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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 PVI 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, advice can be sought from the team for a child or young person who has an Educational Health Care Plan (EHCP) and lives in Bradford but are 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 gradual 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.

Service Manager 

Contact: - SCIL Team Service Manager


Cognition & Learning Team

Contact: - Team Lead Learning Support

The 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 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. The service also 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 to 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 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.

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.

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 notification process in early years.
  • Advice hubs where you can access a specialist teacher and/or practitioner for support and recommendations.
  • Individual pupil support, which may include observation, assessment or advice, for any pupils with Cognition & Learning, Communication & Interaction (Autism) or Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs as part of the graduated response, linked to the Matrix of Need.
  • 'SENCO Essentials' training focused on the graduated approach.  
  • 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.

Other parts of our service are traded and have costs attached.  These include:

  • Whole school consultancy work (this is bespoke and planned to meet your support needs and could include
  • Whole school training from any of the specialist areas.
  • Exam Access Assessments.

Details of how to purchase support can be found on

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Bradford Local Offer Logo

The Bradford SEND Local Offer is a free and impartial service provided by Bradford Council. The information contained within the website is available for the purposes of identifying services and provision that are available to children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities. This information does not represent a recommendation or an endorsement of a Service or Provider and neither does the Bradford Council or its partners make any representations or warranties as to the accuracy of the information.

Anyone seeking to use or access a service or provision is responsible for undertaking their own checks to determine the suitability and fitness for purpose of that service and provision. Some providers will be registered and inspected by external agencies, such as Ofsted or the Care Quality Commission. Anyone working with children and young people will be required to have appropriate Disclosure and Barring Service Check (the replacement for the Criminal Record Check), safeguarding policies and insurance in place, which they should make available to you on request.