The Portage and Pre-school Home Teaching Service is part of the North Tyneside Local offer, for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, living in North Tyneside. It is staffed by a Head of Service, four Portage home visitors and an admin member of the team.

Michelle Hewison  – Head of Service

Lynne Campbell – 4 x days Portage Home Visitor

Claire Roper – 4 x days Portage Home Visitor

Gillian Richardson – 4 x days Portage Home Visitor

Kerry Graham – 5 x days Portage Home Visitor

Karen Napier – 3 x days Admin Officer


The Portage service is registered with the National Portage Association (NPA) (We have maintained a 5 star registration since the star rating system was introduced) and adheres to all their policies and guidelines, as well as the Beacon Hill policies, which can be found at the bottom of this page. The National Portage Association code of practice 2016 is a framework for delivering portage. It was written for registered Home Visiting services and NPA approved early years settings.

Historically Portage was defined as a Home Visiting services underpinned by a key set of Portage Principles. Home Visiting continues to be provided by registered Portage services across the country, however the portage principles can also be applied in Early Years settings and the NPA actively support this approach through the Stamp of Approval Scheme.

Portage Home Visiting is available to families, from their child’s birth to the time of entry into a early years setting / nursery. It includes any child who: ”Is experiencing significant development impairment or delays, in one or more of the areas of cognitive development, sensory or physical development, communication development, social, behavioural or emotional development”, or “Has a condition which has a high probability of resulting in developmental delay” 

dfES LEA/0067/2003


Portage and preschool provision may include:

* Home visits, 6 x weekly to begin with and develop relationships and baseline assessments then either staying weekly or moving to fortnightly depending on need, working with parents to assess the child’s current development, then jointly to plan, demonstrate and review appropriate play activities.

* Signposting to other sources of information/support.

* Introducing families to appropriate group activities. Water Confidence, Music and Movement and LD North East Early Years Project “drop in” play sessions.

* Support to parents when considering their child’s future education options.

* Assessment and written report on nursery/school entry.

* Multi-disciplinary liaison to ensure a co-ordinated response to a child’s identified needs. Supporting the Early Help Assessment (EHA) and Team Around Child/Team Around Family meetings.

* Advice and support to staff in any pre-school setting that a child may attend at 2 or 3 years of age.

* Working in partnership with Speech and Language therapy to deliver Early Bird parent workshops for nursery aged children diagnosed with autism – 3 times yearly.

* Providing CPD to settings, professionals and parent/carers on the Portage Small Steps training course 2 x per year.

* Partnership with physiotherapy and LD North East Early Years Project(supported by Children in Need) to run the Music and Movement group.

Other duties include

* Liaison with Specialist Provisions and Additionally Resources Provisions for children with identified additional needs.

* Training and supervision of Portage Home Visitors – twice yearly training workshops offered to early years providers.

* Consultative work with Early Years Service Providers.

* Contribution to sub committee of the governing body of Beacon Hill School.

* Meeting with providers in other Local Authorities.

* Membership of/registration with NPA.

* Responsibility for the Early Years Inclusion Funding (EYI) allocating funded support for 2 and 3 year old in settings. 

Referrals to the Portage Service can be made:

* By parents.

* By anyone working with the child who has parental permission.

Referred child aged 0-2 years who does not attend any Early Years setting:

* Initial visit following referral

* Placement on the waiting list following parent request and signposting to support groups whilst waiting for 1:1 support to begin.

* Allocation of Portage Home Visitor following parent request.

Referred child aged 2-3 years individual consideration of each case:

* Initial visit following referral to determine attendance at nursery, whether nursery has portage trained staff, EYI application submitted etc.

* Portage Home Visitor may be allocated to support home and/or nursery setting.

Referred Child aged 3 years+

* Initial visit offered for advice and guidance only.

* Signposting to LD:North East Early Years Project.

* Joint working with EY’s SENDCO to establish a smooth transition into a setting.

Forms and Guidance

Contact Us

Our address

Beacon Hill School

Rising Sun Cottages
NE28 9JW
Tel: 0191 6433023



Related Beacon Hill Policies

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.