Family Information and PTA News Friday 10th March 2023

Welcome to Percy Hedley School's Family Liaison Blog!

Did anyone else, like me think Spring was here before -7° temperatures were recorded this week?

This week has been fantastic in school as it is National Careers week, and we had a variety of businesses in school. Starting with the North East Ambulance Service and Newcastle Aviation Academy on Tuesday, ending with Greggs this morning, it has been a wonderful opportunity for our students. Gregg’s sausage rolls, doughnuts and coffee were a hit and queues were long. I’d like to pay tribute to Louise, Linda, school staff and the foundation employability team for their hard work making this a huge success. There are and will be lots of photos on the Foundation’s social media.


16-19 Student Bursary.

We have worked hard to ensure that information for those eligible for the bursary, funded by the government Skills Funding Agency has been clear, that we have looked at ways in which all students are supported on an individual basis. The work we have put in this year, including understanding changes made in June 2022 should make the process easier in years to come. Perhaps I’m being ambitious, thinking as soon as I get used to a change it will remain that way for a few years! Please do contact me if you have any questions. Individual families will be informed of the award when approved.


We have some events coming up in school before the end of term. Here is what I know; I know that having advance notice helps you and your child/young person.


Friday 17th March.

Comic Relief and Mother’s Day sale.

Please refer to last week’s Family Liaison blog for details but in a nutshell:

Purchase red noses via Comic Relief website if you wish. Donations welcome, students may wear red if they wish.

Mother’s Day sale:

please send in donations of suitable gifts (non-alcoholic) and £3 to enable students to purchase a gift for their mother or important female in their lives. If sufficient they may purchase more than 1.

As it happens to be St Patrick’s Day too, some of us may be wearing green (I wonder who?)


Social Coffee morning

I will host another social coffee morning for parents/carers on Wednesday 29th March from 9.30-11.00. These are simply an opportunity to meet other parents and me, share experiences and get some useful information. They are informal and not normally attended by class teams or students. A letter will follow.

Off timetable day:

The next off timetable day, as part of our focus on the resilience framework will be on Tuesday 28th March. The theme is “I am Unique”. The day is to celebrate and reflect on uniqueness and individuality in relation to neurodiverse conditions. More details will be shared next week, and it will be a non-uniform day, wear something that makes you comfortable. As always this is student personal choice.


The next MOVE activity day will be on Tuesday 21st March. These are wonderful events, held half termly when MOVE merges with fun, one of the best forms of therapy in my humble opinion. We discussed these at the PTA AGM and plan another merge; a social coffee morning for parents with one of these events. This is likely to be in the summer term, where we will have better weather.


Tyne Tunnel changes for blue badge holders.

If you use the Tyne Tunnel, please don’t scroll past this message. I have had a look at their faq and if the person with disability is not in the vehicle the toll is payable. This could present problems for school drop off/collection where the student is in the vehicle one way only morning or afternoon.

Upcoming changes for Blue Badge holders for Tyne Tunnels

From 31st March 2023, Blue Badge holders who receive toll exemption when travelling through the Tyne Tunnels MUST register their vehicle for an exemption account prior to travel to receive their toll exemption. You will NOT be able to pull into the inspection lane to show your Blue Badge from this date.

This means that all Blue Badge exempt vehicles can drive straight through without stopping in their registered exempt vehicle, enjoying faster, smoother journeys.

If your vehicle is not already registered, you can register your vehicle as exempt with your Blue Badge below:

An exemption account remains valid for 12 months, at which point the account will need to be renewed. One vehicle can be registered to one Blue Badge – this vehicle can be changed once per month in your account.


Unmasking my Autism: Christine McGuinness

Documentaries on neurodiversity fascinate me. They often lead to differences of opinion as to how good/bad/true to life they are. Personally, I learn a little from all of them and really enjoyed the recent ones narrated by Chris Packham. So, here’s another one if they interest you.

Christine McGuinness has revealed that her new documentary, ‘Unmasking My Autism’ will be shown on BBC 1 at 9pm on 15th March and will also be available on BBC iPlayer

Her documentary will focus on her own diagnosis at the age of 33, and on the topic of autism in girls.

#autism #unmaskingautism #bbc #bbciplayer

Theo Michaels: TV chef, author and founder of a company called – online meal planning service for families contacted us, asking us to share some information with families.

He started an initiative to help families struggling with the cost-of-living to eat better and take away the dreaded question of what to cook every night.

A couple of years ago he launched a business called – an online meal planning service; we usually charge £49.99 per annum however, we are now giving it away for free – no catch, no restrictions, just free.

Every week we issue a new meal plan with a single shopping list, set to the number of people you are feeding so you know exactly what you need to buy for the week. All our recipes are easy to follow, with a nutritional breakdown and many with videos. Members can create their own meal plans with our recipes choosing from vegetarian, GF, kid friendly, quick and easy, airfryer, etc.

We have thousands of members and are currently working with the NHS and Police in communicating our service to their staff.

Limited time offer – get FREE lifetime membership to!

“We know how hard times are at the moment so the folks at – online meal planning service – have decided to give away FREE lifetime memberships to try and help you save money on food shopping and reduce the mental load of deciding what to eat every night. There’s no catch or restrictions, simply full access to our meal plans to make your dinnertimes a little easier and cheaper. is an online meal planning service co-founded by author and TV chef Theo Michaels. To help with the cost-of-living crisis so many families and individuals are facing Theo has decided to offer their meal planning service for FREE (usually £49.99 per year); every week they publish a new meal plan with an automatically generated shopping list; set to your serving size so you know exactly what you need for the week ahead. It saves you time, money on food shopping and ultimately takes away the headache of deciding what to cook every night. You can even create and save your own meal plans choosing from hundreds of recipes.”

Simply head to and click green Join button now.



National Trust

Claim a FREE National Trust Visit

As part of National Lottery Open Week, some North East National Trust venues are opening their doors for free to National Lottery players

18-26 March – FREE entry to Souter Lighthouse

18-26 March – FREE entry to Gibside

18-26 March – FREE entry to Wallington

18-20 and 23-26 March – FREE entry to Ormesby Hall

18-19 and 22-26 March – FREE entry to Seaton Delaval Hall

No booking is required and you just need to show a National Lottery Ticket or Scratchcard on arrival to gain free entry during the dates mentioned.

The ticket can be a physical ticket or digital. One ticket is required per adult and under 18s can accompany a ticket holder for free (they don’t need their own lottery ticket). It does not mention when you need to have bought the ticket in the t&cs.

You can use this offer more than once so why not visit multiple venues? We are lifelong National Trust Members but will be taking advantage of this deal to visit with family who are not currently members.

Souter Lighthouse is a fantastic place to learn more about our coast and you can climb to the very top of the lighthouse and learn all about how it works

Gibside is a vast estate with lots of walks, a beautiful walled garden and avenue, a fantastic adventure playground and low ropes course

Wallington is again, brilliant for walks with many accessible routes. You can take your bike and cycle around the dragon trails, enjoy an epic 4 playgrounds (including a train and fort themed playground), visit the bird hide, enjoy the walled garden and more

Ormesby Hall is home to some fantastic model railways, a natural play area to encourage kids to get outside and a nature/bird hide as well as a fab second hand book shop and beautiful scenery

Seaton Delaval Hall is a playful property with upside down rooms, hidden mirror cubes, beautiful architecture, gorgeous gardens with a small pond and a fantastic new (ish) playground hidden in the woods

All of the above venues allow dogs on leads in their outdoor areas and have fantastic tearooms with indoor and outdoor seating. They all have good access too (you can see full access statements on their websites).

Social Group; age 14-25 Walkergate.

Are you, or do you know anyone, aged 14-25 with #additionalneeds #learningdisabilities #autism looking for a safe space to socialise?

Try our #walkergatehub at the Ray Gray Community Centre Wednesdays 4.30-6pm £5per month.

Tabletop games, arts n crafts, place to chill, hot n cold drinks and biscuits available

No need to book, just turn up.

More details on website if required, see below:

North Tyneside Families only:

As part of our #HAF2023 funding we can announce TWO taster / registration events.

Our #pretendychef Taster events shall provide parents with the opportunity to meet staff, try one or two of the cookery activities and we will also be supporting parents to sign up for our #HAF2023 #senholidayclub using the council new HAF booking system.

No booking required, simply turn up anytime between the following times detailed below;

SATURDAY 18 MARCH: 12.00 – 13.15pm

TUESDAY 21 MARCH: 16.00 – 17.15pm

John Willie Sams Centre market street Dudley, North Tyneside NE23 7HS

Our #send #eastercookeryclub will operate over four days 11-14 April and is open to any child, identified with #SEND aged 8 to 12 years old, is a North Tyneside Resident and is, or may be eligible for free school meals.

#cookingwithkids #cookingwithkidsisfun #disability #specialneeds #autism #HolidayClubs

North Tyneside Council North Tyneside Participation


PTA News:

Do remember that we have our next PTA Meeting on Tuesday 14th March from 9.30-11. We want these to be less formal but remain compliant in terms of record keeping/decision making. There will, we were promised be cake. You don’t want to miss it. It is hybrid, and you are welcome to join in person or online.

I think, as this is the first meeting since the AGM that we are likely to be looking at plans for the year ahead. Your suggestions are always welcome. If you aren’t able to join us, do send your suggestions.  The link to join online is below:

Facebook page:

This is a closed group for family and friends of Percy Hedley School, where you can share news and updates about school life. It is not for external professionals who may be working with families. To join, you need to answer the question stating your link with school.

Please note: this group is for sharing news and updates about school life and is not intended to discuss any issues around individual students, and as such all comments are moderated. If you have a particular issue or concern, please contact school directly on 0191 216 1811.

 Please continue to share information with me which would benefit other families. Easter is coming and I’d appreciate any activity suggestions.

My contact details

Eileen Robinson: Family Liaison Officer


Telephone: 0191 2161811 ext. 3260.