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Support for parents and schools

The current situation (COVID-19) has raised anxiety levels in some children and young people.

For some children and young people, the changes brought on by the COVID-19 situation has meant that they are reluctant to return to school.

Certain levels of anxiety are normal and a natural part of growing up. Some children and young people may experience levels of anxiety that have an impact on their functioning and school experience.

Try the resources below before making a formal referral.

Information for parents

If your child is reluctant to return to school, speak to the school about your concerns to plan a way forward.

These are some of the strategies you might want to consider and that you can do with your child at home:

  • practice getting outside each day even if it is only for a few minutes
  • if you are taking walks, walk to the school, walk around the school
  • remind your child of the things they enjoyed most about being in school
  • contact the school to see if they will agree to a 'visit' to the school out of normal school hours, this will help your child realise and visualise the protective measures that schools have put into place.
  • normalise your child's concerns, worries or anxieties: encourage them to talk about them, acknowledge their emotions
  • practice the school routine from getting up at the normal time, putting on their uniform, having breakfast, then taking the journey to school. Also reinforce usual bedtime routines.
  • look at the school website together
  • ask the school, if possible, to create a photograph book for example of key staff, classrooms, cloakrooms, playground, toilet area. You can look at the book with your child each day before returning.
  • create an 'All About Me' book for your child to take into school when they return

Information for parents and schools

Educational Psychology

Little Elf Stories, which help children and young people to understand and manage anxiety

Little Elf stories (opens new window)


Schools and settings can access resources to support children with SEND, stored on eGHub. The advice is appropriate for Early Years settings, Primary and Secondary schools. It includes Social Stories to support children prepare for the return to school, and a Transition workbook for pupils moving from Year 6 to Year 7. (opens new window) or on Education Gateshead - High Incidence Needs Team HINT (opens new window)

Primary Behaviour Support Service

Information, including advice on transition and dealing with anxiety issues can be found on

Education Gateshead - High Incidence Needs Team HINT (opens new window)


Anna Freud website (opens new window)


The RISE NE (opens new window) team works with young people in schools across Newcastle and Gateshead. They help support their emotional and mental wellbeing. School is full of positive and negative experiences. School life can be especially difficult when people experience added pressures, whether school related or in their personal life. The Rise team work in many schools and any young people attending one of these schools will be able to access support.

Visit NHS self help (opens new window) for many self-help leaflets for parents.

Virtual Clinics

You do not need an appointment for the virtual clinics.

Health Visitor clinic

Monday to Friday 9.30 to 10am

NHS Gateshead health visiting virtual clinics (opens new window)

Infant feeding clinic

Monday, Wednesday, Friday 12:30 to 1.30pm

NHS Gateshead infant feeding virtual clinic (opens new window)

School Nurse clinic

Wednesday 1 to 2pm

NHS Gateshead school nurse virtual clinic (opens new window)

Emotional Wellbeing drop in clinic

Tuesday and Thursday 2 to 4pm

NHS virtual clinic emotional wellbeing (opens new window)

To ask questions or provide feedback, call virtual clinic on 0300 003 1918 between 8.30am to 5pm.

Email to join the virtual breast feeding café along side the infant feeding clinic. You will be invited to a video conference call with a breast feeding Health Visitor and Early years practitioner at the allotted time. These take place Monday, Wednesday, Friday 12.30 to 1.30pm.