Family Liaison and PTA weekly updates 4th March 2022

I hope everyone had a good half term and that you found something on the last 2 blogs helpful in terms of activities. I’d very much appreciate your thoughts; it helps me keep on track. More important is that it helps me focus on what is useful to you.

I continue to offer TEAMS meetings with parents if you want to discuss non class/educational related matters. Just email me your availability and what you feel I can offer. I have done these fairly regularly and I prefer them to phone calls if I’m honest. My contact details are at the end of this page.

The pandemic has changed many things; in my opinion some of these changes are positive. One of these is the availability of online workshops. I can clearly remember the effort, not to mention cost of getting to venues for a 2 hour workshop when you have other demands including other children, meetings, work and more. I really do recommend trying these out and will continue to share them. I have noticed that there hasn’t been much uptake though as I have taken advantage of some.


I am aware that I revisit benefits frequently, but as this is where I receive most queries, from staff and families I make no excuses and will continue to share anything I feel is useful. As a parent to a young man with a Learning Disability I know how important it is to keep abreast of changes, whether it be as a result of appeals or new guidance.

Disability Living Allowance: DLA

Contact-for families of disabled children has some good fact sheets. Here is one on claiming the higher rate of the mobility component of DLA. Historically, this could only be claimed if the mobility issue was physical. This has changed, and this gives a good overview of both physical and severe mental impairment/behavioural difficulties which would be considered. If you’d like to chat, get in touch with me. See the link below:

Free Workshop for parents/carers

Contact has been doing a few online workshops, some of which I have attended and found helpful. Here’s one they are doing soon; there are 2 different sessions depending on your child’s age. There are 4 dates, but you will need to be quick as one of the “Primary age” ones is already fully booked. I would suggest that any working parents make contact with them and ask for the presentation slides to be forwarded.

The link to book via Eventbrite is here:

Caudwell Children’s charity will be running online workshops for parents on the following Autism related issues:

  • Meeting Sensory Needs
  • Language and Communication
  • Forming Relationships
  • Supporting Positive Behaviour.

They are currently looking for an “expression of interest”, the link is below:

The Family Fund

“The UK’s largest charity providing grants for families raising disabled or seriously ill children and young people, providing 149,138 grants and services to families across the UK last year.” (from their website).

Funding is for children up to age 17; there was some additional funding provided by the government for those up to age 24, but this was limited. It is still worth checking out.

They also have a Facebook page which has lots of information  and the link is here:

I also note they are offering online sessions for parents/carers on the following in March

3rd – Getting started
9th – Staying safe online
15th – Making music
21st – Making movies
30th – Social story
31st – Make it work 4u
Link to book is here:
Last, but not least they have information about getting help with money matters:
School Name Labels.
For anyone interested in purchasing these, I’ve had an email from a person who provides them. Prices look competitive.  Details on the attached leaflet:
Metrocentre: Quiet hours
Please see link below to the quiet hour being offered by the Metrocentre from 9-10.00 on specific dates. I do have an opinion on the timing, but I guess it would be hard to put these in later in the day and early morning tends to be quieter anyway.


Northern Stage

This production is suitable for children aged 13+ and the performances are on 22 and 23 March.

2065 is a futuristic sensory extravaganza for audiences with profound and multiple learning disabilities. Frozen Light are specialists in making sensory theatre for adult audiences with PMLD
For over 13 s £12.50 per ticket and free carer ticket for those who cannot attend unaccompanied.
Link is here:


Reason to – Disability Triathlon.

This event is back with a “save the date” for Sunday 10th July 2022. For anyone considering it, have a look at their Facebook page. I can highly recommend! Link is here:

Here’s a snapshot with a video and some photos of current and past students: This is an event where everyone can succeed.






CJ’s Funhouse 

This is in Cramlington and they have an SEN session as per poster below. It may be good for our younger students. I often wonder about the timings though; rather early.

Link to website is here:

Alan Shearer Centre

As we live in hope of better weather I thought I would share this venue; close to Newcastle and pretty central. It is less than 5 minutes from the A1 Denton Burn roundabout. The gardens are lovely and clear of busy roads.

Booking is essential; they have a hydro pool, sensory room and cafe too.

Membership is free but you do need to join.

Further information on the link below:

Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art.

Did you know that they have a sensory room, accessibility including changing facilities with hoist, free carer access to chargeable events and free drop in events?

Holi festival of colours, a free drop in event looks interesting on Saturday 19th March 12-16:00.

The link to  the event is on the link below:

The link to accessibility information is:

Scotswood Community Garden



The AGM is fast approaching and the links below are to the updated PTA section of the school website:

and the link to join the AGM:

We have received no communications regarding committee officer roles, hence there will be no proxy or postal votes. The election will take place in the meeting.

Did you attend our Autumn fayre last year? We had to delay due to COVID and the current committee would like to hold another summer fayre this year. We haven’t yet agreed a date; the new committee may decide otherwise I suppose. We will need more parents, friends or family to help. I know this presents a challenge for SEN parents; I well remember attending them in the past. However, a little help goes a long way as does what we SEN parents and staff do best. thinking outside the box. You may not be able to help because you work full time, you will need to be with your child/ren but you will definitely be able to offer something. Here are some of my thoughts:

  • You may have a teenager or family friend/member who could volunteer to help on a stall. Some of our Post 16 students were a great help last year.
  • You may have contacts for raffle prizes
  • You could have talents in cake baking; we can never have enough cakes or bakes to sell on the day
  • You might do school drop off/collection as nearer the date we would need help sorting out the raffle/tombolas and moving things to the hall ready for the day.
  • You may want to book a table, even share one with a friend to sell anything you do.

Please give this some thought and contact me with inundated offers of help. I must end this plea with something from the heart. Thank you to every single person, staff, parent, child, friend or family member who contributed to the huge success that was last year’s fayre. Your generosity never ceases to humble me.

Facebook Page:

The link to join our closed facebook group is below. Please answer the question which ensures that we add only school parents,family and staff.

Did you go anywhere special over half term, or attend any of the activities/places I suggested? If so, it would be great to see some photos on the PTA page, ideally with a review. These will help other families too.


Best wishes,

Eileen Robinson

Family Liaison Officer