strategies and, where appropriate, model within the setting
  • Provide training and coaching for staff at all levels to build capacity within schools and settings
  • Offer guidance on next steps, in line with the graduated response to need

A graduated response to need

The SCIL team works in partnership with schools and settings to remove barriers to learning and enable pupils to achieve their full potential. We aim to support schools and settings to increase their capacity to meet their children and young people’s needs and support a graduated response as described in the Code of Practice and Bradford's Matrix of Need. 

We are aligned with the SEND Code of Practice which states that settings should consider involving appropriate specialists who may be able to identify effective strategies, equipment, programmes or other interventions to enable the child or young person to make progress towards their desired learning and development outcomes.

Contact:  or  - Interim SCIL Team Service Manager


Learning Support Team (Cognition and Learning)

Contact: Team Lead – Learning Support

The Learning Support (Cognition and Learning) team provide support for staff in schools teaching pupils with specific and general learning difficulties.  We offer training, coaching and individual pupil assessments (both cognitive and diagnostic), to help staff tailor provision to ensure best outcomes for pupils.  


Communication and Interaction (Autism) Team

Contact: Team Lead – Communication & Interaction

The Communication and Interaction team provides specialist advisory support and training for staff in schools and settings who work with children and young people with autism or identified communication and interaction difficulties.


Social Emotional & Mental Health Team

Contact: – Team Lead – SEMH

The Social, Emotional and Mental Health team is a service which provides specialist support and advice for schools and settings to increase their capacity in meeting the needs of children and young people presenting with SEMH needs. In addition, the service provides training on a variety of topics to support the inclusion of children and young people presenting with SEMH needs.


Early Years Team

Contact: – Team Lead – Early Years


The Early Years team provides an advisory, assessment and teaching service for children from birth to 5 years. The child will have an identified additional support need in at least one area of learning within the Early Years Foundation Stage.

The Early Years team provides:

  • Information and support to parents and carers
  • Partnership working with parents and carers
  • Home, setting and/or school based work with an individual child including observation, monitoring and assessment
  • Liaison and joint working with other agencies involved with the child
  • Advice on strategies which support the inclusion of children with additional support needs
  • Involvement in meetings, assessment, planning and review, in line with the SEN Code of Practice
  • Support with transitions


Support for PVI settings – Early Years

Contact:  – Team Leader – Access and Inclusion Officers, Specialist Practitioners and Project Support Officer for Early Years Inclusion Funding.

The Access and Inclusion Officers work in partnership with SENCOs, parents/carers and other professionals to provide support and advice to early years settings in the Private, Voluntary and Independent sector for children from birth to 5 years. The child will have an identified additional support need in at least one area of learning within the Early Years Foundation Stage. Settings can access an Early Years offer of support for children with SEND in their setting via a SCIL Team referral or via an Education Advice 1 (EA1) notification from a paediatrician.

The Access and Inclusion Officers provide:

  • Support and advice to a range of settings to enable them to understand their statutory duties and responsibilities in meeting the needs of children with SEND.
  • Setting based support around individual children including observation, assessment of developmental levels and recommendations.
  • Partnership working with parents/ carers and other professionals to improve outcomes for children with SEND.
  • Opportunities for capacity building and developing the skillset of practitioners in settings across the locality through training, SENCO forums and advice hubs.
  • Signposting to sources of SEND funding e.g. Early Years Inclusion Funding, Disability Access Funding.
  • Support around transition planning for children with SEND into schools and/or specialist provision.
  • Contributions to the Education, Health and Care Assessment process, as appropriate.

Further information about the SCIL team and the service offer for the Private, Voluntary and Independent early years settings can be found here Introduction to the SCIL team for PVI settings powerpoint

How can I refer to the SCIL Team?

  • Referrals and training requests are made directly by schools and settings, with parent / carer permission. All details can be found on
  • Schools and settings each have a link team lead who is their contact.  Team leads will meet with schools on a termly basis to prioritise and plan support.
  • Families with concerns about their child should discuss this with the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) at their child’s school or setting.
  • The Early Years Team also receives referrals from Education Advice 1 (EA1 notifications) which is a statutory notification from health informing education that a child may have an additional support need.
  • Further information around Early Years Inclusion Funding can be found here:


Is there a cost to this service?

Some of our service is subsidised and is available at no cost to schools and settings.  This includes:

  • Support for pupils identified through the Educational Advice 1 (EA1) notification process in early years.
  • A half termly advice hub where you can access a specialist teacher and / or practitioner for 1-1 advice and support
  • Individual pupil support which may include observation, assessment or advice, for any pupils with Cognition & Learning, Social Emotional & Mental Health ~ or Communication & Interaction (Autism) needs as part of the graduated approach, linked to the matrix of need.
  • Individual support for pupils on a pathway for a statutory assessment for an EHCP or with an EHCP – specifically work directed by the Local Authority SEN Services
  • “SENCO Essentials” training focussed on the graduated approach and what we expect schools to have in place


Other parts of our service are traded and have costs attached.  These include:
  • Whole school consultancy work:
    • Whole school learning walks / audits
    • Consultancy in behaviour systems / policy
    • Improving behaviour at lunchtimes
    • Consultancy in development work e.g. Setting up Nurture Groups / Specialist Classrooms
  • Whole school training from any of the specialist areas:
    • Communication & Interaction (Autism)
    • Cognition & Learning
    • Early Years
    • SEMH
  • Exam Access Assessments

We are no longer asking schools to buy packages from our service; all traded support will be invoiced on a “Pay As You Go” basis.  Further details of how to purchase support can be found on

For courses please visit



Page owned by Fiona Whitaker, last updated on 08/10/2020. This page has been viewed 9,792 times.