We provide a wide range of services for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) and their families. These include services supporting care, development and education.
In the last few years there have been important changes to how local councils and their partners provide services to children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. These were introduced by the Children and Families Act 2014 and the Council has been implementing them since September 2014 alongside parents, carers and a range of partners.
The changes introduced Education, Health and Care Plans to replace statements of special educational need and the new approach focuses on ensuring coordinated services are planned across different services for education, health and care.
The SEN and Engagement Service is responsible for the statutory (legal) processes for children and young people with SEND. These include Education Health and Care assessments, plans and reviews. The service’s work also includes the transfer of statements of SEN and Learning Difficulty Assessments (LDAs) to Education, Health and Care plans. Our transition plans for this can be found here:
The service is also responsible for placements of children and young people with Education, Health and Care plans and for placing children and young people in the Council’s additionally resourced provisions in schools.
The service works to make sure the Council’s Local Offer is up to date and relevant. It also provides support and challenge to schools, early years settings and further education providers about special educational need and disability.
The service also has responsibility for some of the Council’s short breaks provision for disabled children.
There are two provisions in the team – the Early Support Nursery and OASIS. The early Support Nursery is a specialist nursery for pre school children with complex needs, and OASIS is a short break provision for children and young people with complex needs. You can find out more on Stockton's Local Offer website:
A 'Local Offer' has been developed to enable children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (aged 0 - 25) and their families to access information about all of the services available to them from one place.
For further information read the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Reforms 0-25 booklet and view the following pages about Short Breaks Services and Specialist Educational Provision.
The Educational Psychology Service (EPS) is part of SEN and Engagement Service. Educational Psychologists (EPs)in Stockton provide independent advice to children, young people, parents and setting with the aim of supporting and promoting positive outcomes for all children and young people (0 – 25 years old) living in the borough.
Service delivery is based on a consultation model of psychology that is research and evidenced based, solution focused and can facilitate change. EPs will work with vulnerable children and young people and those who have complex and additional needs. All Educational Psychologists (EPs) apply psychology (the study of thinking, learning and behaviour) and knowledge of child development to help understand how to remove barriers to a child or young person’s development and learning. These barriers may relate to the broad areas of needs within the SEND code of practice i.e. communication and interaction, cognition and learning, social, emotional and mental health difficulties, sensory and/or physical needs. We work closely with other team members in the Schools and SEN directorate as well as schools, health, social care professionals and the multi-agency early help panel. The service we provide is designed to promote the best possible outcomes in terms of learning, social and emotional development and inclusion. To do this we work indirectly and directly with children and young people, offer advice, consultation, assessment, intervention, training and development for professionals and information and guidance for parents.
Using the service
An EP is likely to become involved where a setting has asked for help with a child/young person’s substantial learning or behavioural problems, or where a setting feels there has been no improvement despite support being provided. The service operates both a free service and a traded service (schools/settings purchase an amount of time they believe they need).
The range of our free service includes:
Individual case work for those children and young people undergoing Statutory Assessment initiated by the Local Authority
Individual case work for those children and young people for whom the Local Authority has decided to undertake a statutory reassessment of needs
Individual case work for those children and young people who already have an Education, Health and Care Plan at the request of the Authority. This may also include, staff training, interventions and consultation with specific groups of staff to support the placement of the child or young person
Individual case work for those children and young people identified by the Local Authority as requiring EPS involvement due to complex difficulties where there are significant barriers to learning and inclusion, working with the Continuum of Need and Services and Safeguarding (Child in Need, Child Protection, Looked After Children, attendance at ICPC and Case Conferences, and related involvement and assessment) and/or belonging to vulnerable groups include; those at risk of exclusion, new arrivals, and young carers, with or without a Special Educational Need/Education, Health and Care Plan
Psychological consultation/training focused on narrowing gaps in attainment, improving academic progress, promoting inclusion, transition needs for children and young people placed at Additionally Resourced Provisions (ARPS) and Enhanced Mainstream Schools with or without an Education, Health and Care Plan, and supporting the development of school/academy staff
In addition to the offer above, it is possible for a school/academy/free school, FE setting and PRU to purchase additional and bespoke EPS time. Time bought is based on a setting’s needs and is not determined by the EPS. As such it is their decision if they wish to use their bought EP time to support assessments that are perhaps being undertaken by other agencies, such as CAMHS or Social Care.
A setting must have a partnership agreement with us for this traded service. Partnership agreement time can be used for a variety of work, including promoting psychological wellbeing and inclusion. Our work can be focused on individual children, groups or classes following a consultation model, or at an organisational or systemic level. Examples could be:
Individual case work aimed at improving understanding of a child/young person’s needs and working with others to remove barriers to development and inclusion. This will usually include observing the child/young person, talking to school staff, talking to the young person and talking to the parent/carer. Sometimes individual assessment may be done as an agreed action. The aim is to get a joint understanding of the barriers to a young person’s learning/development and generate solutions with all those involved. The consultation model supports the assess, plan, do review process within the SEND Code of Practice and there should always be a follow up to evaluate strategies
Staff drop ins where many children can be discussed on a no name basis and general strategies offered
Supporting whole school/academy systems and processes to support inclusion and promote emotional wellbeing
Training and project work related to direct involvement with individuals or groups of children and/or young people who display similar difficulties
Parent/carer consultations, either at school/academy/FE setting or during home visits, aimed at developing a shared understanding and enabling full parent/carer involvement
Research into an area of interest to the school that will impact on
Intervention work at the request of school to support capacity building
The EP will negotiate the nature of the feedback from the setting; for some children/young people a record of the consultation will suffice; for others a more comprehensive report will be agreed. There is no requirement for a comprehensive report to be required for requests to One Point Panel; a record of consultation is accepted.
The EPS will respond to requests from any school, academy, PRU, Further Education Setting but there has to be a partnership agreement with us. Before any direct work with children or young people is undertaken, signed parental consent must be obtained. Parents must have seen the completed referral form before they sign so we know they have given informed consent. If the young person is over 16, s/he can give signed consent if they have capacity and understanding to do so. The referral form needs to be sent to the EPS prior to involvement in school to allow the EP to plan. Ideally referrals should be received via the setting’s SENCO so s/he has an overview.
The EPS does not accept direct referrals from parents or young people. We are happy for parents and young people to contact us on 527110 to seek advice and help you consider what to do next.
For further information please contact the Educational Psychology Service.
Telephone: 01642 527110/527817
Key contact: Judith Garbutt Senior Educational Psychologist
Address: 4th Floor, Queensway House, West Precinct, Billingham, Stockton-on-Tees
Local offer age group 0-25
We are a group of parents and carers of children with Special Educational Needs (SEND) and disabled children aged 0-25 who work alongside our local authority, education, health service and other service providers to make sure the services they plan, commission, deliver and monitor meet the needs of children and families. We do this through active parent participation and ensuring parents have a voice.
Our aim is to improve the quality and availability of information to families, to create opportunities for parent and carers to have their say, to ensure families are involved in the decision making process, to influence the development of local services and to ‘work together’ with all sectors.
Contact Stockton Parent Carer Forum
Telephone/Text: 07935 447375
For more information visit: www.stocktonparentcarerforum.co.uk