Areas covered in this region

Durham, Darlington, Gateshead, Hartlepool, Middlesborough, Newcastle, North Tyneside, Northumberland, Redcar and Cleveland, South Tyneside, Stockton and Sunderland.

Introduction from Regional Development Officer

My name is Linda Fletcher and I have started a ten month contract with IPSEA as the Regional Development Officer for the North East. I am not able to give any advice or support. If you need advice about getting the right education for a child/young person with special educational needs and/or disabilities, please use one of IPSEA's services.   

My professional background is in nursing and midwifery, but I left the profession in 2004 to care for my son who has special educational needs and physical disabilities (SEND). My own personal experiences as a parent, and those of friends who also have children with SEND, have given me a passion for giving a voice to parent carers. I have been a school governor for 9 years, and a parent representative on various multi-disciplinary committees in the SEND field. I have also been a volunteer on IPSEA's Advice Line for the last two years. My role is to get to know local parent and carer groups in the North East, and also to recruit and support new volunteers. IPSEA have gained the funding for me to do this until 31st March 2016.

We want to make sure that parents and carers know how to get information, advice and support so that they can achieve better outcomes for their children. I can offer an introductory session for local parent/carer groups to explain who I am how I might be able to support your group.

I can also send regular and up-to-date information about what's happening for children, young people and their families in the world of special educational needs and disability.

If you would like to speak to me further please contact me via 

Best Wishes, Linda 

Useful links

Here is a selection of links covering some hot topics for this region:

Volunteering with IPSEA

SEND Code Of Practice ­

Amendment to transition time-scale  ­

Local Information Advice and Support Services

Local Parent and Carer Forums

Local Offer ​­

Funding for local groups



IPSEA mailing list

Click here to join our mailing list so that we can send you relevant updates and information.

IPSEA training

IPSEA provides a wide range of SEN training for Parents, School Staff, Parent Forums, Support Groups, Local Authority SEN teams, Parent Partnership Schemes, School Governors and other groups / organisations. Click here for details.

Advice Line

This provides next step advice on: problems with schools, requesting statutory assessment, statements and Education, Health and Care Plans, annual reviews, disability discrimination and exclusion. Please click here to book an appointment to get one of our advisers to call you back.

Tribunal Helpline

Our Tribunal Helpline Gives next step advice on SEN appeals and disability discrimination claims to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal. When you call we will also assess whether you need casework support. Please click here to book an appointment to get one of our advisers to call you back.

Information Service

The Information Service is for general legal enquiries and will signpost you to factsheets and resources on our website.  The Information Service cannot provide specific advice about individuals and their circumstances.

Face to Face Advice

IPSEA is now able to offer free and independent legally based SEN advice at Face to Face sessions organised in conjunction with the Pen Green Centre for children and families (

For information on how to book a session please click here.