Therapists and Outside Agencies

To get the most from their education, our students need to be secure and comfortable. Once they are, they can concentrate and enjoy what they are doing. Much of our work is to make sure that underlying issues – such as posture, seating, mobility, communication and confidence – are addressed.
We focus on removing barriers to learning, seen or unseen. This creates a ‘level playing field’ that gives our young people the best possible chance to enjoy themselves, have fun, become more confident and independent, as well as learning new skills.


Gemma our full time School Nurse is a qualified Specialist Community Public Health Nurse (School Nursing). She is a Special School Community Nurse, and a member of the Children’s Community Nursing Team. She is based at school to ensure all the students’ medical needs are addressed through close liaison with parents/carers, school staff and all other professionals.

Hello from Gemma (Video)

Speech and Language Therapy in Special Schools

The SaLT team at Fordwater comprises of 2 Speech and Language Therapists, Lisa Walker and Amy Watson and a Speech and Language Therapy Assistant, Julia Witcomb. We work with school staff and parents to support pupils to develop their communication skills to the best of their abilities. The SaLT team supports the use of spoken language, signing, symbols and communication aids through training, modelling, joint target setting and direct work. 
The SaLT team also supports pupils with eating and drinking difficulties. 

Special School Speech and Language Leaflet West Sussex (.pdf file)

The Therapies in Schools (TIS) service is a new service which brings added Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy into the local authority maintained special schools in West Sussex. The vision for TIS is to enable schools, families and therapists to work in partnership to deliver life learning outcomes that blend the child's educational aspirations with their therapeutic needs. TIS provides direct therapy to children alongside training and support to the whole educational school staff.


The school is supported by a team of physiotherapists responsible for putting in place physiotherapy programmes to address a student’s needs. They work closely with families and each class team, who deliver the physiotherapy programme as required. Wheelchair services and an Orthotist also offer support when required.

Multi-agency Support

For those students who need additional support ‘Team around the Child’ meetings are held, bringing together all professionals to ensure the young person and their family receive all the necessary support.

Visiting Professionals

Students can be supported by professionals such as Educational Psychologists and by advisory teachers for the visual and hearing impaired.