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Our Local Offer sets out, local, regional and national, special educational information, services and provision available for children and young people who have SEN and/or disabilities.  

For a directory of services and providers please click on the rectangular tabs.

Detailed information on SEND and areas related to SEND can be found by clicking on the associated links below.

Tees Valley Free School

Tees Valley Special Free School: Seeking proposals to establish a Special Free School across Four Tees Valley Local Authorities. To view the revised (June 2019) document, please follow this link. To view the presentation held July 2019 "Bringing together four local authorities to provide the best possible opportunities, support and education for our young people.” please click here.

Keeping Children Safe September 2020

Keeping children safe in education Statutory guidance for schools and colleges here

Inclusive Education

Inclusive Education


Inclusive education happens when children with and without disabilities participate and learn together in the same classes. Research shows that when a child with disabilities attends classes alongside peers who do not have disabilities, good things happen.

For a long time, children with disabilities were educated in separate classes or in separate schools. People got used to the idea that special education meant separate education. But we now know that when children are educated together, positive academic and social outcomes occur for all the children involved.

We also know that simply placing children with and without disabilities together does not produce positive outcomes. Inclusive education occurs when there is ongoing advocacy, planning, support and commitment.

These are the principles that guide quality inclusive education:

  • All children belong.

Inclusive education is based on the simple idea that every child and family is valued equally and deserves the same opportunities and experiences. Inclusive education is about children with disabilities – whether the disability is mild or severe, hidden or obvious – participating in everyday activities, just like they would if their disability were not present. It’s about building friendships, membership and having opportunities just like everyone else.

  • All children learn in different ways.

Inclusion is about providing the help children need to learn and participate in meaningful ways. Sometimes, help from friends or teachers works best. Other times, specially designed materials or technology can help. The key is to give only as much help as needed.

  • It is every child’s right to be included.

Inclusive education is a child’s right, not a privilege. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act clearly states that all children with disabilities should be educated with non-disabled children their own age and have access to the general education curriculum.

SEN Support (Schools)

SEN Support is the first level of additional support provided for pupils with SEND at their educational setting. If there is evidence to show that a pupil with SEND is not making as much progress as they could be, then the setting will put the pupil on the SEN register for early intervention. 

With the right early intervention, children make better progress, the longer-term impacts are minimised and many children can even catch up. Further information explaining SEN support and Stockton-on-Tees Borough Councils One Point referral process can be found in the download area on the right hand side of this page.


All schools must publish information on their website about how they implement their policy for SEN (known as the SEN Information Report). This must include information on ‘policies for identifying children and young people with SEN and assessing their needs.’ (Section 6.79 of the SEND Code of Practice)

Schools should adopt a graduated approach with four stages of action: assess, plan, do and review. This will aim to address a pupil who is struggling compared to their peers by providing them with additional support in school. This could include:

  • involvement of extra staff (teachers and/or teaching assistants)
  • the use of different learning materials or special equipment 
  • a different teaching strategy

A school’s Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) will work alongside a pupil’s teacher to help find ways of supporting and improving the pupil’s learning whilst they’re receiving support on 'SEN Support’. They must also ensure the pupil’s progress is regularly monitored and reviewed.

Stockton on Tees Borough Council have produced a SEN Support in mainstream school guidance document. This guidance aims to make it clear what provision Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council expects to be made available to support children and young people who have Special Educational Needs and / or Disabilities (SEND) in all mainstream schools (including academies), Pupil Referral Units (PRU), early years settings and post-16 educational providers at SEN Support level.

Please note, when this document refers to mainstream schools or schools, this includes academies.

Primary and Secondary Transfers 2019

A Guidance document for parents and professionals regarding primary and secondary transfers for children with Education, Health and Care plans’ is now available. This guide includes when to apply, what happens to your application and the legal responsibilities of the Local Authority’ to access the guidance document click here.

The Graduated Response

The SEND Code of Practice Paragraph 6.44 states that where a pupil is identified as having SEN, schools should take action to remove barriers to learning and put effective special educational provision in place. This SEN support should take the form of a four part cycle through which earlier decisions and actions are revisited, refined and revised with a growing understanding of the pupil’s needs and what supports the pupil in making good progress and securing good outcomes. This is known as The Graduated Response.

In short, every child or young person who has been identified as having SEN should have their needs identified, their desired outcomes agreed and provision made that will enable the child to reach these outcomes. The child’s progress should be reviewed regularly. This is a four step cycle known as assess, plan, do, review or The Graduated Response.

The Graduated Response starts in the classroom. Teachers are continually assessing, planning, implementing and reviewing their approach to teaching all children. However, where a possible special educational need has been identified, this process becomes increasingly personalised and intensive.

The responsibility and accountability for the progress of pupils with SEN lies with the class or subject teacher.


Quality First Teaching

High-quality teaching, differentiated for individual pupils, is the first step in responding to pupils who have or may have SEN. Additional intervention and support cannot compensate for a lack of good quality teaching.” Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice (p99), Department for Education, January 2015.

The need of children/young people for ‘SEN support’ assumes that they are already receiving ‘high quality teaching that is differentiated and personalised [to] meet the individual needs of the majority of children and young people’ (0-25 SEND Code of Practice, section 1.24).

The 0-25 SEND Code of Practice states: ‘Special educational provision is underpinned by high quality teaching and is compromised by anything less.’

Jack joined Swanwick Hall School in Derbyshire three years ago. At first, he struggled with the demands of secondary school and was always in trouble. In this clip Jill, Jack's mother, explains why it is important that class and subject teachers are aware of pupils' additional needs and plan inclusive lessons that take account of those needs. Jill describes the difference that inclusive, high quality teaching has made to Jack's progress and attainment.



Provision Guidance

To meet their needs, children with SEN are entitled to:

  • core provision from the core funding which is for all children in the school (element 1)
  • up to £6,000 worth of extra provision, funded from the school’s notional SEN budget (element 2)
  • extra provision funded by top-up from the local authority’s high needs block.  

Stockton Borough Council’s primary, secondary and early years audit banding provide the funding levels for SEN Top-Up Funding for Stockton children regardless of their area of provision.

The following documents outline the four areas of need as represented in the Code of Practice 2014.

Use of Stockton Provision Guidance

It is always useful to look at Special Educational Needs as a continuum. From mild to moderate to severe and complex special educational needs will all require differing levels of intervention and support to enable a child or young person to succeed and achieve the desired outcome/s. The Stockton provision guidance documents are used to guide professionals to IDENTIFY needs, ASSESS and MEET those needs and evidence the intervention required to support  children at each stage of the Code of Practice.  It allows us to evidence where on that continuum of need an individual is by taking into account their strengths and areas of difficulty.

Provision Guidance for Early Years 0 - 5 

Please note that the guidance documents  below are for Early Years 0 - 5 only.

Please note that if a childminder, who delivers the 30 hours per week entitlement of early education to three and four year olds, identifies a child as having SEN they too can apply for additional support via the One Point Panel.

Childminders who are not delivering the 30 hours per week entitlement yet identify a child as having SEN can access support via Early Years. 

Provision Guidance with SEN Support for Primary & Secondary 

For more detailed information on SEN Funding please click here.  

SEN Support (Local Authority)


Children and young people, identified with SEN, who attend a school or nursery can receive additional support from the Local Authority. Educational settings must apply for this support via the One Point Panel. As part of the One Point Panel application schools and nurseries will band the child or young person according to the grade descriptors within Stockton Borough Council’s provision guidance documents (see links below). This process will enable professionals to identify the child’s prime area of need and therefore determine the level of support required; support could be in the form of funding given directly to the school or nursery, a referral to other services, and/or the support of one of the Local Authority’s Specialist Higher Level Teaching Assistants (HLTA).

Moving between phases of Education

Moving between phases of education can mean a move from Early Years settings into primary school, primary school to secondary school, from one school to another, and from one year group to the next.

Stockton SEND and Inclusion Team help schools to support all children and young people with SEND through periods of transition so as to minimise the anxiety about moving into a new situation. Schools currently offer a range of additional support for children with SEND and their families.

Support might include additional visits to the new school or class, a pupil passport to help the new teacher/s to understand the child’s needs, a ‘buddy group’ of other children to support the child with SEND through the transition, a map and photographs or a video of the new school, etc.

To find out about the support a school provides between phases of education then please contact the school directly.

Should you require any further information on transition then please contact either Stockton Borough Council SEND and Inclusion Team on via email or by telephone on 01642 526173. Alternatively you can contact Paula Allison at SENDIASS 


The Duty to make Reasonable Adjustments for pupils with Additional Needs

The duty to make reasonable adjustments for pupils with additional needs

The Equalities Act 2010 requires schools to make reasonable adjustments for pupils with additional needs so they are not at a substantial disadvantage, and covers the provision by a school of auxiliary aids and services. The object of the duty is to avoid as far as possible by reasonable means, the disadvantage which a pupil experiences because of their additional needs.

In some cases the support a pupil may receive because of their special educational needs may mean that they do not suffer a substantial disadvantage and so there is no need for additional reasonable adjustments to be made for them. In other cases pupils may require reasonable adjustments in addition to the special educational provision they are receiving. There are also disabled pupils who do not have special educational needs but still require reasonable adjustments to be made for them.

For more on accessibility watch this video. It is a short film (just under 9 minutes) about Reasonable Adjustments, presented by children and young people in their own words. 

You can also download the SEND Family Voices leaflet - Reasonable Adjustments - I just want to be like everyone else  

If any of the following apply it is likely that a reasonable adjustment is required to prevent a substantial disadvantage:

  • a child or young person with additional needs would need to expend extra time and effort to participate when compared with a peer without additional needs
  • a child or young person with additional needs would suffer inconvenience, indignity or discomfort if you did not make an adjustment
  • a child or young person with additional needs would lose an opportunity or make diminished progress when compared to peers without additional needs

In law reasonable adjustments are different from expensive projects like installing a lift or building an accessible toilet. Schools still have a duty to do this kind of improvement work in a planned way with support from the local authority but these actions are not reasonable adjustments. Cost is a factor when considering whether or not a suggested adjustment is reasonable or not in law.

You should not expect pupils or their families to suggest adjustments but if they do you should consider whether those adjustments would help to overcome the disadvantage and whether the suggestions are reasonable. It is good practice for schools to work with pupils and their parents in determining what reasonable adjustments can be made.

Read more about reasonable adjustments duty on the Equality and Human Rights website.

Exam and Test Arrangements for pupils with SEND

Reasonable Adjustments - Bitesize Video - This video is from SEND Family Voices and details Reasonable Adjustments Bitesize Tips

Access arrangements, including modified question papers, enable students with special educational needs, disabilities or temporary injuries to take tests, exams and assessments.

Guidance is issued by the Government and examination boards.  The guidance is updated each year, usually in the autumn term.

View the current guidance here:

2019 Key stage 1: assessment and reporting arrangements (ARA) (opens a link on GOV.UK

2019 Key stage 2: assessment and reporting arrangements (ARA)  (opens a link on GOV.UK)

GCSE and A level (opens a link on the AQA website)

Stockton Borough Council-Annual Behaviour Report Spring 2022

National data tells us that one in two pupils who are permanently excluded have mental health difficulties. Children in Care are ten times more likely to be excluded and children who qualify for free school meals are four times more likely to be excluded. These children have had a very challenging start to life: they are angry, resentful and anxious, which puts them in a position where it is extremely difficult to regulate themselves and therefore challenging behaviour occurs. The child’s behaviour is a communication of their feelings and the result of their experiences.

Stockton Local Authority works very closely with all schools in the Borough, to offer advice, support and challenge in relation to the use of exclusion, to try to reduce the level of exclusions and promote alternative strategies and interventions to support pupils’ education.

For further information and statics please see our Annual Behaviour Report Spring 2022


School Exclusion and the Law

For a video on school exclusions and the law please click here. This video, from The Coram Children's Legal Centre sets out clearly what the rules are regarding exclusions and also what a legal or illegal exclusion is.  

The Department for Education (DofE) has issued the following guidance:

Exclusion from maintained schools, academies and pupil referral units in England

The document contains two non-statutory guides summarising key elements of the exclusions process: one for head teachers and the other for parents/carers (Annexes B and C respectively). These guides include coverage of how Special Educational Needs and disabilities might be relevant to a school’s decision-making.

Parent/Carer Guide on Exclusion (Annex C)

Annex C runs from page 56 to 61 of the complete document.  We have separated Annex C for ease of reading:

Annex C

SEND and Exclusion

If your child or young person has SEND, the text relating directly to this begins on page 58 of the Parent/Carer Guide ( Annex C) and mostly covers discrimination.

In July 2017 the government released new exclusions guidance to clarify areas in the previous guidance of 2012.  Recent reports and statistics indicate that children with SEND are much more likely to be excluded than children without SEND.  The law around exclusions can seem complicated and the implications of going along with informal (illegal) exclusions affect children’s and young people’s rights. 

SEND Family Voices has produced a booklet to help you understand your rights and the law.

SCHOOL EXCLUSIONS AND SEND Young people’s rights and the laws that protect them (opens in a new window as a pdf)

Local information for Stockton can be found here.



Apprenticeships are structured programmes that teach you the skills you need to perform well in your job. They allow you to learn practical skills in your workplace, build up valuable knowledge and skills, gain qualifications and earn money at the same time.

As an employee, you will be based in a workplace the majority of the time, as most of the training takes place on the job. You will usually attend off-the-job training once a week and you could be working towards a qualification, such as National Vocational Qualification (NVQ), other nationally recognised qualifications or a certificate of achievement.

How much can I earn?

National Apprenticeship Minimum Wage (NAMW) is currently £3.50 per hour. The National Apprenticeship Minimum Wage applies to those aged 16 to 18, or 19 or above on their first year of the apprenticeship. For those who are 19 or above, after the first year, the National Minimum Wage will apply.

There is no maximum wage, apprentices can earn as much as the employer is willing to pay.

How long do apprenticeships last?

All apprenticeships must last a minimum of 12 months, but some can take up to four years to complete.

The length of an apprenticeship varies depending on skill level of the apprentice, the qualification being obtained and the industry sector of the apprenticeship.

 What apprenticeships are available to me?

There are over 200 different types of apprenticeships available in a wide range of sectors: 

•          Business, administration and law

•          Health, public services and social care

•          Education and training

•          Information, communication and technology (ICT)

•          Construction, planning and the built environment

•          Arts, media and publishing

•          Leisure, travel and tourism

•          Hospitality and catering

•          Retail and commercial enterprise

•          Agriculture, horticulture and animal care

•          Engineering and manufacturing technologies

There are endless career opportunities under each sector.

I have an Education Health and Care Plan, what support will I receive during the apprenticeship?

Young people can retain their Education Health and Care plan whilst on an apprenticeship. Apprenticeships are funded by the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) who are committed to making sure that everyone has the opportunity to do an apprenticeship, including those with learning difficulties or disabilities. This means making sure the right level of support is available to remove barriers to education and training so that learners can make the most of their potential. Learning support funding will also provide funding for you to meet the costs of reasonable adjustments to help you do the job.

Higher and Degree Apprenticeships

For young people who want to learn at a higher level Higher and Degree Apprenticeships are available at levels 4 – 7.  These programmes combine work and off-the-job learning which can lead to foundation degree, standard degree or professional qualifications in your chosen career.




The aim of traineeships is to help young people gain the skills and experience they need to go on to an apprenticeship or job as quickly as possible.

Traineeships are available to young people up to age 24 (25 for young people with Education Health and Care Plan) who are not currently in a job and have little work experience, but want to get into work. Specifically traineeships may be suitable for

•          Those aged 16-18 and qualified below Level 3

•          Those aged 19-24 and have not yet achieved their first full Level 2 qualification (a GCSE or something else at that level)

•          16 - 24 year olds who have a reasonable chance of being ready for employment or an apprenticeship within six months of starting a traineeship

Traineeships include work preparation training, English and or maths and a high quality work placement. Traineeships last a minimum of six weeks and maximum of six months. They must include a work placement which lasts at least six weeks and no more than five months.

Supported Internships

Supported Internships

Supported internships are aimed at young people who want to move into employment but need extra support to do so. Specifically, they are aimed at those aged 16 to 24 who have a statement of special educational needs, a Learning Disability Assessment, or an Education, Health and Care plan.

Supported internships normally last for a year and include unpaid work placements of at least six months – the exact duration of the programme will depend on students’ needs, abilities and ambitions

Students on supported internships will be based mainly at an employer’s premises with some time spent in college or with a training provider.

Find out more:

Project Choice

New: Students video available click: here 

Project Choice - a work experience pathway for students with Learning disabilities or ASD

Project Choice is an unpaid supported internship programme for young people between 16 and 24 with learning disabilities, difficulties or autism (LDDA). NHS Health Education England, support NHS Trusts to deliver the programme nationally. The focus is ‘work readiness’ and matching skills to employment through vocational profiling. Interns will also be supported to develop socially and increase their self-confidence. Ultimately the Project will help interns to understand the pathway into employment and achieve their own goals and aspirations.

The project team ensure there are placements across the host Trust and within select external organisations looking specifically at entry-level jobs to make sure the right learner is allocated to the right role based on their interest and skill set.  The interns are supported throughout their placements by the Project Team, work based mentors and work colleagues. The Project Team do have a pool of Job Coaches that can be used if increased support is needed.  

In addition, the programme offers training to staff to become work-based mentors, working alongside and supporting learners. Over 200 staff have been trained to support LDDA, developing unique teaching techniques and skills, which can be transferred across the organisations.

The young learners spend a year within their internships with 3 placements which each span 10-12 weeks for up to four days a week and are flexible around location and work hours - depending on need and job roles.  In addition, interns spend one day studying Maths, English and Employability. In their placement they are embedded in the team. Placements are  tailored to meet individual needs and have included a wide range of roles e.g. administration, portering, retail, clinical work, catering and animal care. The Project Choice team uses this time to look at any barriers and potential areas of development. Throughout, the learners are gradually assessed on how ready for employment they are.

The scheme also incorporates a work experience element (Stage 1). This gives students an opportunity to develop skills for the workplace and ensures young people with LDDA understand the importance of matching their skill sets to work while still in education.

Supported Internship Outcomes

Outcomes for Stockton learners who completed supported internships in the 2017/18 academic year as at the 4th January 2019.

Total Number of Stockton learners completing course Number who gained 15+ hours paid work per week Number who gained less than 15 hours paid work per week Number who went onto an apprenticeship Number who are doing voluntary work Number not employed or in training Number gone onto Vocational study programme
9 3 0 0 4 0 2

For Further information please contact Stephanie Walker on 07866757262 or



Enhanced Mainstream Schools

In September 2017 Stockton Borough Council launched new Enhanced Mainstream Schools (EMS) so that children and young people will have their needs met within their schools meaning they receive the additional support they need to succeed. 

More information on Stockton's Enhanced Mainstream Schools can be found by clicking on the first 'Download' link, Enhanced Mainstream Schools Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, on the top right hand side of the page. 


Other Educational Services

Advice and support is available from external specialists to tailor approaches for support for individual SEND needs.


Children can receive support from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).  CAMHS is used as a term for all services that work with children and young people who have difficulties with their emotional or behavioural wellbeing. Parents, carers and young people can receive direct support through CAMHS. To access CAMHS you may find it helpful, in the first instance, to speak to: your GP; someone you trust at school, for example a teacher, SENCO, school nurse or Pastoral Lead; a health visitor; children’s centres in your area.

Also, most CAHMS have their own website, which will have information about access, referrals and more, including phone numbers, so you can get in touch directly for detailed advice.

Portage is a home-visiting educational service for pre-school children with SEND and their families. Access to Portage services is via a referral from GPs, Social Workers, Health Visitors and Paediatricians. 

Portage aims to:

  • work with families to help them develop a quality of life and experience, for themselves and their young children, in which they can learn together, play together, participate and be included in their community in their own right.
  • play a part in minimising the disabling barriers that confront young children and their families.
  • support the national and local development of inclusive services for children.

Further information on Portage, including contact details can be found here.

NICE is a unique charity which believes that every person with a movement disorder has both the potential and the right to specialised services which recognise their needs, desires and wishes.

NICE has two distinct strands to their mission:

The first one is to provide a range of flexible services, through the delivery of Conductive Education, for children and adults with movement disorders and their families. These services cross the whole age-range and are tailored to suit the needs and requirements of the families we work with.

NICE's main activity is the provision of direct services for children and adults. This may take the form of joint sessions with the young child and their parent/guardian; weekly sessions alongside other provision; part or full time primary school placements or weekly, fortnightly and monthly sessions for adults. Each service is designed to meet the needs of the family and is discussed and agreed with all parties prior to commencement.

Alongside direct services NICE also recognises the importance of practical support for the whole family. NICE achieves this through parent workshops, diagnosis specific carers groups and an open-house policy where family members can observe sessions and learn directly from the conductors.

Further information on NICE, including contact details can be found here.

For a more extensive list of SEND educational services please click on the 'Additional Support' tab above.

Ofsted/CQC Inspections

Ofsted/CQC Inspections

The Department for Education (DfE) has asked Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission to inspect all local areas in England over a 5 year period (from May 2016). The purpose of these inspections are to ensure that the arrangements that are being made to identify and support children and young people with SEN and disability are effective. You can find out more about the background to these inspections by accessing the DfE guidance called 'Local Area SEND Inspections: Guidance for Families', which can be found under the external links on the right hand side of this page.

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