Pupil Access & Support Service  (PA&SS)


PA&SS is part of Norfolk County Council’s Children’s Services department, which includes all educational and social care services for children and young people. PA&SS encompasses all the teams, which exist to support teachers, parents and carers, when focusing on the individual needs of pupils.


Within PA&SS there are 3 strands, although joint working across these strands is a strong feature, as children’s needs cannot be simply categorised.


1. “Assessment and Provision”(A&P) which includes planning of funding for a wide range of children with special educational needs (SEN); the processing of Statements of SEN; and the planning and organisation of special provisions such as special schools and units within mainstream settings.


2. “Educational Psychology and Specialist Support”(EPSS), which includes the team of Educational Psychologists, who have been trained in providing a consultative model of service delivery; a team of learning support specialist teachers and support assistants; and a team of specialist support teachers for those with sensory impairment. It also includes a specialist team focusing on the educational needs of children in public care and this team forms part of a multi-professional team within the wider Children’s Services department.


3. “Attendance and Behaviour Support”(A&BS), which includes the Attendance Team, whose primary focus is working with schools and parents/carers to improve the overall attendance of pupils at school and the Behaviour Team. This behaviour team, which is made up of specialist teachers and support assistants, provides a range of different types of support, from preventative work in mainstream and special schools; to offsite part and full-time provision in Pupil Referral Units, for pupils who have either been excluded from school or are in significant danger of becoming permanently excluded. Many of this team have also been trained in providing a consultative model of service delivery.


Members of both the EPSS and the A&BS teams form the School Support Team, which provides a consultation and intervention service to all mainstream schools and special schools. It works at 3 levels of intervention: general support and advice with a named person visiting on a regular basis, including assessment of individual need; targeted support for specific children or groups of children; and more systemic work, such as provision of training.


Education Department


Pupil Access and Community Services


Education Psychology and Specialist Support




Norfolk County   Project Staff



Helen Carmichael


Helen Carmichael is Attendance and Behaviour Manager, Pupil Access & Support Services, Norfolk County Council Children’s Services.

She is a trained secondary school teacher and a Chartered Educational Psychologist, now working as a strategic manager of support services. She has over 25 years of experience mainly as an educational psychologist, in a range of authorities in England and Scotland, covering both rural and urban areas.


Before moving to Norfolk in 2004, she was manager of Aberdeen City Educational Psychology Service and was instrumental in introducing the consultation model of service delivery there, following a pilot project, which evaluated the efficacy of the approach in supporting schools (MacHardy, Carmichael and Proctor, 1997).