Physical Difficulties Support Service

The Physical Difficulties Support Service (PDSS) provides specialist support to schools/settings and Children and Young Persons  who have –

  • a moderate/significant physical difficulty as their primary need.
  • a medical condition, which affects their physical access to the school day.

The team support schools and settings to remove barriers to pupil’s access, learning, social interaction and developing independence.

The PDSS are qualified teachers with a specialism and expertise in supporting children and young people with physical difficulties.

PDSS advises schools and settings on their compliance with equality and statutory duties. This ensures that children and young people with physical difficulties are not discriminated against or put at a disadvantage.

PDSS promotes disability equality and disability awareness within our educational settings.

If you have any questions regarding the PDSS contact via email one of the coordinators below.

How to refer to PDSS

Download PDSS Referral Form

Referral Form

PDSS Training 2024

For more information about the PDSS training please click on the links below.

To book a place on PDSS training please click here


Course Title  

 Including pupils with Physical Difficulties in Early Years

Thursday 18th April 2024

3.30pm – 5pm

Accessible Schools

PDSS supports schools/settings to assess the educational environment in terms of physical access and supports them to keep children with physical difficulties safe.

PDSS offer essential specialist support and advice around transition and aim for all children and young people to have accessible school placements.

Accessing the Curriculum

  • PDSS offer advice on access to the primary and secondary curriculum. This ensure children and young people with physical difficulties make progress.
  • PDSS recommends resources and equipment to support pupils accessing the curriculum. 

Accessing the Curriculum using ICT

  • PDSS offer advice on alternative recording methods and teaching strategies including the use of ICT hardware and software.

Accessing the Curriculum – Early Years

  • PDSS offer advice on accessing the early years curriculum and environment for early years settings. 

PE and Practical Subjects


  • PDSS support schools so that  children and young people can  be active and participate in all aspects of Physical Education.
  • PDSS Swimming checklist can be downloaded from the Birmingham SENCO Zone.

Practical Lessons

  • PDSS support schools so that children and young people can participate fully in all practical lessons.

Good Sitting

PDSS offer advice on the importance of a good sitting position and how to achieve it for pupils with physical difficulties.









Developing Independence & Preparation for Adulthood

The Preparation for Adulthood guidance can be found here.

PDSS offer advice around

  • the development of self-help and independence in daily life skills.
  • preparation for adulthood.
  • involving children with decision making.

Physical Management Planning

PDSS support schools in writing a Physical Management Plan for pupils with physical difficulties.

Educational Visits

PDSS offer advice around considerations required for the inclusion of pupils with physical difficulties in educational visits.

  • Transport
  • Venues
  • Facilities

Please contact your PDSS teacher for a copy of the Educational visits consideration form.



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PDNet Free Level 1 Training – Raising Awareness of Physical Disability

Who is the training for?

This free online training module is designed for anyone working within an educational setting who needs to develop their awareness and understanding of physical disability and the impact it can have on learning.

What does the training involve?

The Level 1 module is approximately one hour in length and uses custom graphics and scenario-based learning to help users to understand the barriers or challenges that can be faced by children and young people with a physical disability and the steps that can be taken to overcome these.

How do I get started?

Once registered with PDNet, you can work through the training at your own pace and revisit as many times as you need. A downloadable digital certificate is awarded on completion of each module.

Follow this link to register and access the training.


What you need to know about supporting learners with Physical Difficulties in the Further Education Sector

PDNet have been working with The Education and Training Foundation (ETF) and are delighted to share a free interactive on-line resource.

You can register and complete this 15-20 minute on-line resource by clicking on the link below.

If you have any questions about this training please contact at


Free e-learning resource – Pre-term Birth Information for Education Professionals

The e-learning resource was co-designed with teachers, educational psychologists, parents of children born preterm, and young adults who were born preterm themselves and comprises evidence-based information about what preterm birth is, how it may affect children’s development and learning, and what can be done to support them in the classroom.


The e-learning resource can be accessed for free using this weblink:


An accompanying podcast about the e-learning resource and about the educational needs of preterm born children more generally has also been released by the TES. This can be accessed here:


Please email Professor Johnson’s team at if you would like any further information or would like to provide any feedback about the resource.

Useful Websites

General support 



Disability specific 

Changing Faces » Changing Faces Classroom Resources



Wheelchairs Skills