SEN Specialist Support Services

20/03/19 - Joint Statement by Council Leaders commit to the future of the SenCom Service

As 5 Council Leaders in Gwent, we have met to discuss the future of the SenCom service, the Sensory and Communication Support Service that helps children with sensory impairments across Gwent.

We can now confirm our commitment to the service, for at least the remainder of our respective administrations.

We are pleased we are now able to signal our joint commitment to the SenCom service. This will end the uncertainty for the children, their families and the staff within the service, who do a fantastic job supporting children and their families.

As part of this agreement, SenCom will now support an external review. It is intended the review will provide clarity on the range, volume and impact of service provision in each local authority.

A joint review can focus on a number of areas where we’ll seek improvements around governance arrangements and the management information we receive from the service, to ensure we get a better picture of the range and impact of the service we receive.

We remain committed to working in collaboration with partners wherever possible. We all agree that any collaborative services need to be underpinned by a clear business case and should be subject to regular review. We believe a particular benefit of the current model is the funding mechanism calculated on population as opposed to user numbers, thus avoiding large unexpected fluctuations between areas over time.

We have a responsibility to our citizens, communities and council-tax payers, but based on our discussions we’re now satisfied that we can continue to work together, so that the service can thrive and children with sensory impairments and their families can get the support they need.

Cllr David Poole, Cllr Debbie Wilcox, Cllr Peter Fox, Cllr Nigel Daniels and Cllr Anthony Hunt

01/10/18 - Newport withdrawal from the Sensory and Communication Support Service

On the 1st October, Newport City Council gave notice that they intend to withdraw from the Gwent-wide collaborative Sensory and Communication Support Service (SenCom).

Newport City Council have provided the minimum six month notice as per the service level agreement and the existing collaborative arrangements will end on the 31st March 2019.

This means that from April 2019, the SenCom service will no longer be supporting children, families, schools and settings in the Newport City Council area.

Newport plan to set up their own team to deliver specialist support to children and young people with hearing, vision and multi-sensory impairment, along with children who have speech and communication difficulty.

There will be no change to the service between now and the end of March.  Beyond April, it is not expected that the new service will differ significantly in Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Monmouthshire or Torfaen.

Following discussion with staff today (Monday 15th October),  the SenCom service intend to discuss the new service with parents, schools and external partners later this term. 

Chief Education Officers from partner councils have confirmed that the collaborative model is working successfully for service users and delivering efficiencies of scale for partners. 

SenCom will work with colleagues from Newport City Council to support a smooth transition for service users to the new team in Newport. 

Service users from Newport with questions on the future service should email:

Current service users with any questions should contact Roger Thurlbeck, Head of Sensory and Communication Support Services on 01633 648888 or email


SEN Specialist Support Services provide support and advice in a number of specialist areas.

The Support Services within Torfaen are:

  • The Educational Psychology Service
  • Specific Learning Difficulties Service
  • Hearing Impairment Service
  • Visual Impairment Service
  • Communication Intervention Team
  • School Counselling
  • Careers Wales
  • Independent Parental Support
Last Modified: 20/03/2019
For more information contact:

Inclusion Service

Tel: 01495 766929 or 01495 766968

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