Outreach Support From Stepping Stones School

Due to limited funding and efficiency savings there will no longer be Outreach Support provided by the Local Authority high needs block funding. 

As of the 1st April 2019 Stepping Stones will be offering a traded commissioned model for Outreach Support.  Information will be emailed out to District 01, 02 and 04 Head teachers by Friday 15th February .

We will continue to provide guidance, advice and support with no charge up to the 31st March 2019.  There is a charge for placements and more intensive support in school.


What does the OST team offer?

At Stepping Stones we have a small Outreach Support team who work hard to provide support for mainstream schools.


Pupil Support We are currently working on an interim model of support until April 2019 when our service, under the direction and support of the Local Authority, will become a commissioned service. Referrals for support and advice can be accessed  here.

Referral form ( January 2019)    to be sent to:



Please ensure you cc a.shepherd when sending your referral.

Our team have extensive skills and supports colleagues in mainstream schools in Districts 1, 2 and 4, offering specialist knowledge and advice enabling inclusion to prevent exclusion, via the staged model.

We treat every child as an individual, suggesting strategies to enable class teachers, teaching assistants, SENCOs and senior leaders, to create an effective support structure around the child. When we receive your referral by email, we will contact you and if required will visit, meeting with supporting staff (including class teacher, TA, SENCO) and parents. We will observe the pupil and write a report, summarising areas of concern, with recommendations of support. During this period of interim support, we are unfortunately unable to provide weekly visits of support, unless this is bought in by your school.

Whole Class Support Sometimes a school might be experiencing difficulties with a cohort of challenging pupils who have additional needs of a social, emotional and behavioural nature. Referrals can be made in the same way, using this referral form HEREAgain, we will respond to the referral with a phone call, to make an appointment to meet with staff and observe, with a return visit to deliver recommendations of support with any relevant resources.

Meet the team

Ms Diane Sheron leads the intervention team. She worked for 12 years on an outreach team for an MLD Special School and has a wealth of experience in mainstream schools as a class teacher, SENCO, deputy head teacher and as an acting head teacher. Her area of specialism has always been within schools which have a high incidence of SEN. She has a Masters degree in SEN and has led the IST team since 2011. Diane writes and delivers INSET programmes to mainstream schools, teaching schools and to the University of Cumbria. She is a qualified Strategic Lead in Attachment, supporting pupils who have experienced relational trauma and loss, and is a qualified MiSP (Mindfulness in Schools Project) teacher of Mindfulness for pupils and staff.

Mrs Anne Shepherd joined the team in January 2017. She has class taught across all key stages and has been SENCO in a mainstream school, holding the National Award for SEN Co-ordination. She is highly skilled at supporting colleagues with the SEND process, writing IBP’s and has an extensive knowledge of Interventions. She is a trained THRIVE practitioner, supporting children in emotional development and regulation.

Training and Commissioned Work –     Staff training can be tailored to the needs of your school for staff meetings, half day or full day INSET’s. Following a discussion with SLT in your setting we can deliver:

‘Supporting Challenging Behaviour in the Classroom’ – practical strategies for classroom behavior management.

 ‘Attachment and Emotion Coaching’ training supporting schools in working with pupils with Attachment and emotion regulation difficulties.

Whole Class Circle Time training to promote positive relationships and problem solving within the classroom.

Supporting Pupils with Attachment & Early Trauma gives an understanding  of brain development and strategies to support in school. This is a twilight or half day INSET.

‘Positive Lunchtimes’ supporting lunchtime supervisors with practical strategies and ideas.

‘SEN and IEP Support’.

Training Feedback

Lunchtime Supervisor Training
• Thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the training.
• Excellent-thank you.
• Very useful – thank you.
• Full of new ideas
Head teacher commented that it was perfect for what they had requested. She was pleased there was an Action Plan as an outcome.

Classroom Strategies
• I found the session very useful – it really refreshed me with different techniques I can use in class. Lots of nice ideas I’m going to try out too. Great delivery – felt I could ask questions and not feel silly.
• Lots of useful ideas to manage challenging behaviour. Good range of strategies to use with all children.
• Very relevant & effective techniques to use within the classroom, especially for extreme challenging behaviour. Pace of the delivery very good.

Trainee Teachers – Behaviour Management
• Everything from this training was useful.
• Lots of practical strategies to use in the classroom that can be used in any setting.
• Everybody should have this training.
• Very informative, real life practical advice. Very good.
• This course was thoroughly enjoyable and very interesting.


  • When I speak to Stepping Stones it is like speaking to a lifeline – it’s like “Phone a Friend” (Family Learning Mentor)
  •  I think the service Stepping Stones has provided has had a positive effect on ****. He is enjoying coming to school now and he is better at using his words.(Parent)
  • With the support of Stepping Stones **** has made massive strides forward with his behaviour and social development.  (Parent)
  • Stepping Stones have helped improve communication with parents, helped with strategies and with guidance and confidence. (Class Teacher)
  • “The support from Stepping Stones staff has been excellent from start to finish and I would like to thank everyone involved in our case. They have provided us with a wide a range of specialist support including attending TAC meetings, providing assessment tools, practical help for the teacher and support staff within the classroom and help with providing a coordinated approach between all professionals. Their guidance has led us through a difficult time in school dealing with the challenging behaviour and learning needs of a pupil. Our staff have learned a lot from working with you and as a result, their professional development has been enhanced. Good advice and reassurance has only ever been a phone call away and we have appreciated all the professional support. Many, many thanks!” –(Class Teacher)
  • The advice given was usable and teacher friendly in our mainstream setting. This really was a lifeline for us at the start of the intervention.(SENCO)
  • Although we felt like we had things in place, the plan & regular discussions really helped us focus on the main principles…….& the support and advice really helped us believe that it was possible to make a difference and turn around the behaviour of the child. (Headteacher)
  • Brilliant. Stuart’s visits helped staff feel less anxious. (Class Teacher)
  • Without Stepping Stones, so many children would end up excluded and their life outcomes damaged for good. (SENCO)


Section 4

Behaviour Surgeries Informal evenings once a term where all staff are invited from mainstream schools to visit Stepping Stones, have a look at our resource library, where items can be borrowed and talk to our staff about strategies which they could use in their classrooms. They are very popular and visitors always want to stay longer! It is from 4.00-5.00 on the following dates, please ensure you call us to let us know you are coming, so we can cater for you.


Tuesday 6th November 2018

Tuesday 26th February 2019

Tuesday 14th May 2019