The Assistive Technology for Education Support Team (ATfEST)

Assistive technology for education

Accessing our support

Educational settings should make reasonable adjustments to enable curriculum access to all children and young people. But, some may need access to equipment/resources not typically available within their or similar educational settings. At which point a referral can be made to ATfEST as outlined in the ATfEST guidelines linked below.

Early years settings, local authority schools and academies can access ATfEST about any child or young person where they have concerns.

Independent educational settings can access ATfEST where a child or young person has an EHCP issued by Leicestershire County Council.

Specialised augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) Services in England

NHS Speech and Language Therapists can access ATfEST for Alternative Augmentative Communication (AAC), where a child or young person does not meet the NHS Electronic Assistive Technology Service (EATS) eligibility criteria.

How we work

ATfEST offers a range of services, specialist assessment and support. As part of this we may:

  • Gather information from other professionals involved with the child or young person.
  • Spend time in educational settings carrying out assessments and activities with the child or young person.
  • Investigate the child or young person’s views and feelings and encourage a positive attitude towards assistive technology.
  • Provide guidance and training, maintenance, and a repair service for a wide range of assistive technology.
  • Provide assistive technology not typically available in educational settings.
  • Listen to the concerns of parents/carers, educational setting staff and other professionals.
  • Provide written advice or recommendations to parents/carers, educational settings and other professionals.
  • Provide educational materials to help the child or young person with their learning.

Working with others

It is important for us to hear the voice of the child or young person, who we are supporting and their parents/carers, as well as all other relevant professionals who may be involved. Typically, we capture this information at the point of referral.

By encouraging open discussions between all parties involved, ATfEST’s main objective is to achieve the best possible outcome for the child or young person.

We offer training to schools, children and young people in the use of assistive technology and available for use.


The laptop has been an absolutely vital piece of equipment to X during her A–levels.  All of the subjects X enjoys and chose to study are literacy based with long essays.  It would have been completely unachievable for her to have written them by hand.  She loves the flexibility of being able to switch between typing and using Dragon, generally typing in class and dragon in her home environment.  It has been wonderful to have the support of this equipment over the last 4 years and X’s achievements are a credit to this service you have given her.  We are incredibly grateful.