Social, Emotional and Mental Health Services (SEND Support and Inclusion Teams)

We are part of the council’s UnlinkSEND Support and Inclusion provision.

Our services are made up of four teams:

Behaviour Intervention Team (BIT)/Early Intervention Programme

Our Early Intervention programme provides an individually tailored package to schools to support the needs of pupils who are at risk of developing social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. We provide training for staff and support at a whole school level to assess need and identify areas for development.

Crisis Support Team

We offer a range of high quality intervention, tailored specifically to meet the needs of pupils who are at risk of permanent exclusion, despite the school having provided a broad range of early intervention to support their needs.

Durham Schools’ Counselling Service

We provide specialist counselling support to pupils attending the contracting school, or cluster of schools. Support provided can be delivered flexibly and is an integrated part of the school provision.

Emotional Wellbeing and Effective Learning Team

We work with school staff to support vulnerable children to develop positive learning behaviours and achieve their potential; to identify the barriers to learning that can result in inconsistent progress and underachievement; to develop the emotional health and psychological wellbeing of pupils; and to understand behaviour within the context of underlying social, emotional and mental health needs.

We can offer a range of support and interventions to schools and settings in the area of anti bullying, including peer mediation, buddy training and whole school Restorative Approaches. These approaches are all quality assured, based on current research and are consistently well evaluated as yielding positive results for children and young people.

About our teams

Our experienced and multi-professional teams include:

  • educational psychologists
  • advisory teachers
  • counsellors
  • specialist support staff

All members of the team receive regular supervision and training; and work flexibly in line with the identified need of the young person or school.

Roles of the teams

The role of our teams is to:

  • improve the wellbeing, achievement and resilience of socially and emotionally vulnerable young people.
  • to reduce the risk of exclusion and to promote behaviour that supports young people to thrive and achieve their potential.
  • to develop the capacity of schools to effectively meet the needs of all their learners with social, emotional and mental health needs.
  • to support the council in fulfilling its statutory and core SEND functions.

The team do this through providing:

  • individual pupil assessment and staff consultation.
  • individual, small group and whole class direct intervention and support.
  • evidence based training programmes for school based staff.
  • development work with schools around specific areas of interest or need.
  • support in relation to the council SEND processes.

Any agreed involvement is informed by the assessed needs of the young person or school context. Where there is a young person focus, informed consent is required. Ensuring that young people have a voice and influence over matters that concern them, and that parents are fully informed and involved in appropriate ways, is a core principle underpinning how we work. All involvement and intervention are carefully evaluated over time, and this is used to support the development of evidence based practice within the school context.

Access criteria and funding

We work with young people attending Durham schools where there are social, emotional or mental health concerns, or where challenging behaviour has become a concern. Where young people living in County Durham are attending a non-Durham school, these settings can also access involvement from our teams. We are also able to work with a range of other local organisations and settings where there is an interest or concern relating to this area of need, for example One Point, Health Teams etc.

The funding for the teams comes from three sources:

  • School service level agreements.
  • Clinical Commission and Public Health contracts.
  • Direct Schools Grant funding.

Funding arrangements mean that some support is offered free at the point of contact, but most is either subsidised or in a small number of areas fully charged to the service user. Schools can use both their notional SEN budgets and their pupil premium money to access involvement from the teams. Service delivery options are available to ensure that smaller schools are not disadvantaged in accessing support where this is required.

Professional Practice Frameworks and Quality Assurance

Members of the team are held accountable to a number of professional bodies depending on their role.

These include:

  • Health and Care Professional Council (HCPC) for the educational psychologists
  • the National College of Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) and the Secretary of State for Education for the teachers
  • the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) for the counsellors

All members of the team access regular supervision and professional development. We welcome feedback from service users, and routinely evaluate work with a view to both ensuring accountability and the opportunity to develop the best service possible. Any compliments or complaints should in the first instance be directed to Peter Mulholland, Senior Educational Psychologist.

Who to contact

Contact name
Peter Mulholland
Contact position
Senior Educational Psychologist and Team Manager
03000 263 333

Where to go

Education Development Centre
Enterprise Way
County Durham
DL16 6YP

Other details

Referral required?
Referral and availability notes

Referral is ideally done through schools, but other stakeholders can contact us where they have an interest or concern.

Initial consultation and support to clarify need is always free to schools, as is advice and support following critical incidents. A wide range of support is available on a subsidised basis. Costed options can be provided following consultation, at which point any further involvement or support is at the discretion of the person who has contacted us.

Related links
How different needs are supported in school - leaflets for parents and carers

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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