Learning Support Service

What we do
We assess teach and give advice for children in primary school who are experiencing difficulties with reading, writing, spelling or maths.

How we work

  • Our typical way of working is the school refers children to the LSS if they have not made expected progress in literacy or numeracy in spite of additional support provided by the school 
  • we carry out a diagnostic assessment to identify specific areas of need. We then either give advice to the school and/or teach an individualised teaching programme for 2, 3 or 4 terms 
  • we liaise with the class teacher and the SENCO during the period of support 
  • we measure progress at the end of the period of support and write a final report with suggestions for ongoing targets and continue to monitor progress
How we support schools
  • Support to schools can include assessment of pupils who meet our referral criteria 
  • liaison with parents at the beginning and end of support 
  • liaison with school staff 
  • advice to teachers on approaches, strategies and resources to support the needs identified 
  • direct teaching for some pupils if appropriate 
  • advice to parents on ways to help with homework 
  • whole school training for teachers and/or TAs on specific topics to support pupils’ learning
  • supporting schools in monitoring pupil progress
  • supporting SENCOs in providing for a wide range of pupils with SEN

How we support children and young people
  • a child is identified by the SENCO as not making expected progress in spite of doing additional work in school
  • parents give permission for us to make an assessment of the child’s needs in literacy or maths as requested by the school
  • the assessment report includes a set of targets to meet the specific needs which have been identified. In some cases ‘assessment and advice’ is sufficient to help the school to carry out appropriate support
  • we plan work for the child in an Individual Education Plan.  Sometimes we oversee others leading the child in this work but mostly we carry it out at weekly visits to the school
  • we meet the parents to share the report and the plan of work and identify ways in which they can help
  • we make suggestions for resources which may benefit the child in school e.g. stability cushion, pencil grips, targeted reading books
  • we record every lesson and share it with the class teacher to help the child to transfer their learning into the classroom
  • we discuss the child’s work informally with the class teacher and suggest appropriate differentiation
  • we sometimes model our work to TAs who then carry out similar work with the child at other times
  • we use practical, active learning methods to engage a variety of senses
  • we find different ways to re-visit essential learning to help the child to truly learn ideas and knowledge which they find hard to retain
  • we aim to build the child’s confidence and improve learning behaviours such as concentration
  • we monitor the child’s progress with the SENCO and adapt the teaching programme as needed
  • we finish the period of support with a final assessment which has suggestions for ongoing targets which the class teacher can put in place
  • we meet the parents to celebrate progress and to highlight areas of continuing need
  • we continue to monitor progress for the next three terms and discuss further strategies as needed

How we support parents
  • once parents have given permission there will be a period of a few weeks while the assessment is carried out and a written into a report
  • we meet parents at the beginning and end of the period of support
  • we help parents to understand the nature and degree of difficulty their child is experiencing when we meet them to share the diagnostic report and the Individual Education Plan (IEP) which indicate the child’s strengths and draws out areas of specific difficulty. Targets are set for the child to work on
  • we give parents a leaflet with ideas for ‘How to Help Your Child with Literacy Difficulties’ which includes everyday tips, use of public libraries and web-links to internet sites with suitable home activities for children
  • we offer parent workshops through the school
  • parents may contact the service at any time by email or through the school SENCO


How the service is funded
The Service is currently available to all primary schools and Converter Academies free of charge. Additional time can be bought in by these schools and by Secondary Schools and Sponsored Academies at an agreed cost. There is no direct cost to parents.

Contact point
Contact is made by the school SENCO to the service. For discussion about the service, email the co-ordinator, Sheila Cruchley.

Telephone: 020 8770 6621