Support for children at school

Mainstream and Academy Schools

Classroom scene

All mainstream and academy schools support children and young people with  special educational needs and disabilities. Each school has a Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO), a teacher who is responsible for Special Educational Needs. Each school also publishes an annual SEN Information Report explaining the support provided to children with SEN. You can find these reports on the school’s website.

Find out more, see:

Special Schools

Special schools cater for students with special educational needs. These may include learning disabilities or physical disabilities. Pupils at a special school have an Education Health and Care Plan.

Additional Resourced Provision

Some mainstream schools receive additional money to provide places for children and young people with specific special educational needs. This provision is known as Additional Resourced Provision (ARP). Places in ARPS are usually for pupils with an Education, Health Care (EHC) Plan. North Tyneside Schools that currently have an ARP are:


Whitley Lodge First School

Grasmere Academy

Whitehouse Primary

Waterville Primary

Valley Gardens Middle

Burnside College

George Stephenson High School

John Spence Community High School

Whitley Bay High School

Norham High School



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Moorbridge Pupil Referral Unit

Moorbridge Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) welcomes pupils in KS3 and KS4 from across the Borough of North Tyneside when they are unable to continue to attend their present school. This may be because they are permanently excluded, at risk of this, struggling to maintain attendance because of anxiety or crisis, be new to the area and have Special Educational Needs.

Hospital and Home Tuition

Home & Hospital Tuition service is a short term intervention for those students who are not able to attend school for medical or mental health reasons. Home & Hospital Tuition aims to support students to stay in a routine, keep up to date with their work and reintegrate back to their mainstream school.


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Specialist Support Services



Educational Psychologists

Educational Psychologists (EPs) are specially trained in assessing children and young people’s educational needs and offering advice on how they can be supported in school. EPs work with individual children, school staff and parents, either individually, in small groups or with whole staff teams. Referrals are usually made by the staff in your child’s school or setting.


Educational Psychology Service
Telephone: (0191) 643 8739 



Language and Communication Team

This team is staffed by specialist teachers and specialist support assistants who provide advice, support and teaching strategies for pupils with specific language and communication needs in a variety of educational settings. These include children with social communication difficulties and autism spectrum disorders.


Language and Communication Team
Telephone: (0191) 466 1814




Sensory Service
The Sensory Service at Service at Beacon Hill provides support to children and young people with a visual and/or hearing loss. This support and advice is available from the point of diagnosis through school until the young person leaves education or reaches the age of 25.


Sensory Service
Telephone: (0191) 643 3030



Dyslexia Team
The Dyslexia Team is staffed by specialist teachers with post graduate qualifications in Dyslexia and Literacy Difficulties. Specialist teachers provide assessment, advice, teaching strategies and targeted resources for pupils in mainstream schools with significant, specific literacy difficulties. The Dyslexia Team provides an advice and consultation service for school staff in special schools and ARPs.  This includes access to the team’s training workshops, informal advice and resources to address difficulties with sound awareness, phonics, reading and spelling.


The Dyslexia Team at the Riverside Centre.

Telephone: (0191) 300 0506.

Independent Special Schools and Colleges

You can find information about approved independent schools and special post-16 institutions in the North East below.

Independent special schools and colleges

This list was developed as part of the Children and Families Act 2014.  It means that some parts of the Act apply to these institutions and colleges.

Settings on the Section 41 list must work with Local Authorities about their arrangements for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities.

Young people and/ or their parents can request that one of the Section 41 colleges be named on their Education Health and Care Plan.  If named, the Local Authority must then secure the place and the setting must admit them.  This means that Section 41 approved settings are treated the same as any maintained special school or Further Educational college. 

It is possible to request a specialist setting that is not Section 41 approved in the plan, however the Local Authority has no duty to secure the place.  The Local Authority only needs to consider your request.

You can also find a full directory of Specialist Colleges on the NATSPEC website.



Making Reasonable Adjustments and Best Endeavours to Support Education- the Graduated Approach

Graduated Response

The Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Code of Practice (2014) defines Special Educational Needs: 

 ‘A child or young person (CYP) has SEN where their learning difficulty or disability calls for special educational provision.  That is provision different from or additional to that normally available to (CYP) of the same age.’

Where a child or young person is identified as having SEN, to enable them to participate, learn and make progress schools and settings should work in partnership to take action to:

• remove barriers to learning

• put effective special educational provision in place.

The vast majority of children and young people will have their needs met within a mainstream environment with little or no adaptation and adjustment. However some children and young people will benefit from provision that is different from or additional to what may be seen as average or typical.

The diagram, in Document Fig 1 below, represents a model of this reasonable adjustment. The progressive stages of increased support overtime and over several cycles of assess, plan, do review.
The four part cycle- Assess, Plan, Do, Review

SEN support should arise from a four- part cycle, known as the graduated approach, through which earlier decisions and actions are revisited, refined and revised, leading to a growing understanding of the CYP’s needs and of what supports the CYP in making good progress and securing good outcomes.

The four stages of the cycle are:

• Assess 

• Plan 

• Do

• Review

In this spiral of support, in document Fig 2 below, the graduated approach draws on more personalised approaches, more frequent review and more specialist expertise in successive cycles in order to tailor interventions to meet the particular needs of children and young people.

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Training opportunities for education workforce

Universal SEND Services is an ambitious programme, funded until 2025 by the Department for Education (DfE) to develop the education workforce so that more children and young people have their needs identified and met effectively, resulting in successful learning in schools and further education (FE) settings, and leading to improved Preparation for Adulthood, including pathways to employment.

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