What we do

The Physical Disabilities and Complex Medical Needs Advisory Team support children and young people from 0 to 25 who have physical disabilities and/or complex medical needs. The children we support generally have complex, life-long conditions which affect their physical development and/or health.  We provide a specialised education provision offering on-going advice, guidance and support to schools, families/carers, children and young people in order to maximise opportunities for learning, independence and inclusion so that children and young people can achieve their full potential and overcome barriers to learning.

We do this by:

  • promoting positive attitudes towards children and young people with a physical disability
  • encouraging the development of a positive self-image in C&YP with a physical disability/ Complex Medical Needs
  • working with settings and alongside other professionals to improve access, both to the schools’ environment and the curriculum
  • providing advice on teaching and learning, adaptations, equipment, technology and strategies to enable pupils to access the curriculum and the environment.
  • visiting pre-school children at home and providing early support to families
  • providing a weekly school for parents group for pre-school children who have cerebral palsy
  • providing support for transitions from home to school and from one educational setting to another
  • monitoring your child's progress in relation to their individual outcomes
  • providing training and signposting other training for school staff and parents
  • carrying out assessments, including specialist technology assessments
  • supporting schools and their pupils to make use of ICT in order to access the curriculum
  • providing access to specialist equipment from the Community Equipment Stores for school use as prescribed by therapists
  • providing advice and guidance to teachers and support staff on reasonable adjustments, differentiation and modification of tasks/resources
  • providing advice and training on: individual health care plans, Moving & Handling, risk management and assessment of manoeuvres and equipment .
  • observing your child/meeting with them, providing feedback to class teacher, school support staff, SENCOs and health professionals
  • advising schools on the use of support staff to promote inclusion and independence
  • raising awareness of specific disabilities and disability in general. Promoting inclusive practices
  • signposting to other support agencies or sources of useful information and support
  • liaising closely with physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech and language therapists to ensure that your child’s physical and communication needs are being met and that the appropriate equipment and ICT/AAC is provided to enable access to the curriculum
  • supporting effective liaison between all parties
  • providing advice for Education, Health Care (EHCP) plans Individual Health Care (IEC) plans
  • providing advice on Local Authority policy and current legislation
  • contributing to Annual Reviews, EHCPs , review meetings and multi-professional meetings

We operate an open referral policy.  Once a referral is received the case is discussed by the team to determine whether it is accepted.  Levels of support offered to individual children and young people will be guided by the nature & severity of their physical difficulties, according to the PD criteria. Parents and settings are then informed of the decision.


Referral criteria

  • We operate an open referral policy.
  • The child must have a physical need/ diagnosis or complex medical needs which impacts on their development and learning.
  • Medical, educational and other relevant information should be provided, clearly indicating the child’s current level of functioning and their difficulties
  • Parents must have given permission for the referral to be made
  • The child or young person must be resident in Barnet

Once a referral is accepted:

  • The referrer and/or parents will be contacted within two weeks
  • A member of the PD team will be allocated to carry out an initial assessment within four weeks of the initial contact
  • A report/ action plan will be sent to the referrer and/ or parents within four weeks of the assessment, with a clear indication of the future level of support to be provided by the PD team


Levels of support offered to individual children and young people will be guided by the team’s criteria:

  • Complexity of need
  • Level of mobility skills
  • Specialist equipment needed/used
  • The physical learning environment and any adaptations required
  • Transition year
  • Level of expertise/experience within the educational setting
  • Level of staff development and training needed
  • Statutory Assessment
  • Level of support & liaison needed by the family/other professionals