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Support for Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities – Oldham

Right Start for Oldham ChildrenOur Local Offer

Oldham Right Start is an integrated early years’ service including Health Visiting, Children Centres, Family Nurses, Early Years Specialists and Additional Educational Needs workers, provided by Bridgewater Community Foundation Care NHS Trust.

The service is offered to all families with children aged 0-5years in Oldham and each family will be automatically allocated a named Health Visitor.

What we do….

Our team uses standardised evidence based approaches to ensure your child receives high quality assessments and care. All of our assessment tools are parent led and reviewed in partnership with the child and wider family. Below are some of the tools your Health Visitor and Right Start practitioner will use when they visit you.

Assessment tools… Right Start Mum and Toddler

Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ3): The ASQ-3 is used at the 12 month contact and 2 year contact for all children. However, if you have any concerns regarding your child’s general development at any point during the first 5 years of life, the ASQ-3 questionnaire can be used to determine whether further assessment or support is needed.

Ages and Stages Questionnaire -Social Emotional (ASQ-SE): The ASQ-SE is used at the 6-8 week contact and 2 year contact for all children. However if concerns are raised this type of questionnaire can also be used at any point in the first five years of a child’s life to determine further assessment and support for your child’s social and emotional development.

The Coventry Grid:  Right Start practitioners will use this tool alongside the information gained from the ASQ-3/ASQ-SE, and observations of your child. Where a child attends an early year’s education setting the observations of the Key Worker will be considered in line with the Coventry Grid.

WellComm: The WellComm tool is a speech, language and communication used, when an ASQ-3 Communication and /or Personal Social score is within the monitoring zone or below the cut off.

All evidence based assessment tools used are recorded within your child’s electronic health record and shared with GPs, early year’s education settings and used to support referrals into the Community Paediatric Service (single point of entry) and Speech and Language Therapy service.

Right Start Girl on ScooterWhat we offer…

The Right Start service is committed to supporting children with additional and complex needs. A full range of supportive interventions are offered to compliment the relevant age and development of your child.

Regular 1:1 contact is offered and negotiated with all families. We aim for consistency of Health Visitor and Right Start practitioner input to help build up and maintain strong therapeutic relationships with you and your family.

The following contacts are offered to families both at home and through a group session:

  • Antenatal Contact – 28 weeks pregnant +
  • New Birth Visit – 10-14 Days
  • 6-8 Week Contact
  • 3-4 month weaning / messy play group
  • 6month Sensory Time group
  • 9-12 month contact
  • 18 month contact
  • 2-2.5 year contact
  • Transition into maintained setting visit

Additional support

Further to the contacts listed above the Right Start service will also offer the following supportive interventions:

Treasure Basket play: Treasure basket play is used during Babbling Babies groups that are offered to all children aged 0-12 months. Treasure Basket play is first introduction of Heuristic play. Heuristic play describes the activity of babies and children as they play with and explore the properties of ‘objects’ from the real world. This type of play stimulates all the senses, creating a rich learning experience, through handling and exploring objects a baby develops contact with the outside world, and begins to make their own choices and decisions. Opportunities for treasure basket play are also offered at Baby Clinic / Play and Weigh groups.

Bookstart Star gift pack: Available for children aged 2+ who have special educational needs and disabilities.  Pack includes; sensory and board books, finger puppets and guidance cards for parents to utilise.

Sleep Workshops: Monthly sleep workshops for families with children aged 2 years + are available at local children centres. Sleep Workshops offer a safe space for parents to increase their understanding on sleeping difficulties and strategies, share experiences with other parents and receive peer support.

Solihull Understanding Your Child’s Behaviour group: This group is delivered every 3 months in Oldham. The Solihull group supports parents in understanding their child and their behaviours to help ensure they can provide the right amount of support throughout the child’s life.

1:1 support and home learning: Right Start practitioners use both the 1:1 Solihull approach and heuristic play / sensory in a suitcase to support families as the child progresses in age and prepares for early education settings.

Speech, Language and Communication Support: Right Start practitioners deliver Little Talkers group sessions for children and their parents who require additional support in developing their speech and language.  WellComm screenings are usually undertaken before you start the group sessions and 3 months after completing them.

Early education provision for 2, 3 and 4 year olds: Children with or who may have SEND (Special Educational Needs and/or disability) can access early education from 2 years of age, this can be facilitated through contacting your Health Visitor.

Parents of Oldham in Touch (POINT): POINT offers peer support for families with children with SEND and post diagnosis counselling. More information can be found at: http://pointoldham.co.uk/

Local offer:

The Oldham Council Local Offer can also be located on the Oldham Council’s website.

When your child goes to nursery and school…

Where a child takes up an early year’s education provision in a nursery setting, the setting are responsible for the completion of x3 assess-plan-do-review/person centred planning for children with additional needs. Right Start practitioners will provide advice and support to the SENCO (Special Educational Needs Coordinator).

Right Start provides information, advice and guidance to nursery settings about approaches to identify, assess and support children.

Right Start practitioners work in partnership with other services in supporting the integrated Education Health Care (EHC) needs assessment and planning process of the EHC plans for children between 0-5 through sharing information about the child’s and family’s needs and reviewing, in collaboration with other services, what they can do to support the delivery of these plans.

When your child starts school, the school SENCO is responsible for undertaking the ‘plan, do, review’ cycle for children with SEND. The school SENCO will complete the application for an education health care plan, the Right Start service will continue to offer support contacts with the family and attend meetings arranged by the school.

We value what you say….

We routinely ask for feedback from you and your child to see how we are doing and to ensure the service is meeting your requirements. We feel it is important to consult with parents and carers on changes we make to our service, following a recent change in our pathway here is some of what our parents told us:

“A big difference I noticed having gone through the system 3 times with my children is that when my first two children were diagnosed I had regular contact with early years and felt I could always pick up the phone to ask for help.”

“What I feel is important for families are that they have regular contact with the service to ask for help when needed.”

“I would comment on giving carers/ parents more support around any additional needs training early on and help in locating a good nursery as we have found training and nursery very beneficial.”

Contact us….

For information about the Right Start service and our local offer please contact us, details can be found using the link below:


If you are unhappy or would like to give us any feedback you can also contact the Bridgewater Patient Services team on:

Telephone 0800 587 0562

Email: patient.services@bridgewater.nhs.uk