SEND information, advice & support service

SEND information, advice & support service

Here you will find information, advice and support for families with children with special educational needs and disabilities.

SEND information, advice & support service

We offer impartial information, advice and support to families of children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities.

The service is free and confidential. We also support children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities up to the age of 25.

We can help you by:

  • improving your understanding of the special educational needs system
  • listening to your concerns
  • helping you to express your views
  • helping you to prepare for meetings and attending them with you, if required
  • helping you with the paperwork
  • helping explore the options for a child or young person’s education
  • putting you in touch with other support organisations
Click here to find out more from our handy leaflet.

We are a self-referral service. Feel free to contact us:



SEND Guide to services 2017 -18



Download a copy of the Guide to services here

For more information, click on the accordions below.

What are special educational needs (SEN)?
A child or young person has special educational needs if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special provision to be made for them.

The broad areas are:
  • communication and interaction
  • cognition and learning
  • social, emotional and mental health difficulties
  • sensory or physical needs
The SEND code of practice: 0–25 years
The Children and Families Act 2014 introduced significant reforms to the SEND system, set out in the current code of practice. The code of practice states all children and young people are entitled to an education that enables them to:
  • achieve their best
  • become confident individuals living fulfilling lives
  • make a successful transition into adulthood
Local authorities must have regard to:
  • the views, wishes and feelings of the child or young person and the child’s parents
  • the importance of the child or young person, and the child’s parents, participating in decisions
  • providing information and support necessary to enable participation in those decisions
  • the need to support the child or young person, and child’s parents, in the development of the young person
  • helping children and young people achieve the best possible educational and other outcomes, preparing them effectively for adulthood
The Northumberland local offer
Every local authority must publish a local offer, a website that tells you what support the local authority should make available for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

It must include information about education, health and care provision. It should also tell you about training, employment and independent living.
How are children & young people with special educational needs supported in mainstream educational settings?
The local authority is required to provide funding to schools to support pupils with a broad range of special educational needs. Most children’s needs can be met by the school’s resources or through top-up funding from the local authority.

The leaflets below explain the graduated approach for supporting children with special educational needs and about how funding works.  
Education, health & care needs assessments & plans for children with more complex needs
A small number of children with very complex needs require an education, health and care plan, which describes their needs and the provision they should receive.

The documents below explain this in more detail. Support through the education, health and care needs assessment and planning process is available to parents/carers and young people. Trained workers can help you understand the new system and get the most from it. They are independent from the services providing for your child’s education, health and/or social care.

The flyer below gives you more information. 
What to do if you do not agree with decisions about special educational provision for your child
The attached leaflets explain the steps you can take if you’re not happy with the special educational needs provision your child is receiving.
What happens if a child currently has a statement of SEN?
Children and young people who currently have statements of SEN will have to transfer to an education, health and care plan between September 2014 and April 2018.

This leaflet explains in more detail how this process will work:
Glossary of terms relating to special educational needs provision
This leaflet explains what the different terms relating to special educational needs and disabilities mean:
Useful links
In It Together is the parent participation network for Northumberland for parents and carers of children/young people with special educational needs and disabilities. Contact a Family is a national charity providing information, advice and support for families of disabled children. Coram Children’s Legal Centre is the UK’s leading children’s legal charity. They provide free information, advice and representation to children, young people and their families. IPSEA (Independent Parental Special Education Advice) is a registered charity offering free and independent legally-based information, advice and support to help get the right education for children and young people with all kinds of special educational needs and disabilities.
Contact us