A person with complex communication needs (CCN) will need support to:

  • express their needs, ideas and feelings
  • understand other people, including what they say, their body language and emotions
  • interact with others in social situations
  • manage their sensory needs, such as sensitivities to touch or sound

CCN resourced provision locations in Dorset

We have a number of CCN resourced provisions across Dorset, covering primary, first, middle and upper school years.

Children and young people who use our CCN resourced provision

These are the children who attend our CCN resourced provision:

  • children who have an education, health and care (EHC) plan with a primary need of social communication needs attend our CCN resourced provision
  • children who's barrier to their learning and ability to access the curriculum is due to their social communication development and difficulties, rather than any underlying cognition and learning difficulties

This might include children who:

  • are overwhelmed by the social environment and social demands within a mainstream school which has an impact on their ability to learn
  • have the ability and vocabulary to be able to communicate with their peers but find it difficult to apply these in a social context
  • are very rigid in their thinking which is displayed in their approach to learning and change and ability to follow social rules and routines
  • need adults to manage the social environment within a mainstream school by providing visual supports and other structures that follow a specific approach
  • find it difficult to manage their own sensory processes and become distracted and overwhelmed by the sensory environment
  • may have a diagnosis of autism alongside other neurodiverse conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity difficulties (ADHD) or emotional difficulties like anxiety

What the CCN resourced provision offers

At the CCN resourced provisions all children follow the national curriculum at a level that suits them. Teachers use a range of strategies to support social communication and interaction difficulties. They have specialist equipment available depending on what each child needs, such as:

  • visual resources
  • sensory equipment
  • individual workstations

Teachers tailor what they provide to meet the needs of each learner; they plan teaching and support for each individual.

The CCN resourced provisions design their curriculum to develop key skills with a focus on social communication and social understanding. Staff work towards gradually increasing their pupils' independence.

Inclusion in mainstream

The CCN resourced provisions are based within mainstream schools so that children can experience inclusion with their mainstream peers. The exact level of inclusion will vary according to individual needs.

Over time all children should be able to be included in mainstream lessons with their peers for most of the school day. Staff from the CCN resourced provision provide expertise and support to mainstream class staff.

Approaches and staff expertise

A specialist teacher or special educational needs coordinator (SENCO) oversees the CCN resourced provision. Higher level teaching assistants (HLTA) support them. The HLTAs have specialist knowledge of social communication and interaction needs, including autism spectrum conditions.

Some members of staff may have or are working towards a postgraduate qualification in social communication and interaction needs, including autism spectrum conditions.

Access to outside professionals

Each CCN resourced provision has their own arrangements for outside professional support. This includes speech and language therapy and occupational therapy services. They also have additional educational psychologist and specialist teacher intervention.