We have gathered together some videos for you to help explain a bit more about people you may meet, teams or services that you might get involved with. 

If you would like to get involved or have any suggestions of things you would like us to cover please let us know by emailing


Middlesbrough SEND Strategy 2021 - 2024

We gathered together parents and carers and young people to talk about the improvements that have been made within Middlesbrough. Watch the video to find out what they had to say.


Middlesbrough Council SEND Strategy 2021 – 2024

Sue Butcher, Executive Director of Childrens Services - “To help everyone be the best they can be, and it is that Middlesbrough Children Matter. Quite simply, Middlesbrough Children Matter. The vision really for children with SEND, is that we support them, help them, for the families to support them and help their children be the best they can possibly be. Things are joined up more. Its not a little bit of a service here and a little bit of the service there”


To support development across the Local Area, the key priorities within Middlesbrough are

1. To further improve joint priorities across health, education and social care.

2. To improve the process in Preparation for Adulthood

3. To have a trained and competent workforce

4. To develop strategic leadership across Education, health and social care.

5. To ensure greater involvement of children, young people and families in co-production and their voices heard.

6. To ensure greater analysis of information around local education provision, and drive improvement in provision through the use of data and improve recording of outcomes.


Michelle Hughes – Vice Chair of Parents 4 Change “There’s a lot of changes that have gone on over the years, for the better, going on in the background. Going to meetings and showing that our families feedback on the difficulties they are having and are from the families point of view, rather than not getting listened to. A few years ago when we had no input from Health, to now working with the Designated Healthcare worker, just proves as a parent-carer forum, how far we have come.”

Kath Allison – Chair of Parents 4 Change, “We were heavily involved with the neurodevelopment pathway, with the DCO and Clinical Lead. We’ve seen a lot of changes, they are all working together as one. The three, education, health and social care are all combined into one now.”

Roxanne Majid – Member of Parents 4 Change “ Through the support from Parents 4 Change, it helped me a great daeal. And that’s why I’m wanting it for other young people and families because there is a lot of people who don’t know, who like myself in the past, there are a lot of benefits.

Parent  - “From when I came in, Darcey has never approached anyone, but on that day, she went up, touched Natalie, leaned against her and engaged in somebody else, where its normally just me and mum. And on the start of transition it was, mum struggling to get Darcey to school nine till ten. Where the school agreed with Lucy and her bosses we can do transition where its like 9am to 11am, then we built it up to 9am to 12pm, then 9am to 1pm, and now she’s in full days, which is fantastic to us. The massive plus to us is Charlotte as her key worker. Charlotte understands every single need that we think benefits Darcey development as a child in this environment.

Parent “You felt, very much like, a stakeholder in Sams learning and for that I was absolutely over the moon. Its far more than what I expected. I found them very helpful at being the middle point between me and other services. I didn’t know who to ring, who to contact, but the appropriate professionals do, and I found a massive weight was lifted when they got involved.

Parents – “I just think it outlines everything that we would do as parents at home, but for him at school”

Young Person – “I know its hard for any young person to want the support, and for me I don’t really need that much, I can do things on my own, but when I’m struggling, I can just ask them for help. And for me, that makes me feel good in a way because I know what I have achieved”

Young Person “They took my needs into consideration, and they have helped me by supporting that in the placement and things like that. And I feel like I am more included in my placement for who I am.

Parent “If you are like on the SEN Spectrum, in some way or another, don’t give up hope, by positive and I promise you everything will come together.

SEN Support and EHCP's

Meet David Ball, Head of SEND Assessment Team (0-25 years).


SEN Support is the category of support for those youngsters who need a little more support than the majority of pupils in mainstream. So, if they need a little bit more time to complete work or they may need a little bit more time from an adult working with them in a classroom. An Education health and care plan or E H C P is a statutory document which we can create for some youngsters with the more complex special needs, who may need a lot of additional support in a mainstream setting or may perhaps need a specialist school placement. My team are responsible for conducting the education, health and care assessments which can lead to an E H C P being produced. We also support mainstream settings in terms of advising them on how to meet needs at the SEN Support stage and also how to access additional support for those youngsters. At the end of an education, health and care plan assessment, we decide whether or not a youngster needs an E H C P and we also deal with their placement if we feel that they need a placement in a non-mainstream setting.

What Does a SEND Case Officer Do?

Many of you will have been supported by one a SEND Case Officer, or maybe you are considering requesting an EHC assessment and will get to meet a Case Officer from our SEND Assessment team. Find out what is involved in their everyday work.


My job entails coordinating the E H C assessments for children from 0 years up to 25 years. We meet with parents, professionals, families and young people or children who are going through the assessment to gather their views. We’ll talk to them through the summary assessment meeting, over the telephone, there’s a form that they can fill in to gather their views. For those children that are a lot younger, we encourage settings to provide us with pictures of photographs of the children doing things that they enjoy. We are open to gathering views however the children can record them. A SAM is a summary assessment meeting. It’s the last little bit of the jigsaw when we have done an E H C assessment, so by the point of the SAM, we’ll have gathered all the advice from professionals working with that child. It’s our chance as Officers to meet parents and carers of the children who have been through assessment. We go through a series of really informal questions. The final bit of the SAM we set some outcomes for the child or young person. So these are targets such as developing their communication, developing their independence, or developing their literacy and numeracy skills. Once panel have decided to issue an Education health and care plan, it’s our job as officers to write that document, so that means pulling all of the reports together into one document which details the childs views, the childs special educational needs, the provision they are going to need, any health and social care needs that the child has got. Then we issue that document as a draft. We then give parents 15 days to check the plan and make sure they are happy and then we will issue the final document. At that point if parents are looking to move the child onto a more specialist setting we start those conversations around what’s available, what would be suitable for the child. Once the plan has been issued, we review that document on a yearly basis, if the child is happy and settled in the setting they are accessing, school will invite parents and professionals to a meeting to go through the education health and care plan and make any changes. For example, if the child has a new medical diagnosis we would add that in. We would look at a childs learning levels to make sure they have made some progress. We do expect school to then update the targets and tell us which ones that childs met and where they want to go next. Every year we target specific year groups of children where an officer will come attend these meetings. Generally these are when children are moving key stage to key stage or from primary to secondary, or to college. At the end of the E H C process we always send parents or carers a questionnaire about how they found the assessment process, is there anything we can do better or improved, or if they were happy with the how the process went.

What is an EHCP and who is it for?

The Council for Disabled Children have a number of videos on their Youtube page 'WatchCDC'.

With support from DfE, Independent Support has produced two short animation films, which can be used by local authorities, front line services, professionals and parent groups in their communications with parents and young people. The purpose of the animations is to help explain the EHCP process and its important relationship with the Person Centred Connection.

SENDIASS - Children and Young People

SENDIASS or Special Educational Needs Independent Advice Support Services are here to help you. 

Here's a short video from the Council for Disabled Children looking at what IAS services are, what they can do, and how they can help.


SENDIASS - Parents and Carers

SENDIASS or Special Educational Needs Independent Advice Support Services are here to help you.

Here's a short video from The Council for Disabled Children explaining what IAS services are, what they can do, and how they can help.


Children with Disabilities Social Work Team

Meet Maria Bache from the Children with Disabilities social work team and find out how they may be able to support you and your child. 


A Childrens with Disabilities social worker works with young people with children, young people and their families around the child with a disability and if that disability is having a significant impact on their lives, and they can’t always do the ordinary things that another child or young person would do. It kind of depends on what the family needs, what the child needs. They might want to go out into the community and access a group but they can’t do that without somebody being there, or without a service being there just to provide that little extra bit of support. That might even be discreet support. We work across a range of ages, we are a 0 to 18 year old service. The support for each age group would be slightly different. The kind of support and advice we offer to families will depend on the family situation and circumstances. We can meet the families and young people, gather some information, that’s if they would like a social work assessment - not every family does. We can offer support and advice around issues with education, health or social issues in the community. Our service can provide an assessment to your family. Some families want a service where you don’t need a social worker so we do have that. We can have some short breaks. Other families feel there’s lots going on for them and the things happening to them are not within their control and they want that extra support. In that case we would need to provide an assessment gathering some information, but if the family want some level of intervention we would need to gather that information.

Occupational Therapy (Children with Disabilities team)

Meet Claire one of our Occupational Therapists and find out more about the support they provide.


As an Occupational Therapist with the Children with Disabilities team, we offer help, assessment and advice to parents and carers of a child with a disability or an illness where it impacts on daily life, such as toileting, bathing, mobility around the home, moving and handling and home safety. Within the Children with Disabilities team there’s myself, Claire, and my colleague Jennifer Williams and we’re both qualified occupational therapists. We’re registered with the Healthcare Professionals Council. We’re employed by Middlesbrough Council and based with the Children with Disabilities team at Hemlington Health Centre. Together we’ve got many years’ experience of working within health, education and social care. Referrals can be made through multi-agency Childrens Hub. We accept referrals for children and young people 0 to 18 years old, if they have a disability that is affecting their daily living skills. If you’ve got any queries about the Occupational Therapy service, you can contact Jennifer and myself at the Children with Disabilities team. Once we have received the referral, an occupational therapist will carry out an assessment with you and your child to identify the needs at home. The focus of our work is to enable the child to be safe and independent at home. We can do this through the provision of advice, equipment, minor works and adaptations. We also work closely with local housing associations and colleagues in health, education and social care.  

What is a Short Break?

Meet Ben and Megan for the Short Breaks team and find out about Short Breaks in Middlesbrough.


In role as Senior Short breaks facilitator, I manage a small team of staff whose job it is to support families who have children with disabilities who live in Middlesbrough, to get access to short breaks services. A short break is anything that can provide parents or carers with a break from their day to day caring responsibilities for a child with a disability. They also provide an opportunity for the child to take part in a service that is enjoyable and it provides them with opportunities that they may otherwise miss out on because of their disability. From feedback that we have had from parents, parents talk about how it’s essential really so that they can feel they can be more effective carers and they feel like they could manage their home life a bit better. Also for young people who access the services, it’s a really good opportunity for them to mix with their peers, for something that they may not do otherwise. Because of their disability they may not be able to access the community and do those kinds of things other children can take for granted. It’s also an opportunity for them to build social skills, build independence and build their confidence in different situations.  


As part of the Childrens with Disabilities team, we provide a service for children aged 0 to 18 years. We provide support in and out of the family home to relieve family pressures. We help children access activities they wouldn’t necessarily be able to access without us, whether that’s out in the community or within specialist services. We also support parents and carers in the family home by providing personal care to children. We’re based above Hemlington shops in the Viewly Hill Centre. We have a large activity room, an arts and crafts room and we run a lot of our groups from there. We also run our Fun Club there in the summer time. Any child with a disability, from Middlesbrough can receive the service. You can access us through the social worker or short breaks team. Our service is able to relieve a lot pressure from our families. A lot of families have other children without additional needs so it gives them the chance to shift their focus to the other children to make sure they are all getting the care they need.

Personal Budgets

As part of the EHC Plan some young people are able to receive a personal budget

A personal budget is money which you get from the local authority to pay for things you need or may want. The money you get is to help you achieve your aspirations for the future.

This video was created by Kids to help explain what a personal budget is and how you can get one.

Your Views of SEND in Middlesbrough (2018 -2020)

We gathered together parents and carers and young people to talk about the improvements that have been made within Middlesbrough. Watch the video to find out what they had to say.


I’m Kath, Vice Chair for Parents 4 Change, Since the Local Inspection there has been a lot of great changes. The Local Offer has greatly improved, leadership across the services has improved from the top down. There’s been greater co-production, improved information for support and planning. Since the Local Inspection there’s been a lot of great changes.

Voice of parents in early years; I know that someone will listen to me, I’ll get information of them and they’ll listen to what I’ve got to say. And they will be doing something towards that.

We have reviews with them every year. We have someone from Middlesbrough Council comiing in, we have the teachers, and we discussed the needs. I get my point across and I say what I want and what support is needed. It all goes back and I get my draft. 

Middlesbrough’s Parents Forum; There’s been a lot more co-production with the local services and ourselves. We’ve now got a link with transport, a link with health which we never had before. We are the voice of the parents. The criteria for short breaks got changed by ourselves so those not entitled to social worker could still have a budget.

Voice of parents and carers in school; there’s lots of help and support and help through daily life. It’s good that everyone is working together and I think its good having all these options for parents of children who have SEN. There’s always people to talk to on the phone or Facebook. They’ve got their own page which is easily accessible. I get a lot of support, when I need it, it’s there. The school is very supportive. It’s very good, it’s probably one of the best schools I’ve ever worked with. You know where you are, you can ask any questions. They’ve very forthcoming. The teachers and the head teacher here, for the child I’ve got here, they’ve just turned his life around. I think the Education, Health and Care plan put in place for my child is a personal approach. They really care. They always take on board what a parent says and what the child says. That’s an important part in making any decision. It benefits my son in ways we never thought possible from the school that he came from. We just see that he is flying.

I think the services have definitely improved, due to the new website, being able to contact people when you need to, there’s various different options for your children. There’s always a member of the Local authority for you to speak to and address and issues or concerns you have.

Voice of Young People; Here at Middlesbrough College I do a course called Supported Internship. That involves looking for jobs, going out on work placement and building your CV up. Having my internship has made a difference in my life by giving me a real good look at what real work looks like. I think ESPA, gives me the skills to be employed in the future. The things that I have learnt here at College are going to help me by improving my independence and my employability skills. My next steps are to look for jobs, get experience and volunteering or apprenticeships. My education, health and care plan is basically about where I want to progress. In my one to one support I can go over if I have any problems. I feel like they listen to me. They help the best way they can. I’ve been included in my Education, health and care plan from the start by not only giving my parents and professionals views but also my own personal input.

In summary; Parents voices are heard and used to implement changes within the local authority. I feel like Middlesbrough is definitely getting better and moving in the right direction. I think they’ve come a long way. I definitely feel like it’s improved because of the way they are doing the school places, the way the website is a lot better and easier to navigate around. I feel like they’re keeping up with the times.

Young People - Get Involved with Your EHCP Meetings

Our Young Champions from Priory Woods school and 6th form, Shan, Kev, Mac & Brandon, were given the challenge of getting more young people involved in their meetings, especially their Education, Health and Care plan meeting that happens at least once a year.

The number of young people attending their EHCP review meeting has been low, and our Young Champions went out on a fact finding mission across their school to find out what it would take to encourage other young people to come to their meeting. The came up with some great ideas, and even produced a video to show why it’s important that children and young people come to their meeting and take control of their Education Health and Care plans


Page last reviewed: 16/01/2023


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