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Early Learning and Portage Support Service

Early Learning and Portage Support Service
The Lincolnshire Early Learning and Portage Support Service (ELPSS) is a county wide service, led by INSPIRE Connected Community Trust, Lincolnshire Wolds Federation, St Bernard’s, as the Lead Provider, in collaboration with Boston Endeavour Academy, Eresby Specialist School, Grantham Additional Needs Fellowship, St Christopher’s Specialist School, Tulip Academy and Willoughby Specialist School, who provide a Portage Practitioner in each locality.
Portage is part of the national and local development of inclusive services for children
For more general information:- National Portage Association
What is Portage

Portage in Lincolnshire is an educational support service delivered in the home or in group community-based settings, for children aged 0-5 (up to their 5th birthday) that have a SEND diagnosis or suspected diagnosis which is impacting on their education development.
The ELPSS team will also offer workshops and /or webinars based on the identified needs of families.
The ELPSS team provide a service across 39 weeks of the year following the school term timetable.
Portage is a model that adapts flexibly to individual children and family needs and works in partnership with parents/carers alongside other relevant agencies involved, to assist in creating a holistic profile in supporting the personalised and targeted approach for every child.
How Portage works
Portage offers specialist play experiences and assessments with the aim to improve areas of children’s development following a small step approach, by providing be spoke teaching and learning opportunities to develop skills, confidence and enable families to feel included in their community.
Experienced Portage Practitioners model activities and strategies, for parents/ carers to practice between home visits or group sessions with the aim to empowering parents/carers to build on their child’s strengths as they play and learn together. For Portage to be effective parents must be committed to carrying out the activities and/ or suggested strategies consistently on a regular basis.

How to access the service
Referrals are completed by professionals or parent/carers and triaged by a multi agency panel which is held fortnightly during the school term, to agree the most appropriate Pathway of support to offer.
Families will be offered one of the three core Pathways of support based on the identified need.
• Portage group – Stepping Stones
• Portage Plus – time limited home visits
• Core Portage – Individual Home Visits
Referrals are available at and returned centrally to Ann Ordish ELPSS Coordinator 
Criteria for Referral- Request for portage support
Referral is considered for children from birth to school age, whose development is delayed by approximately one third of its age in at least two different skill areas or a diagnosis or recognised syndrome which is likely to lead to a delay in learning such as their understanding, self-help or physical skills. Please note: children who are in receipt of their 15 hours allocated Early years funding may not be eligible to receive Portage involvement, however all referrals would be considered on an individual basis at the discretion of the Portage team.
Initial visit
Families are initially offered 6 planned visits. Further 6 week cycle of visits to be discussed on a plan, do, review cycle in agreement between the parents/carers and Portage team. To ensure commitment to the service- if a family fail to engage in the service e.g were not available for 3 consecutive planned visits, portage team would write to the family to explain and if agreed within the team, and the family would go back on the waiting list.

Contact Details for Lincolnshire County Service Local Team
Boston & District Team, Victoria Gross – Portage EY SEND Practitioner
BEA, Kitwood Road, Boston, Lincs, PE21 0PX
Tel: 07502 970926

Portage Referral FormPrivacy NoticeELPSS Pathway
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