It is important that you gain support at the onset as an NQT in how to successfully set up work in schools as this is likely to help you manage an enjoyable caseload in your schools as well and to positively impact the outcomes of therapy which the school will be focussed on – you should consider:


Meeting with the SENCO at onset and on a weekly/half termly basis to identify priorities/timetable of work:

  • Establish a meeting schedule to plan and feedback to the SENCo – or person leading SEN for the school if not the SENCo
  • Explain what types of intervention can be offered, 1;1, paired, small group, whole class intervention, programme and provision of materials, classroom observations, joint coaching, co teaching, inset training, parental contact etc
  • Outline the amount of time you have each day/week
  • Look at who has an EHC, who is applying for an EHC and may need assessment
  • What SLT support is needed at whole class level
  • Existing training levels of Teachers and TAs
  • What whole school interventions they have set up, any groups running or required to be run
  • Any support by key people to make therapy resources
  • What reporting schedules they require
  • Which visiting professionals are involved with the school and any particular students
  • Interaction they would like you to have with parents – coffee mornings, feedback sessions, observation of a therapy session
  • How many students/groups/ classroom observations can be fitted in the timetable and who you both agree to prioritise that half term

Establishing feedback preferences:

It’s important to establish how you can feedback to teachers and TAs – eg verbally at breaktime/ lunchtim/ end of day, through written summary but this can take longer, through the SENCO or keyworker etc

Writing impact reports:

Impact reports are a great way of sharing evidence with the setting, as to what you have been undertaking and with whom and the successful and less successful outcomes based on that input.  Impact reports are crucial to schools to help them justify spend, re configure where efforts are focussed and often to ask for more funding/resource

How to approach training:

Remember training can take all shapes and forms

  • Formal training,  inset, twilight, before school meetings
  • Join coaching
  • Video observation and feedback
  • Skype sessions after school
  • Watching live therapy sessions
  • Co delivery of lessons

Resource sharing:

It would be wise of school settings to build a bank of therapy resources which you provide. Many settings are capable of setting up folders on their server so that therapy materials and programmes provided can be stored and called upon when suitable or advised by you.  This might include saving symbol resources, saving programme materials, saving advice sheets

Developing paperwork:

Having pre set templates for groups and feedback can save you time as long as it protects each client’s identity and is not shared across each others casenotes

Talk to other therapists online, in your team to see which templates they have already developed to save re inventing the wheel

Agreeing casenote writing:

It may be important to raise the SENCos awareness of your duty of care to each client in writing casenotes.  Ensure they know how much time this can relate to each client and agree when is best for you to write them.  Ensure they know it is an HCPC requirement and the number of hours post contact with the client in which they should be written.

Attending meetings:

It’s really important that where possible you might attend some student’s review meetings.  This might mean re timetabling with the rest of your caseload where possible, but you should establish which are crucial you attend and which are fine for you to submit your reports.

When attending meetings, those present will expect to hear your opinions and evaluations, so it is important to build up confidence in summarising your client’s needs at such meetings and ensuring you can convey information which teachers and parents/carers will understand and relate to.  It is also important that you are prepared to challenge information presented by others should you feel it needs questioning on behalf of your client.

Report writing:

  • Agree timescales for reports – can they be written termly at the end of each term for all students you are working with? Rather than on a needs led basis.
  • Writing all reports at one time will be more time efficient and it maybe important that you present this case to the SENCo to enable a days report writing (or however much is needed)
  • See if there is a full school report which goes out and whether your targets and summary can be incorporated directly into this – it could save you having to write lots of the repetitive details again and looking up info such as address, DOB etc
  • Find our how reports are circulated – if school will ensure parents are sent the reports or whether you need to.  Ensure you have consent from parents and that reports are not sent out to those who parents haven’t given consent
  • Use templates for EHC reports, speak to colleagues in your team to share templates which you would use
  • Keep a a standard template to include in reports, for the purpose of each formal assessment and the scoring explanation, this will save you writing this out each time