skip to content

Partnerships for Inclusion of Neurodiversity in Schools (PINS)

Meeting the needs of children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) in mainstream schools is essential to improving outcomes (across attainment, attendance and wellbeing), parental confidence and delivering the financially sustainable SEND system, as envisaged in the SEND and Alternative Provision (AP) Improvement Plan.

Partnerships for Inclusion of Neurodiversity in Schools (PINS) will bring health and education specialists and expert parent carers into mainstream primary settings to:

  • Help shape whole school SEND provision.
  • Provide early interventions at a whole school level.
  • Upskill school staff.
  • Support strengthening of partnerships between schools and parent carers.

In North East Lincolnshire the local PINS project team includes members of:

  • Education & Inclusion Team, North East Lincolnshire Council
  • Humber and North Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership
  • North East Lincolnshire Parent Carer Forum (NELPCF)
  • Special Educational Needs & Disability Information Advice Support Service (SENDIASS)

The project will focus on strengthening knowledge, skills and improving environments to better meet the needs of neurodiverse children and reframe the focus to how a supportive learning environment and well-equipped school can improve the outcomes for this group of children. The offer to participating schools includes five days’ worth (delivered flexibly) of specialist support.

The PINS programme will run between now and March 2025. It was available to every Integrated Care Board (ICB) in England, who will work with 40 chosen mainstream primary schools per ICB area. The number of schools has been allocated to each area was based on population. This meant we were able to work with 4 settings based on our population. The programme is funded by the Department for Education (DfE), supported by the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) and NHS England (NHSE).

Each school will complete a Self-Assessment Tool, parent carer voice will be collated via a survey sent out to all parent carers in the school and the voice of the children/young people (CYP) will be collected through the CYP questionnaire ‘My Feeling About School’.

Training and support will be based on the individual school needs identified through a school self-assessment tool, parent carer surveys and children/young people (CYP) questionnaires.

Scores and feedback from all three self-assessments/surveys/questionnaires will be reviewed by NEL’s project team to identify the most appropriate support. Each participating school will receive the equivalent of 5 days’ worth of whole-school support in sessions or hours.

We were delighted at the number of settings that submitted an interest, 44% of eligible settings completed an Expression of Interest. The selection choice was extremely difficult, but we had a wide range of stakeholders who took part in the selection process and included members of NELPCF and practitioners from SENDIASS, Education & Inclusion Team, Neurodevelopmental Service, Compass Go and the Autism in Schools Team.

Brief overview of the PINS Project

The project is funded by the Department for Education (DfE), supported by the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) and NHS England (NHSE). PINS will work with mainstream primary settings in this project.

44% of primary schools in North East Lincolnshire (NEL) applied for our allocated 4 places. The 4 primary schools selected to join the project were:

  1. Coomb Briggs Primary Academy
  2. Edward Heneage Primary Academy
  3. Lisle Marsden C of E Primary Academy
  4. St. Joseph’s Catholic Primary and Nursery Voluntary Academy

Meet the Team

Nicola Chappel

“My name in Nicola Chappel and I’m the Service Manager, Autism in Schools and Partnerships for Inclusion of Neurodiversity in Schools (PINS).

I’m excited to be working with such a fabulous local team on this project. We aim to strengthen knowledge, skills and improve educational environments to better meet the needs of neurodiverse children in NEL in collaboration with practitioners, parent carers and children/young people.

I am a mother of a child who has a diagnosis of Autism, ADHD and Pica. As a result, I am passionate about raising awareness and understanding of Autism and neurodiversity.”

Abi Fleming

“Hi, my name is Abi Fleming and I work for SENDIASS as a SEND Parent Engagement Champion.

I’m really excited about the PINS project and I’m thrilled to be able to work with local families of children with SEND.

I have a background in health as a paediatric nurse.

Also, as a mother of two, one of whom has SEND, I feel that I’m in a good position to understand the needs of parents.”

Jayne Parish

Hi my name is Jayne Parrish and I am the Manager of North East Lincolnshire Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS for short!).  I have been the manager for  2 ½ years but have worked  within this team for 9 ½ years.  

NEL SENDIASS gives information, advice and support on a variety of subjects for ages from 0 – 25 years.  We can support the parents / carers of children or children and young people directly ,so long as there is an educational element and you live in North East Lincolnshire.  We hope to provide support to inspire and upskill parents. carers and young people to be able to know their options with regards to SEND through giving free, confidential and impartial advice and guidance.  

I am a big believer in making sure all professionals work together to benefit the young person or child and the earlier the better.  I offer training to different professionals to upskill them about the world of S.E.N.D. as well as for parents and carers.

Vicky Birkwood

“I am Vicky Birkwood and I work for North East Lincolnshire Council as part of the SEND team. My role is to support new projects that improve outcomes for children who have SEND in our community. Projects include supporting SENCOs to access training to develop their skills and knowledge of SEND, improving how we use data to inform our big decisions and looking at what provision is needed in the area.

I am neurodiverse and so have a passion for supporting neurodiverse children and young people to feel heard, have access to professionals who can support them and feel happy and safe at school. I am excited to work with everyone involved in the PINs project, particularly schools and families!”

North East Lincolnshire Parent Carer Forum – NELPCF

We are North East Lincolnshire Parent Carer Forum (NELPCF). We are a passionate group of parent carers of children with a range of needs and disabilities. We champion support and strive for positive change for SEND children and their families in North East Lincolnshire. We are independent of the Local Authority (LA) and we gather the experiences of parent carers to inform the LA of these: what’s working well and what’s not. We hold our own regular Coffee Mornings, along with attending events at schools and community events. We have arranged free events for SEND families, along with training for parent carers – enabling parent carers to gain knowledge and to feel empowered. As a Forum we cannot provide individual advice and support but we can most definitely signpost you to relevant services and support.

To become a member of NELPCF, please follow us on Facebook, join our exclusive Facebook group, visit our website to complete our membership form, email us or ask us for a paper copy of our membership form.

Contact details:

  • Facebook page:
  • Facebook group:
  • Website:
  • Email:

NELPCF’s aim is for every SEND family to know that you are not alone.

Other helpful information


Settings are also invited to attend the Settings, parents and carers for education (SPACE) Forum where they can share experiences with parents, carers, and other professionals and hear from guest speakers.

Learn more: NELC SEND Local Offer | Settings, parents and carers for education- SPACE Forum – NELC SEND Local Offer (


Do you know about our resources page? It may be helpful to signpost parents to as the content has been recommended by other parents and carers.

NELC SEND Local Offer | Autism and neurodiversity resources – NELC SEND Local Offer (