Independent Support


As of 1st August 2018 our Independent Support service has come to an end

Since October 2014 we have offered support to families and young people with additional educational needs living in Newcastle and who were going through the process of having an Education Health and Care (EHC) assessment. This was part of a government funded programme, co-ordinated by Council for Disabled Children, as part of the SEND Reforms. Sadly as of 31st July 2018 this valued national Independent Support programme came to an end.

Although this means Skills for People no longer co-ordinates and offers an Independent Support service, it is important to remember that this programme, originally intended to last 18 months, went on to be funded for 4 years and 4 months. As a national programme Independent Support has ensured assistance to over 150,000 individuals since the SEND reforms were introduced April 2014.

More locally, Skills for People Independent Support has supported over 500 families living in Newcastle since we started to provide this in Autumn 2014. That is a lot parents, young people and families and we are immensely proud of what we have achieved.

We are pleased that our Family Advice and Support Team at Skills for People continues to have a strong presence and active supporting role in many families’ lives. Our Team will continue to fulfil their established and important role in supporting co-production, as well as assisting families to represent their views through meetings and form filling.

Also, Newcastle SEND Information Advice and Support Service will continue to offer free, confidential and impartial information on matters relating to education for children and young people with SEND.

Ongoing and future independent support for families going through the EHC assessment process will be developed by the Information, Advice and Support Services Network (IASSN) which is funded by the Department for Education and is based within the Council for Disabled Children.

In the meantime, if you want more information and need further help:

  • Get in touch with SEND Information Advice and Support Service on 0191 284 0480
  • Check Newcastle Local Offer for regular updates by going online at
  • Follow Pass it on Parents Newcastle FB page for regular posts or via Twitter @Passitonparents
  • Check Contact website who have a national advice service (which includes a helplineand the online advice and information)
  • Contact the Family Advice and Support Team at Skills for People on 0191 281 8737