The Severe Learning Difficulties Outreach Support Service operates from the four SLD schools within the authority.
The purpose is to provide members of staff who are practitioners with up-to-date and detailed skills, knowledge and expertise in teaching, learning and inclusion issues to support mainstream schools that have children and young people with SLD on roll.
The Severe Learning Difficulties (SLD) Outreach Support Service has been fully operational since September 2006. The Service has been described by the local authority as a 'flagship Service'. From The Dales School it is Mike Sissons who is the Outreach coordinator but other Dales School staff are also involved
Between them, North Yorkshire's Special Schools (SLD) provide outreach support to mainstream schools that have pupils with SLD on their roll. The four schools are: Brooklands School, Skipton; The Dales School, Northallerton; Springhead School, Scarborough and Springwater School, Harrogate.
The schools provide a network of outreach support which is (special) school-based and covers the whole County. This ensures that mainstream schools have consistent access to expert and specialist advice and high quality support and guidance on how to manage and support children and young people with SLD. North Yorkshire County Council has a Service Level Agreement with the four special schools to provide an SLD Outreach Support Service.
The overall objective of the Service is to develop mainstream schools' capacity for managing pupils with SLD, so that the practice of support and intervention becomes an intrinsic part of the inclusive culture of the schools. Expectations are clearly set out in a Service Specification, which includes access to services, response times and accountability. Sometimes staff from Mainstream schools visit The Dales School on in-reach. This helps them understand the level of need our pupils have and usually gives them ideas of how to work with the pupils in their own schools.