Services for Mainstream Schools

Specialist Teachers for Physical Disability

Specialist Teaching and Learning Service for Physical Disability (PD) – support for children and young people with physical and medical needs

Valence School operates a team of Specialist Teachers across Kent, commissioned by Kent County Council, whose aim is:

Through the application of the Social Model of Disability, to promote and facilitate independence, achievement, progress and full inclusion for children and young people who have physical and medical needs in mainstream education (schools and pre-school settings).


Who are the team?

The team are all highly experienced specialist practitioners who have worked in mainstream education and have now developed a high level of expertise and knowledge in removing barriers for children and young people with physical and medical needs. They are based in specialist schools around the county and are each peripatetic within one or two Districts so that the whole county is covered. The team is known as the PD Team, where PD relates to physical disabilities, but also includes medical needs.

The team is led by the County Professional Lead for PD, who is based at Valence School.

What does the team do?

The team supports schools and pre-school settings to remove barriers to full inclusion for children and young people with physical or medical needs from the ages of 0 to 16 (16+ if the student is in a school sixth form).

The team also offers specialist training sessions (on areas such as Risk Assessments and Care Plans, Awareness Raising, Technology for Curriculum Access) for mainstream staff, both through the Local Offer within Districts, and also bespoke as appropriate.

Team members routinely work with parents and carers, as well as practitioners from other agencies, such as Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Paediatricians, Nurses, Portage, Social Care, Assistive Technology colleagues, and the commissioned equipment service.

How does the referral process work?

Schools and settings can make a referral through the Local Inclusion Forum Team (LIFT) referral process.

The full process is described here.

What happens next?

Once a referral has been made, the local PD team member will visit the school or setting to assess the level of need and advise on strategies and interventions on an individualised basis for the child or young person. They will also advise on training requirements for staff, and signpost staff to these (e.g., paediatric Moving and Handling, Inclusive PE). Follow-up visits are then arranged as appropriate; the frequency and number of these will depend on individual circumstances.

What kinds of physical needs and medical conditions are addressed?

We support children and young people who have a diagnosis of typically lifelong inherited or acquired conditions, such as Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, Cerebral Palsy, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, acquired brain injury, Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, epilepsy, or diabetes. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but demonstrates the level of complexity of need. Many children and young people with this level of need have mobility impairments and are wheelchair users.

Is this service free?

All state-funded schools in Kent, and all nurseries in Kent receive the advisory service free of charge. There is a modest charge made for the specific training sessions delivered through the Local Offer. Bespoke training is usually provided free of charge.

Who can I ask for further information?

Please contact the County Professional Lead, Julie Jackson, on


© Copyright - Valence School by Yeomans Marketing