Support for children at SEN Support
Support your child's nursery, school or college should provide if your child is at SEN Support
All schools in Gateshead (including voluntary aided schools) have an amount of money, called a 'notional SEN budget', which they must use to enable them to identify, assess and provide support for children that have SEN or a disability. Colleges and sixth forms also have an amount of money within their budget to spend on students with Learning Difficulties and Disabilities.
Schools and colleges are free to spend their SEN budget in the manner they consider most effective to meet the needs of children and young people. The budget does not need to be spent on individual pupils/students; for example, they could use it to buy specialist resources and equipment, employ additional teaching support, provide support services or arrange specialist staff training that would benefit a range of children. The school/college should keep you informed about any extra support your child is receiving and this should be reviewed regularly to ensure your child is making the right level of progress and to adjust the level of support provided if necessary.
The SEND Code of Practice states that schools and colleges need to make information available about how they use their funding to meet the educational needs of all children and young people with SEN. This should include the kind of support available and how it is accessed, any staff that can provide support (internal and external), how progress and support is reviewed, how parents/carers, children and young people should be involved and kept informed, how teaching will be adapted to meet the needs of the child/young person and what transitional support is provided when moving to a different establishment e.g. from primary to secondary school. This is called their Local Offer and you can request this information directly from the school/college or view it online on their website.
What you can do if your child isn't getting the right educational support
If you feel your child's educational needs are not being met adequately, you should firstly speak to your child's teacher. If you remain concerned, a good person to speak to is a Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO), whose responsibility it is to ensure a child's needs are met in nurseries and schools. You can find out who the SENCO is by asking the nursery/school/academy direct. In a college you should speak to a tutor to discuss any concerns. If a resolution is not reached, you should follow the nursery/school/academy/college's complaints procedure.
Gateshead Barnardos SEND Information and Advice Service is commissioned by the Council to independently support parents and carers of children and young people with SEN or learning difficulties or disabilities that make it harder for them to learn than most children of the same age. They can help you to work with schools to get the right level of support at school to enable your child to fulfil their potential.
Phone: 0191 478 4667 or email DIASS@barnardos.org.uk
The support your child should receive from Health services
If your child has health or medical needs, you should speak to your GP in the first instance, who will assess your child's needs and refer or signpost you to the right health service for appropriate support/treatment. If your child is under 5 years, a Health Visitor can also provide advice, information and support and signpost you to appropriate health services and organisations. School nurses are also a good point of contact; their role is to improve and oversee children's health in school - they can provide care and support for children with disabilities or complex emotional needs and can also signpost children to relevant health services. Your child's teacher or a school SENCO may also identify needs and refer your child to health services such as a speech therapist, physiotherapist or occupational therapist. Health or medical needs could include problems with speech, language or communication, sensory problems; for example sight or hearing, mobility issues, specific conditions and mental health and emotional issues like self-esteem, anxiety, depression and stress.
Information about health services in Gateshead:
What happens if a young person at SEN Support is detained in youth custody
Further information, advice and support
Gateshead's Family Information Directory has a Local Offer section holds information about the advice, support and services available for parents with children with SEN or disabilities in Gateshead.
A variety of inclusive and accessible activities are available for children, young people and families at Gateshead Children's Centres.
The Council for Disabled Children have published an easy-read factsheet for parents explaining the SEND reforms and a series of fact sheets, films and posters are designed to help children and young people understand some of the key themes of the new reforms including EHC plans, Post-16 support, the Local Offer and making decisions.
The RISE team works with young people in schools across Newcastle and Gateshead to help support their emotional and mental wellbeing. School is full of positive and negative experience and life can be especially difficult when people experience added pressures, whether school related or in their personal life.
RISE have recently launched a new website that explains more about the service, whilst also signposting to other services in our local areas. There are also self-help apps and other useful resources to help with your wellbeing.
Children aged 0-17 classed as a 'Child in Need' under Section 17 of the Children's Act 1989 are eligible to receive social care support and children and young people with a substantial, long-term disability may also qualify for social care support.
For more information visit our Children's Social Care pages and our social care support for children with disabilities page
Gateshead Council's Early Help Service is a team of family support workers providing emotional and practical help to support eligible families who may be experiencing difficulties with coping with managing household budgets, family relationships, parenting or home conditions. They also offer free parenting courses to help parents and carers build effective relationships with children of all ages and with a variety of needs.
For more information phone 0191 433 3319 or 0191 433 5019 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Gateshead's Autism Information Hub provides books, resources and a signposting service to people with autism and their families. You do not need a diagnosis to access the Autism Information Hub.