Therapy Nursing & Specialist Provision



The physiotherapists work in several ways:

  • advising class staff and parents on throughout-the-day management
  • seeing children for individual treatment and group sessions
  • are responsible for MOVE and conductive education sessions
  • advising parents/carers and staff on specialised equipment eg walkers, standing frames etc.
  • contributing to the formulation of the Personal Learning Programmes and Education, Health and Care Plans.
  • individual hydrotherapy programmes
  • organising orthotic and wheelchair clinics held at school

To contact the physio therapists - 020 8368 5336 then choose option 5.

Occupational Therapy

The OT works at Oakleigh and Acorn to support children to achieve their EHCP outcomes. In addition to the allocation, Oakleigh employs their own OT who does specialised OT support as directed for individual children. Teachers can refer a child to the OT for an assessment.

The OT works in several ways:

  • Developing OT programmes which may focus on enhancing children’s independence in everyday living activities such as self-care or eating or managing sensory preferences.
  • Regular specialist OT upper limb hand splinting clinics to provide interventions for hand contractures and needs.
  • Advising on postural positioning for functional tasks
  • Recommending specialist seating for the classroom environment.

The OT can be contacted on 020 8368 5336 then choose option 5. They will get back to you if they are not available.

Speech and Language Therapy and Communication (SALT)

Speech, language and communication learning take place across the whole curriculum, and it is therefore an integral part of all classroom activities, as it is part of life at home. The Therapists therefore spend some of their time advising class staff, modelling sessions, providing resources and recommending appropriate strategies, as well as working directly with children.

A 'total communication' approach is used at Oakleigh. This means that vocalisations, eye gaze, Makaton signs, spoken words and use of augmentative communication systems are modelled and accepted as forms of communication. Evidence shows that such methods support rather than hinder a child’s language development and give children a chance of communicating when they might otherwise not be able to. Alternatives might include Makaton signing, symbols, electronic communication aids, photographs and objects of reference. PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) and communication books are used widely throughout the school where appropriate. Ensuring all children have a communication system is a key aim for Oakleigh School.

The Therapists also:

  • assess children, directly and by observation
  • plan and develop programmes in conjunction with parents / carers and school staff
  • meet with Teachers termly to support to the planning of communication targets
  • see children in small groups within class and individually, when appropriate
  • continually monitor and assess that a child’s communication system is appropriate
  • refer for further assessment for high-tech AAC including eye gaze
  • assess, monitor and provide advice for eating, drinking, swallowing where there is a medical difficulty, such as a dysphagia

An additional project has been added to the Speech and language Therapy Package at Oakleigh since September 2017, this is funded privately by the school. The EYE-GAZE PROJECT, this involves an independent Speech and language Therapist visiting Oakleigh school every week on Thursday mornings to spend additional time: assessing / advising /providing eye-gaze opportunities ,for children who may benefit from accessing Eye-gaze technology for cause and effect/ developing visual skills/ communicating via eye-gaze technology.

The speech and language therapists can be contacted on 020 8361 1993. They are currently in school from Tuesday to Friday.

Arts Therapies - Drama/Movement Therapy and Music Therapy

We have three days a week of Drama/Movement Therapy and two days a week of Music Therapy in Oakleigh School and Acorn. Both arts therapists are registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and are full members of their professional bodies (BADTH / BAMT).

The arts therapies are used to help children express themselves, to explore communicating in a different way. Drama, movement and music are used as languages for interaction between the child and the therapist. These can be powerful mediums when making connections with children who have physical, learning or emotional difficulties.

The therapeutic relationship is crucial. As this develops, the therapist will discover more about the child’s strengths and needs, using creative tools to extend their experiences and to try to bring about growth and change. The arts therapies can provide an undisturbed and confidential space where feelings can be listened to, witnessed, accepted and acknowledged in an appropriate way. This can create an experience of being understood and valued, at any level of communicative ability.

The therapists provide individual, group and family therapy sessions. This can be short or long term, depending on the need which is referred by the school staff. If parents/carers wish to take their children to private therapy, we can incorporate this into an individual’s timetable.

The Arts Therapists can be contacted on 020 8368 5336 then choose option 5. They will get back to you if they are not available.

Sophie our Music Therapist is here on Monday & Tuesday and Jessica our Drama/Movement Therapist is here Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

School Nurse

We have a Learning Disability nurse who works in the school full time; she is supported by a team of 2 healthcare assistants who are employed by NHS Barnet.

Her role is to provide medical support to the children at Oakleigh School. The School Nurse manages and creates all Healthcare plans. Some Child Development Clinics take place within the school and parents/carers are informed about this.

Specialist Inclusion Services Team

This service is run by Cambridge Education in conjunction with Barnet Council.

The team are based at North London Business Park, Oakleigh Road South, New Southgate N11 1NP and can be contacted by e-mail at

Teachers from the Service come into school to see children with visual or hearing impairment, and advise school staff appropriately.