IASS Newsletter

13th July 2020
We hope you are all continuing to keeping safe and well.  
With the school holidays approaching, we hope that the additional information and links below will provide you with activity ideas that could be useful to you and your family.  
Understanding the impact of COVID-19 on children, young people and their families with SEND in Northumberland
Northumberland County Council has recently launched the above survey and has asked the IAS Service to share this with as many families as possible.  The Local Authority is very keen to understand the impact that COVID has had on families with SEND in Northumberland.

To complete and submit your survey, please click on the link below:
Closing date for submissions is Friday 14 August.  

Thank you in advance for completing this survey.

Northumberland IASS (Information, Advice and Support Service)
Please visit our website for information and resources about how we can support you northumberlandiass.org.uk.  
Our website can also be accessed via the Northumberland County Council website Information, Advice and Support Service.
Raising awareness of Northumberland IASS - Feedback
A big 'thank you' to everyone who kindly answered questions in our recent online survey.  The response was fantastic and the suggestions and feedback we received will help us promote the IAS Service further around the county.

We held a prize draw to thank individuals for providing us with feedback and are pleased to announce that there were 5 winners who each received a Northumberland IASS recyclable water bottle and eco-friendly bamboo pen.  Winners have been informed.

The main messages from the survey are highlighted below:


You said .... 

What we will do .... 


Improve the way you publicise the service through schools. 

  • Update information about the service to go in school SEN Information Reports and newsletters. 
  • Work with schools to raise awareness of and confidence in the service.  


Link up with parent support groups.  

  • Offer a designated person to link with the group and become a familiar face with its members.  


Promote the service through professionals and community groups. 

  • Develop a Communication and Marketing Strategy with service users and stakeholders to look at the best ways of doing this.  


Use social media to promote what you do. 


  • Develop our social media presence starting with Facebook.  


Raise service user confidence in the impartiality, confidentiality and arm’s length nature of the service.  

  • Ensure that our information, advice and support gives a strong message of confidentiality and impartiality.  

  • Include up-to-date testimonials from service users on our website.  


Make sure that information provided by the service is accessible and user-friendly. 

  • Offer information in a range of formats, including videos. 

  • Work with service users to develop and check information. 

Return to school - Resources for parents/carers
In September all children and young people are expected to return to school.  Things may look slightly different in school but many things will be the same.  Resources in the link below are designed to help parents/carers, and help support or suggest to a child or young person.

Free Virtual Workshops
​Contact has developed a series of free virtual workshops as a way of delivering their family support services during these challenging times.

New 1:1 Listening Ear Service
Many of you may be feeling hugely overwhelmed, confused and exhausted during the Covid-19 crisis and simply don't know where to turn.  Contact is delighted to be able to offer 1-1 confidential phone appointments with their family support advisers for parents looking for a listening ear, reassurance and practical and emotional support at this time.

SEND Transport
​Northumberland County Council has updated the home to school transport information handbook for parents and carers of children with special educational needs.  A copy of this is available to view via this link or on the School Transport webpage.

Northumberland Youth Service
​The youth service is currently delivering a number of detached youth work sessions in areas across the county, as centre-based youth provision is currently still not possible.

​The best way to keep up-to-date on their plans is to regularly check their webpage and social media.  These can be found at:


​Home Challenge
To help keep young people active, Northumberland Youth Service has come up with the 'Northumberland Home Challenge'.

The task is to complete 6 challenges over the next few weeks.  Document all achievements, submit the evidence of what you have completed and you will receive a certificate and a chance to win one of their online vouchers to spend.

- You must be residing in Northumberland during the lockdown phase of Covid19.
- Challenges must be completed during the lockdown phase.
- You must send through evidence that you have completed the challenges to receive your certificate and be in with a chance to win the vouchers.

All information including the work booklet can be viewed on the website: https://bit.ly/nlandhomechallenge

Financial Support for Children with SEND
​The Government has announced financial support for children with special educational needs and disabilities in England of £37.3 million in 2020-21. Families with children that have complex needs and disabilities can receive grants for vital equipment to make their lives easier while implementing social distancing measures, including computers, specialist equipment and educational toys. £10 million of the total has been committed specifically in response to the unique difficulties presented by the coronavirus pandemic, helping parents educate and look after disabled or critically ill children who are staying at home more than usual. The funding and guidance on how to apply is available through the link below. The grants are typically worth £400 to £500 per family but vary depending on need.

Kooth.com - Children and young people's online counselling and support service
Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group has launched a free, safe and anonymous online mental health and emotional wellbeing support service for children and young people aged between 11 - 25 years.  Young people can access the service at www.kooth.com and can use its features as soon as they register.  It can be accessed via computer, smartphone or tablet device, so increasing the options available to young people, especially at this difficult period of time.


Active Northumberland
Daily personal challenges for children with Active Northumberland PE and School Sport.
Beacon Films
Online activities and free workshops July - September 2020.
Headway Arts
Headway Arts Online - Zoom workshops and creative projects.
Email hello@headwayarts.co.uk for further details.
Smile Through Sport
Keep fit at home with Smile Through Sports - keep fit sessions over Zoom on Thursdays 2nd, 9th and 16th July.  
Contact Joanne or Terri if you would like to join - 0191 478 6472.
Sport England
Tips, advice and guidance on how to keep or get active in and around your home.  Including some free activities for children such as the GetSet 2020 Travel to Tokyo programme of activities.  
Advice and support
Anna Freud - National Centre for children and families
Council for Disabled Children
Family Fund
National Autistic Society
NHS - Covid19
Special Needs Jungle
Stop Domestic Abuse
Together for Short Lives
Young Minds
Online resources
Atom Learning
Audible stories
BBC Bitesize