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Learning Disabilities and SEND

A learning disability affects the way a person understands information which can mean that a person who has a learning disability could have difficulty understanding complex information and learning new skills.  People who have learning disabilities can sometimes have difficulty coping and living independently so may need some support to help learn new skills and achieve their aspirations.
People who have learning disabilities may need different types of support to help learn new skills and to live as independently as possible.  To help achieve this adult services along with partners offer a range of person centred local services which are designed to support individuals to live happy and fulfilled lives that offer individuals the opportunity to make informed choices and have greater control over their lives and become active citizens within their communities.
If you are new to Tameside and or wish to access a community care assessment to access services please contact the Community Gateway at:
Community Gateway Team
Crickets Lane Clinic
Crickets Lane
Ashton under Lyne

Telephone: 0161 922 4888

8.30am to 5.00pm  Monday to Wednesday,
8.30am to 4.30pm  Thursday,
8.30am to 4.00pm  Friday
  1. Supported Living
Supported Living is a term used to describe housing and support for people who have learning disabilities and or autism, who have been assessed via a community care assessment as requiring support to meet their needs.  The council provides a range of options for people who require housing and support and these are detailed below:
  • Single Tenancy
A single tenancy is offered to people who want to live alone. This could be in a house or in a flat / apartment and would normally include staff support during the day and night time.  This may in some cases be supported by technology to ensure the person is safe and also to support and individual to learn independent living skills.
  • Shared Housing
This is where a person may live with a small number of people (2,3 or 4 people) sharing a house.  This may include 24 hour staff support.
  1. Shared Lives
The shared lives scheme in Tameside offers a range of services focused on individuals who have learning disabilities being offered support by individual carers and families who are not directly employed by the council.  Services include:
  • Long Term Support for individuals who actually live with carers and families full time.
  • Respite where an individual can access short stay respite with a carer and their family.
  • Day Service Provision where an individual may have support and companionship with a carer and their family as an alternative to other day service options.
  1. Day Services
There is a wide range of day service options available provided by the council and a number of partner organisations.  The range and different service offers enable greater choice for individuals who may access one, two or three of different services per week.  Day services offer individuals the opportunity to receive support and assistance with everyday activities outside of the individual’s home.  Day services provide a number of purposes for example:
  • Support to people who have complex needs this may include access to therapies and support with physiological and behavioural interventions.
  • Respite for individuals and their families.
  • The provision of independent living skills development.
  • Preparation for employment.
Alternatively individuals could access a Direct Payment and use this funding to purchase support options that best meet their individual needs.
  1. Respite
Respite offers individuals and their families opportunity to have a break from each other which is necessary in terms of ensuring family resilience.  There are a range of respite options offered including:
  • Traditional building based respite with 24 hour care and support.
  • Shared Lives short stay where an individual has short breaks with a carer and their family.
  • Day service provision (see day services).
  • Direct Payments where an individual can access funding to purchase personalised respite that better suits their needs.
  1. Supported Employment
Routes to Work is Tameside’s supported employment service.  Routes to Work offer person centred support to individuals who have disabilities to prepare for and access voluntary, unpaid and paid employment opportunities across a range of employer organisations.  The team provides support to individuals to prepare for work and also works with employers to ensure that reasonable adjustments are in place to ensure an individual is supported to maintain employment.
  1. Direct Payments
Direct Payments are payments to individuals who have disabilities who have been assessed as having needs through their community care assessment.  The payments allow the individual to purchase their own care and support in a more personalised way.
  1. Learning Disability and Autism Partnership Boards
Tameside has a Learning Disability Partnership Board and a separate Autism Partnership Board.  The Boards primary aims are to promote the independence, rights, choice and inclusion of people who have learning disabilities in the local area and across the Greater Manchester conurbation. 
To achieve these aims the Board focuses on enabling people who have learning disabilities to have a voice and the ability to influence the design, planning and provision of local services.
The Learning Disability Partnership Board is made up of people who have learning disabilities, carers of people who have learning disabilities and managers and practitioners from a wide range of agencies including children’s services, housing, criminal justice agencies, health agencies including the NHS trust and the CCG, provider organisations, education etc.  The Board is supported by the Shadow Board which is a learning disability user led group which is independent of the council.  The Board has oversight of the Learning Disability Implementation Plan for Tameside, which links to the Greater Manchester Learning Disability Plan.
  1. What are Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)?
The law says that a child has special educational needs if he or she has learning difficulties and needs special help. This help is known as special educational provision.

A child has learning difficulties if he or she finds it much harder to learn than most children of the same age, or if he or she has a disability which makes it difficult to use the normal educational facilities in the area.

For example, your child may have learning difficulties caused by:
  • a physical disability;
  • a problem with sight, hearing or speech;
  • a mental disability;
  • a medical or health problem;
  • difficulties with reading, writing, speaking or mathematics work.

These are just examples. Your child may have more general difficulties with school work.

You may notice these problems yourself. Your doctor, health visitor or clinic may notice them before your child starts school. Or you child's teachers at school may notice them.

About one in five children may have learning difficulties at some time in their school life. Most children get over their difficulties quite quickly. For others, the effects may last longer.
Information for people, parents and families
The Local Offer website brings together a range of support services and information for children and young people aged 0-25, with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).  Here you can find information and advice to support children and families with SEND.

We want as many people to access our Local Offer.  Our aim is that it is both accessible and usable to all that need information from it. Accessibility has been paramount and we have taken steps to ensure we take into account the needs of different people. If you would like to see the information in another language or in audio please click on the ‘Accessibility Toolbar’ in the top left hand corner of the screen.

Please click here for the Local Offer Website:

 The council’s Transitions Policy can be found on the Local Offer Website here:
Introduction to Transition (

A Preparing for Adulthood Programme of works has been set up which aims to improve the journey that young people have as they transition to adulthood. Our Programme encompasses the SEND work described above, but is wider than that.

The focus is on ensuring that ALL young people receive the appropriate support to thrive into adulthood seamlessly, develop independent living skills and that there is appropriate information and support for young people, families and carers so they are better informed and prepared for adulthood.

The attached document provides some key priorities for the Preparing for Adulthood programme: