Shropshire Council

Update on Neurodevelopmental Pathway

29 November 2021 Last updated at 01:41

Update on Neurodevelopmental Pathway

The pathway is designed to provide a continuum of assessment and intervention prior to the decision to refer to the neuro diagnostic team.

Right from the start there will be sign posting to all the services available to support families and school such as Early Help, Autism West Midlands and Spectra (the local offer). Schools and the assessment intervention team will work closely with these services as they are essential to the process and longevity of support for children and families. The neuropathway sub group are currently summarising the scoping exercise to identify all support services for children who may present as having a neuro developmental difficulty.

The pathway will be a continuum from 6 years onwards following the early years 2 to 6 years diagnostic assessment through the multi disciplinary assessment (MDA) team at the children’s development centre (CDC).

The pathway will provide quality assured interventions in line with the Early Bird Programme (pre -school age) led by the specialist multi disciplinary team at the CDC.

The 6 plus pathway will require an initial direct referral to the school SENDCO following concerns expressed by parents and or school.

There will be a period of information gathering about the child and this will involve discussion with parents and other services that might be involved.

All documentation will be stored safely in line with GDPR regulations. There has been agreed funding for the purpose of the administration of such data.

The pathway will be resourced initially through 4 Higher Learning Teaching Assistants (preferably 6) who have experience working with children who are neurotypical. This team will have training and qualifications in the Autism Education Trust programme; Positive Behaviour management; principles of Total Communication, principles of TEACCH, Intensive Interaction sensory seeking behaviours and Attention Deficit behaviour as well as trauma informed practice and hypervigilance. We may also build in training for ADOS- Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule. The quality assurance of these programmes will be supervised by a Specialist Educational Psychologist who will work closely with the Neurodiagnostic Team placed within BeeU. This will quality assure assessment and intervention.

The assessment, intervention team will commission key Speech and Language Therapy and Occupational Therapy to assist with supervision and training of the HLTRs alongside the Specialist Educational Psychologist. They will be very much part of the team.

The HLTR team will observe the child in the home and school context and offer training and modelling of good practice to support the child.

This assessment and intervention period is likely to be 6 weeks.

Following this period of assessment and intervention parents and the HLTR team with the Specialist Educational Psychologist will make a joint decision about referring onwards to the diagnostic team. Parents’ choice to move onto the diagnostic team will be paramount.

In addition to this pathway Shropshire’s Parent Carer Forum PCF (PACC) are working with a National Health funded programme to provide training into schools using a multi disciplinary approach to involve families, health professionals, teachers, and parents.

This programme has national recognition and has been delivered and evaluated in North East England and is called ‘The Accelerator Project’. Sarah Thomas PACC is a leader for parents with this project and is advocating for its implementation in Shropshire.


  • Joint commissioning to fund the pathway such as the HLTR team and supervisor (we have secured some funding from health and Local Authority) work in progress.
  • Detail of administration, registering on the pathway to be clarified.
  • Continue to work closely using Co -Production with our leads for parent carer forum (PACC).
  • Share the proposal with children and families in a visual format that is accessible to all.
  • Launch the pathway once provision/resourcing is secure.

Poppy Chandler Principal Educational Psychologist
Chair of Neurodevelopmental Pathway