Information / Useful Links

Useful Information

Checklist for schools

Ipsea review checklist 

 ” The local authority recently did a consultation with parents around home to school transport and introduced the SEND travel assistance policy – link below “

Darlington Shortbreaks Offer is currently under review and we were involved with a consultation with the Local Authority please see below the most up to date feedback on this. We will also have commissioners giving an update at our annual conference. Date and booking info in the upcoming events section.


Darlington parent carer forum were very lucky to secure some funding to purchase some max cards which we give out to new members and at our events. Max cards give families of disabled children varying levels of discount to venues across the UK. To find out more info and participating venues please access the max card website:


Discounts for fostered and disabled children. 

The Max Card is the UK’s leading discount card for foster families and families of children with additional needs. Families can use their Max Card at venues across the UK to get free or discounted admission.

Darlington Parent Carer Forum listened to feedback from a wide range of parent carers and put together two specific health focus groups

 First came the Speech and Language Therapy Focus Group which met with the workforce development lead from the SALT service to listen to parents views and have open and honest conversations about experiences. We then worked together to look at changes that could be made at a service level to improve outcomes for children young people and their families. This work is ongoing but we can confirm that the discussions have informed staff training, review of the discharge process and how parents are informed and work is being done on developing easy to access web resources to aid parents in supporting their child at home.

 Due to the success of this group we then started a Children’s mental health and wellbeing focus group where we initially met with the CAMHS team leader. This again started with open and honest conversation between parents and staff to come to a mutual understanding of frustrations and experience.

 CAMHS were honest and told us that there was currently staffing issues within the team which had impacted upon waiting times. A Saturday clinic was started to tackle this and reduce waiting times. There was frustration from parents on the waiting times for ASD assessment and we have raised this with NHS commissioners. We talked about the use of language in reports , where parents disliked term such as – for example “mum feels ” or “dad suggested ” rather than language used for professional such as ” observed ” “stated ” or ” reported”. Parents agreed that the terminology used felt our opinions didn’t hold the same value. This was used to inform staff training. We also worked to update the

Darlington specific information available to parents from CAMHS ie – local offer, SENDIASS and support groups. We have planned to work together to host a mental health and wellbeing info day for parents as there is a lot of misinformation around the service, what they offer and what else is available. Check upcoming events for dates !

As we all know sometimes there are bumps in the road and things go really, very wrong. There is help out there but sometimes navigating the system feels impossible. So put the kettle on , take a deep breath and here are some links that from experience we have found useful.


It is a service which supports parents/carers of children who have or may have special educational needs.

It is a service which supports young people who have or may have special educational needs.

We can provide you with information and support on a one-to-one basis.

It is a service which recognises the importance of parents, carers, young people and children’s views.

It is a service which helps the Local Authority and parent/carers and schools work together to meet the needs of children and young people.

This is a free impartial service.


 We have found IPSEA to provide a wealth of information around all things SEND from template letters to information and advice. 

(IPSEA) Independent Provider of Special Education Advice

 IPSEA offers independent legally based advice, support and training to help get the right education for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Sometimes it may be necessary to make an official complaint, you can find information on how to do this on the following link

 For Education and Social Care Services 

Our aim is to put you, the customer, first and provide you with the best possible service. It is important that you have the opportunity to tell us what you think about the services we provide. <>

For Health Services Compliments And Complaints – NHS Darlington Clinical Commissioning Group

Your experience of NHS services. We welcome feedback about NHS services, both positive and negative. If you are unhappy with the treatment or service you, a relative or someone you care for has received from your local NHS, you have the right to make a complaint, have it looked into and get a response. Within the NHS we aim to make sure all complaints are handled well and that appropriate …

 Darlington Borough Council – Complaints compliments and comments

 Our aim is to put you, the customer, first and provide you with the best possible service. It is important that you have the opportunity to tell us what you think about the services we provide.


Travel Assistance Policy Introduction

APPENDIX 1 SEND Travel Assistance Policy Introduction 1.

Darlington Borough Council recognises the pressures faced by the parents of children with Special Educational Needs and undertakes to provide statutory

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