We promote inclusion and equality of opportunity to ensure improved outcomes for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities through a variety of specialisms covering:

  • early years
  • assistive technology
  • general learning difficulties
  • specific learning difficulties
  • speech and language difficulties

The purpose of the service is to:

  • Support the council's statutory and core Special Educational Needs (SEN) functions.
  • Provide early assessment and intervention for children and young people identified as having a possible additional need.
  • To work closely with families and in partnership with all other appropriate agencies to ensure integrated service delivery.
  • Provide training, planning, advice and consultancy for schools so that they are enabled to meet the needs of children and young people with SEND.

Key policies

We follow the guidance in the SEND Code of Practice and the policies and the practice outlined within the Children and Families Act 2014.  We also adhere to guidance in the Equality Act and the Durham LA SEN Inclusion Policy.

Staffing and special qualifications/expertise

The team consists of eight full time equivalent teachers.

Staff receive at least five days of training on an annual basis and have specialist qualifications in their specialist field which include:

  • Post graduate certificate in Teaching Pupils with SLD (Dyslexia) AMBDA – Associate
  • Specialist Post graduation diplomas in the field of early years, speech and language, and Dyslexia
  • Post Graduate Certificate in SEN (Assistive Technology)
  • MEd in Speech and Language Difficulties

Information, advice and support

We work in close partnership with a wide range of medical, educational and social care professionals. We have data sharing agreements with these partners to ensure an excellent service.

We seek the views of children, young people and their parents/carers and take on board comments from service users to inform the development of our service.

All training courses offered are evaluated in order to continually improve delivery.

If you are unhappy with the service please contact Liz Mulholland (contact details below) and an investigation will be made into your concerns. If your complaint cannot  be resolved you will be directed to Paul Shadforth, Strategic Manager for SEND and Inclusion, Tel: 03000 261 684.


We are always keen to hear from service users and would encourage you to get in touch with both compliments and concerns.

Who to contact

Contact name
Liz Mulholland
03000 263 333

Where to go

Education Development Centre
Enterprise Way
County Durham
DL16 6YP

Other details

Cost description
Assessment for an individual pupil is £150.
Referral required?
Referral and availability notes

Children and young people attending maintained Nursery, Primary, Secondary schools and Academies which meet the SEND referral criteria, available to schools, can access our service.


Durham County Council's Families Information Service does not promote nor endorse the services advertised on this website. Anyone seeking to use/access such services does so at their own risk and may make all appropriate enquiries about fitness for purpose and suitability to meet their needs.
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