Multi-Agency Approach

Staff adopt a multi-agency approach to supporting it’s learners. Staff work in collaboration with a range of professionals and agencies to ensure that the complex needs of the learners are met. This is vital to support the holistic development of the young people, and enable them to achieve their full potential.

Careers Advice and Guidance

Northumberland County Council Career Guidance Team want to help young people explore their career aspirations and make informed decisions about their next steps. The team provides a variety of tools to help students prepare; whether that is subject choices, higher education, apprenticeships or other routes to further learning and work. A member of the guidance team will work with our Year 11 learners and their families. They can also attend Year 11 Education Health Care Plan annual reviews to support post 16 transition. 

Benefits for our learners: 

  • Be aware of education, training, the world of work, and career opportunities 
  • Be able to make informed choices about the opportunities available to them 
  • Be able to identify strengths and weaknesses 
  • Be able to sustain engagement in their post 16 choices 
  • Know where to access further information and support

See our dedicated Careers page for further information 


SORTED is Northumberland’s Substance Misuse Service for young people.

‘Substances’ refers to:

  • all legal and illegal drugs
  • alcohol
  • volatile substances, such as solvents and nitrous oxide
  • over the counter and prescription drugs

SORTED is made up of specialist workers and health staff. The service provides intervention for children and young people up to age 18 within the Northumberland area. Young people are supported to stop using substances, and to reduce the associated risks from substance misuse, both to themselves and their communities. 

They are also supported to achieve good physical and emotional health and wellbeing. 

SORTED can help:

  • young people
  • professionals and agencies working with young people

What does SORTED offer?

Young people up to 18 years old can access the service. They offer:

  • 1-2-1 individual support
  • strict confidentiality, whilst adhering to safeguarding requirements
  • referral to other services, with the young person’s permission. PLEASE NOTE: the young person must consent to any referral that is made.
  • support to reduce use of substances/stop using substances
  • multi-agency partnerships
  • factual, unbiased information for young people about their substance use
  • Please click here for further information on the help SORTED can provide.
Speech, Language and Communication Team

The Northumberland Inclusive Education Services includes the Speech, Language and Communication team. This team offers tailored support for young people at Atkinson House, whose spoken language difficulties are affecting their achievement and progress in school and emotional wellbeing.

Many young people who have behavioural difficulties, including social, emotional and mental health needs (SEMH), also have speech, language and communication needs.  Support is offered for young people whose language needs impact on their ability to manage their emotions, develop social relationships, access learning, as well as to understand and use spoken language.

Support is accessed from a dually qualified Specialist Teacher/Speech and Language Therapist and may include:

  • a speech and language assessment
  • support for school staff to co-produce speech and language targets
  • support for school staff to deliver targeted interventions
  • recommendations for good practice in the classroom
  • contribution to a young person’s one-page pupil profile
  • advice and strategies directly linked to the curriculum
  • resource sharing
  • inclusion of parents and carers in target setting
  • contribution to Education and Health Care Plan reviews
  • a comprehensive range of bespoke training to school staff

Further information relating to Speech, language and communication needs can be accessed from the padlets below: Advice for school staff around areas of language and communication and maybe useful for parents/carers Advice for parents/carers.  AFASIC, voice of life charity provides parents with support and free advice sheets about helping to support school age children.

Education Support for Looked After Children (ESLAC)

Staff at Atkinson House School work in collaboration with the team at the Virtual School to meet the needs of our learners who are Looked After Children. The designated teacher for Looked After Children is Emily Baty. 

What is a Virtual School and what is its purpose?

The Virtual School is a service provided by dedicated professionals within the local authority whose work it is to promote and coordinate educational support for looked after children and care leavers to succeed at nursery, school, college and university; or any other place of learning. Their purpose is to ensure that all professionals who work with looked after children and care leavers have high educational aspirations for them so that our pupils and students are given the best opportunities to engage, progress and achieve to their full potential. The Virtual Schools team is made up of a wide range of professionals including specialist teachers, educational psychologists, careers advisors and support officers. 

On a regular basis Atkinson House School and the Virtual School coordinate and process Personal Education Plan (PEP) meetings and associated documentation. As part of the PEP an Virtual School support officer will analyse attendance, progress and achievement data in order to track, monitor, support and challenge all those involved in the pupil’s education and welfare. They also allocate, track and monitor the use of pupil premium plus funding and its impact. Under certain circumstances they may also arrange access to additional learning opportunities or specialised alternative provision including one to one tuition. 

The Virtual School Headteacher is Jane Walker who works with an ESLAC (Education Support for Looked After Children) team. 

You can access more information about The Virtual School here – hyperlink to

Northumberland’s Early Help

In Northumberland, we take into account the role of parents, carers and environmental factors on children’s development. This means professionals and families are better placed to agree on appropriate support. 

An Early Help Assessment is a way of understanding the lives of children, young people and families. It involves listening to parents and young people to find out what support is needed, and what is working well in the family’s life. It can lead to a quick solution or help identify support quickly.

For further information about making a referral for an Early Help Assessment please click here – hyperlink to leaflet 

Educational Psychology Service

Here at Atkinson House, we work closely with our Educational Psychologist, Dr Lynsey Hutcheson, to ensure that the needs of the children are met consistently and appropriately. Mostly, our Educational Psychologist works with our staff, training them and supporting them to work effectively with the young people. This also includes group and individual staff supervision and consultation. 

The Educational Psychologist supports parents and attends multi-agency meetings with a variety of different professionals, such as EHCP meetings and Care Team Meetings. At times, our Educational Psychologist may work directly with our young people to undertake an assessment or complete some direct therapeutic work on a 1:1 basis

The staff at Atkinson House have received bespoke training from Educational Psychology to ensure we are up to date with evidence-based practice and trauma informed approaches. This has included training on:

  • Emotion Coaching;
  • Relational Practice;
  • Restorative Approaches;
  • Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Principles;
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy;
  • Attachment and Adverse Childhood Experiences;
  • Staff Wellbeing;
  • Trauma Informed Practice.

Our Educational Psychologist works directly into school for one day per week. Should you wish to discuss your child’s needs with Lynsey, please do not hesitate to contact Miss Baty (SENCO).