Education, Early Years and Childcare

Halton Engagement Event – Joint Halton and St Helen’s

Social Emotional and Mental Health Free School

Please see below an update following the engagement event held at Halton Stadium on 21st May 2019:

Presentation 1 – provides the context of both Council’s and an outline of the specification.

Presentation 2 was  delivered by the New Schools Network.

DFE Application Form and Guidance for SEND and Alternative Provision.

Questions Raised at the Engagement Event


1. Do the two Councils’ currently had a traded offer of outreach from their Special Schools.

St Helen’s are currently working to develop traded outreach. In Halton there is no traded offer currently.

2. Will there be a Parents Engagement Event?

A Parents Engagement Event will be planned for July.

3. Who will be building the new school and will there be scope for influencing the design?

The new build will be procured and managed by the DFE, we have had a first meeting with the DFE who have indicated that they will be working with the successful provider once selected.

Proposer Engagement Event for SEMH Free School

We have been informed that the Secretary of State has decided that our joint bid with St Helens Borough Council to establish a Social, Emotional and Mental Health Free School in Halton Borough Council has been approved to proceed to the next stage of the process.  The next stage of the process is a trust competition.  A copy of the specification for your consideration can be found in the button below.  We are holding an engagement event for those Trust who want to learn more.  This event will take place on Tuesday, 21 May 2019 at 9.30am in the Select Stadium in Widnes.  Should you be interested in learning more about the proposal please do not hesitate to contact Ann McIntyre, Operational Director – Education, Inclusion and Provision by email ann.mcintyre@halton.gov.uk



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Early Years & Childcare

Learning and Development - Birth to 5 years old
Halton Family Information Service (FIS)

Halton Family Information Service offers free and impartial advice and guidance for families on all childcare and a wide range of children’s services in Halton

Children’s Centres

Children’s Centres provide many different children and family services including activities for parents, parents-to-be, their babies, toddlers, young children and the rest of the family. They are located within your local community so you don’t have to travel far

Disability Access Fund (DAF) Early Years

From April 2017, the Government introduced the Disability Access Fund (DAF) this is new funding for early years childcare providers to support children with disabilities or special educational needs. DAF is to support access to early years childcare provision by supporting providers in making reasonable adjustments to their settings and/or help build inclusive capacity (this may be for the child in question or to benefit children as a whole attending the setting). Detailed information about the DAF eligibility criteria, entitlement, documentary evidence required, procedure, payment and application process can be found in the:

Health Visiting Service

Health Visiting Service offers health assessments, advice support and interventions to children and families as required in their first years of life Health Visiting Service Facebook page

Private, Voluntary and Independent Pre-schools, Nurseries, Childminders & Out of School Clubs

Pre-schools, Nurseries, Childminders & Out of School Clubs information, including Halton’s Family Information Service

Nursery Schools

Disability Access Fund (DAF)

From April 2017, the Government introduced the Disability Access Fund (DAF) this is new funding for early years childcare providers to support children with disabilities or special educational needs. DAF is to support access to early years childcare provision by supporting providers in making reasonable adjustments to their settings and/or help build inclusive capacity (this may be for the child in question or to benefit children as a whole attending the setting). Detailed information about the DAF eligibility criteria, entitlement, documentary evidence required, procedure, payment and application process can be found in the:

Education Information – Schools & Academies

Searching for a School?

Looking for a local school – Search for a school

School Admission Information

Information for school admissions in Halton is available from www.halton.gov.uk/schooladmissions Please don’t hesitate to contact the Child Place Planning Team on 0151 511 7338/7271, or by emailing schooladmissions@halton.gov.uk, if you have any queries.

Free School Meals

Free school Application Form and information is available from Halton Borough Council’s website

Arabic School Classes for 5-12 years

Every Saturday 9am-1pm at Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy, Barnfield Ave, Runcorn WA7 2EP 

Help with School Uniform costs?

Halton Borough Council does not provide financial support for these costs.

Most supermarkets have non-branded school clothing available for purchase at a very low-cost.

1. Your child’s school may be able to provide support with the school uniform – you should contact them in the first instance.

2. Check the school website to access their School Uniform Policy for information on how they can help.

3. You could contact the school by phone or email to seek their help.

4. During school holidays, staff may still be available in school for you to contact them for advice by email.

5. If you don’t manage to get in touch with the school before the start of the new term, the Council’s Education Welfare Service advise that you don’t keep your child off school if you don’t have the correct school uniform.  Keeping your child off school without their permission would be classed as an unauthorised school absence.

6. You should dress your child for school in appropriate clothing i.e. plain trousers/skirt, plain polo t-shirt and/or a plain jumper.

7. As soon as possible on the first day of term, contact the school to seek their advice and ask for support (if you have been unable to contact school before this date).

Transitions, Leaving School, Looking Ahead?

Schools & Academies

Maintained Primary Schools
Special Schools & Resource Bases

Halton Specialist Provision includes Resource Bases in mainstream schools for pupils with a range of SEND with staff trained, qualified and experienced in specific areas of needs.

Shaw Education Trust (Multi Academy Trust)
The Bridge - Alternative Provision - KS3/KS4

The Bridge School and SEND Information Report 2018-19

The Bridge School is an Alternative Provision for Key Stage 3 and 4 pupils, which  supports the 7 high schools in the borough with preventative and reactive behaviour programmes for permanently excluded pupils. It is also a Key Stage 4 alternative provider offering 40 on-roll places for pupils that benefit from education out-side of a high school context, this provision is secured at providers across the borough with The Bridge providing quality assurance, guidance and support. Key Stage 3 provision is either reactive as a result of permanent exclusion or preventative, through outreach and short-term part-time placements at The Bridge School site.

Policy Statement about Independent Schools

The excellent and wide ranging educational provision within Halton is able to meet the needs of most of our children and young people. However where that provision is unable to meet the needs of  a child or young person, then independent specialist schools, either within or outside of Halton will be considered. This Policy Statement explains Halton’s approach to Out of Borough Provision on the Local Offer.

Policy Statement about Out of Borough Provision

This Policy Statement explains Halton’s approach to Out of Borough Provision on the Local Offer.

All other Independent Special Schools and Special Post-16 Provision (Section 41 List)

Known as the Section 41 List The Secretary of State for Education has approved these under Section 41 of the Children and Families Act 2014 for children with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND). The Government update this list termly.

Post 16 Provision

The information has been taken from the websites written by the individual providers.

This list does not reflect any endorsement by Halton Borough Council.  It is merely a list of known providers to provide basic information about Post 16 Provision.

Support Services/Teams

Halton Behaviour Support Service (HBSS)

Find out about the NEW Halton Behaviour Support Service (HBSS)

Contact the service by email hbss@halton.gov.uk


Education Welfare Service

The Education Welfare Service seeks to ensure families are enabling their children to attend school

Positive Behaviour Support Service

The Positive Behaviour Support Service (PBSS) is a specialist service that works to support behaviour change and improved quality of life for people with autism and/or learning disabilities who engage in challenging behaviour.

School Nursing

Community based teams deliver the Healthy Child Programme for school-aged children and young people 5-19 years of age and work with their families around health needs to promote health and wellbeing with a focus on early help and support

Triple P (Positive Parenting Programme)

This programme is for parents and carers who have concerns about their child’s behaviour or want to learn new parenting skills.

Dealing with a child’s problem behaviour can be stressful for the entire family.  Triple P can help parents and carers better manage their child’s behaviour through encouraging good behaviour, learning strategies for dealing with problem behaviour, become more confident and consistent as a parent, be realistic about parenting and take better care of themselves.

Youth Justice Service

The service covers Cheshire East, Cheshire West, Halton & Warrington

The service works with young people aged 10 to 17 in the area and responds to the needs of young person who offends in a comprehensive way.  The service includes Police, Probation, Children’s Social Care, Health, Education and other relevant specialist services such as substance misuse, mental health, accommodation etc.

 The needs of each young person who offends is assessed using a national assessment tool to identify the specific problems that make the young person offend, we measure the risk they pose to others as well as themselves.

 We believe all young people should be given the chance to reach their full potential in life.  We aim to help young people explore their abilities. Our education Advisors support those excluded from school or at risk of exclusion by working collectively with everyone involved, helping to formulate individual tailored packages that address the concerns.  We work closely with vocational training and work-based providers and specialist schools for children and young people with challenging, complex and profound needs pulling together educational risk management plans in an attempt to make the learning experience positive.

 If a Young Person known to the Youth Justice Service has Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), the YJS ETE worker gathers as much information as possible.  We meet with the SEND Team to ensure that we understand the difficulty in learning and/or the disability which prevents or hinders their progress, and attend meetings, school reviews and SEN reviews.  We offer the Young Person and family advice, guidance and help to overcome the barriers to achieve participation with ETE.   

 As part of any Divert or Statutory Court Order, the young person is required to attend regular meetings with their supervising officer to focus on their offending and factors that may reduce the likelihood of the young person re-offending. We make referrals to other partners for support etc as appropriate.

 We also work directly with victims of the behaviour, discussing the impact the offence has had upon them and how to repair the harm caused. This process is also known as Restorative Justice and may involve direct or indirect action from the young person to the victim.  On occasion it is possible and desirable that the young person who offended meets the victim and makes a personal and direct apology for the harm caused.

The Halton office is based at: 3rd Floor, Municipal Building, Kingsway, Widnes WA8 7QF

Tel: 0345 145 0055

Support Services/Teams

SEND Specialist Support Services, Information & Support

Services, information and support available for Education/Schools for SEND Specialist Support 

Educational Psychology Service

The Educational Psychology Service works with teachers, school staff, professionals and parents to try and identify causes of difficulties/problems and ways of dealing with them. We can offer advice on intervention strategies, Individual Education Plans and behaviour management.

Halton SEND & Inclusive Sports Co-ordinator

Gareth Burke is the Halton SEND & Inclusive Sports Co-ordinator, who works with primary, secondary and special schools and other professionals to:

  • provide opportunities for children and young people to access sports, develop confidence and improve their self-esteem
  • support teaching staff and volunteers to improve their skills around inclusive play and physical education

Gareth works 1 day per week and is based at Cavendish School, if you’d like to find out more about the support he can provide you can contact Gareth by email, (a phone number for Gareth will be added shortly).

Halton School Games

The Halton School Games forms part of the Government programme which aims to engage and enthuse more young people than ever before to participate in high quality inclusive school competition, supporting all young people to achieve their own personal best through sports participation and leadership. The School Games not only offers an annual calendar of inter school competition opportunities to all Halton primary, secondary and special schools, but also offers to our pupils; leadership development, school to club exit routes and Change 4 Life opportunities to engage our less active and confident children. Further information about the School Games programme or follow on Twitter @halton_SG

Halton Virtual School - Children in Care

The purpose of Halton Virtual School is to: Support all children and young people in the care of Halton to become resilient and effective independent learners, so that they can achieve their full potential and become full and active participants in society. For children and young people who are in care to Halton from 0 – 25 years there is a range of interventions and support that we can provide directly. For professionals and carers we will provide advice and guidance. For other Local Authority professionals and Virtual Head teachers, the focus of the Halton Virtual School is to act as the main point of contact to support them in gaining admission to an education provision and access to any appropriate support the young person requires to promote their educational attainment and attendance. However, Halton Virtual School cannot provide any direct intervention or support to children and young people in care to other Local authorities. For further information, please contact Halton Virtual School


Policies, Strategies & Local Data available
Special Provision Capital Fund Consultation Outcome

As required by the Department for Education, the Local Authority consulted on a proposal to provide capital investment in both the primary and secondary sectors in Halton, to assist in the reduction of placements at independent providers, particularly out of borough and associated transport costs for children with Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) needs. 

A link to the Short Plan (updated May 2019), the original consultation document and a summary of the consultation outcomes can be found below:

Parents View

Give your views to Ofsted about your child’s school 



NW SEND Regional Newsletters

Children’s Education Advisory Service (Ministry of Defence families)

Advice and guidance to MOD families, educational establishments and local authorities on educational issues relating to Service children, including issues relating to SEND

DRC Online Survey for Parents/Carers of Deaf Children

Survey– child’s access and achievement under EHC Plan and Local Education Authority provision