Communication & Interaction (C&I) Service

The Communication and Interaction (C&I) Service is part of the Specialist Education Service, and incorporates the Speech, Language & Communication Needs (SLCN) Outreach Service.

What we do

Children and young people with additional communication and interaction needs may struggle to access or engage with learning. We work with schools to help them better understand the needs of pupils with additional C&I needs and how they can be best supported. 

The C&I needs of individual pupils may present in a variety of ways, including:

  • Difficulties with social communication and making or maintaining friendships
  • Understanding and regulating emotions
  • Difficulties around inflexible or ‘black and white’ thinking
  • Difficulties communicating effectively with others.

We help schools, parents/carers and pupils (where appropriate) to develop support plans to help pupils attend, access and engage in school fully and safely. As part of this, we complete observations, model strategies to school staff and offer advice and guidance, and may work directly with pupils as appropriate.

C&I Partnership Agreement December 2021

How to access our service

If you are concerned about your child’s communication and interaction skills, we would encourage you to talk to your school in the first instance to find out what support is already being offered. In all cases we would expect schools to talk with parents and carers first about their child’s additional needs and what can be done to support them before referring to us for additional support.

As soon as a child or young person is identified as having additional communication and interaction needs, schools can seek advice and guidance at one of our weekly Inclusion Support Meetings. This does not require a full referral. 

If it is felt that greater support is required then, after seeking your agreement, your child’s school can make a full referral to us. Schools can refer to us using the Inclusion Service Referral Form.

Contact details

Toni Wainwright, Head of C&I Service

07849 078642 / [email protected]

Useful documents

  1. C&I Core Offer Progress Statements September 2021
  2. SEND Graduated Response September 22
  3. C&I Partnership Agreement September 2022