This page tells you about Northumberland schools and what support can be offered for learners with Special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).
Click here for a list of all Northumberland schools
Other specialist schools for learners with SEND in the North East include:
Parkside House School
Northern Counties Hedleys Foundation
Talbot House School
Thornhill Park School
Parents and young people need to contact the Northumberland mediation service before taking their concerns to a SEND Tribunal.
Mediation aims to resolve disputes by involving an impartial third party.
In Northumberland the mediation service is provided by Barnardo’s Disability and Inclusion Support Service (DIAS). You can access this service by speaking to your Local Authority (LA) Officer, contacting the Information Advice and Support Service, or contacting Barnardo’s DAIS Service directly at 20 Bewick Road, Gateshead, NE8 4DP. Telephone 0191 4784667. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Families are required to obtain a certificate either once they have information about mediation or following mediation.
You must have this certificate if you wish to lodge an appeal.
Taking part in the mediation process does not affect your right, subsequently, to appeal to the tribunal.
What is the outcome of the National Trial?
The National Trial commenced from April 2018 to August 2021 testing the extended powers for the SEND Tribunal. The department commissioned an independent evaluation of the National Trial which found broadly positive evidence in support of the Tribunal’s extended powers, which can be seen by clicking here.
Therefore, the Government has confirmed that they are continuing the extended powers of the First-tier Tribunal (SEND), sometimes referred to as the ‘SEND Tribunal’, to make non-binding recommendations about the health and social care aspects of Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans.
Previously, you have only been able to appeal the educational aspects of EHC plans. The continuation of the extended powers given to the SEND Tribunal, maintains your right to request recommendations about the health and social care needs and provision specified in EHC plans, in addition to the educational aspects, when making a SEND appeal. This gives you the opportunity to raise all your concerns about an EHC plan in one place.
It is only possible for the Tribunal to consider the health and/or social care aspects of the EHC plan where you are already making an appeal in relation to the education aspects of the EHC plan and the education aspect must remain live throughout the appeal.
What does this mean for parents and young people?
If you are unhappy with a decision not to issue an EHC plan, or with the special educational content or placement in the plan, you can make an appeal to the SEND Tribunal. You are also able to request recommendations about the health and social care content of the plan at the same time, provided there is also an education element. This will mean the Tribunal will take a more holistic, person-centred view of the needs of the child or young person.
This does not prevent you also complaining about other aspects of your disagreement through other complaint procedures. You should seek advice about the different routes available, including from your local Information Advice and Support Service (IASS).
If the SEND Tribunal makes a recommendation about health or social care elements of an EHC plan, this is non-binding. The local authority and/or health commissioner is generally expected to follow such recommendations, but they are not legally binding. Where they are not followed, the reasons for not following them must be explained and set-out in writing to you and to the Department for Education through the evaluators. If they are not followed, you can complain to the Click here to complain to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) or Click here to complain to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) or seek to have the decision judicially reviewed. Further information on the roles of these bodies can be found on their websites.
When can a parent or young person request recommendations about the health and social care elements of an EHC plan?
You can request the Tribunal makes recommendations about the health and/or social care aspects of EHC plans as part of an appeal relating to:
Transitions, and moving on, can be an exciting and positive time for children and young people, but for others it can be daunting. Some children and young people may need additional support while others are able to move on with the support of their family and professionals they are working with.
When we talk about transitions, we could be thinking about:
Moving from one school or setting to another eg moving from an early years setting into school
Moving between schools, perhaps from primary to secondary
Moving from a school to a college, other post 16 provider or pathway
Moving from children's social care into adults
Moving from children's health services into adults
Leaving school and moving into adulthood
If you or someone in your family is going to be experiencing a transition, it’s best to start to think about this early on. When moving between different educational settings, discuss with your setting what information is important to share with the new setting and how this will be shared. In Northumberland, schools and settings are expected to share information. This might include EHCPs and SEN Support Plans, but also what is working well in supporting your child / young person at the moment.
You may want to think about arranging a visit, either with or without your child to find out more about what to expect. You can ask your school what plans they have to support the transition so that it is as smooth as possible. Some children and young people will need a number of extra visits which can help to reassure everyone that steps will be taken to ensure support is in place before the child or young person starts at the new school. A teaching assistant can sometimes be released to accompany a child to reassure him or her and to pass on relevant tips and information to new staff.
You might also want to talk it through with other professionals who support you and your child such as health and social care professionals who could also offer advice and support.
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