Category Archives: News

Parent’s views on information and advice

The Hertfordshire County Council  0 – 25 SEND Commissioning Group want to improve how and where they provide you with information and advice if you have a child with special educational needs or a disability(SEND).   Please tell them what you think or what your experiences have been by completing this short online survey at:

 We look forward to hearing from you before the deadline of 31 December.

Launch event for SPACE in Herts – Autism/ADHD support group in DSPL 5

Supporting Parents of Children with Autism/ADHD and related conditions

Venue: De Havilland Children’s Centre,Travellers Lane, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, AL10 8TQ

We meet on the third Friday of the month (term time only)
in the morning between 10.00am-12.00pm

NEW support group in Hatfield for parents of children with Autism/ADHD and related conditions. Supported by DSPL AREA 5

Our first meeting will be held on Friday 21st October 2016 CONFIRMED SPEAKER! Rachael Brett from Kids Hub

Please come along to meet other parents/carers and have a coffee, cake and chat!

 If you would like more information on the Hatfield group please contact: or Karen on 07989 472865

Transition Event 9th November in Peterborough

Becoming an adult
– building the best future for young people with additional needs

Hear from Linda Roberts, Mum of Gold medal-winning Paralympian, Jonnie Peacock.
T: 01223 206953
Conference agenda:* Parent ticket £19.95
• Education, Health and Care Plans
• Uncovering Benefits
• Navigating Transition
• Employment
• Education
• Housing
One-to-one parent zone
FREE Exhibition
Conference details


Ofsted/CQC Local Area Inspection result.

In July Hertfordshire was one of the first Local Authority areas to undergo the new type of inspection looking at how the SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) Reforms from the Children and Families Act 2014 are being implemented across Education, discount cialis Health and Social Care. Many of you will have completed the survey that HPCI ran and the results of which were given to the Inspectors and are also able to be seen on this website.  Other parents were able to feed their views in to the inspection by taking part in the Webinar run by Inspectors or by attending a meeting at one of the education settings they visited.
The results, in the form of a short letter style report (no grading) are now available to see at:  Click on the one for Hertfordshire to view it.

You will also find the results for the other areas inspected so far. You can download a copy of the Hertfordshire report here: joint_local_area_send_inspection_in_hertfordshire

What next?

Parent Reps from HPCI have, this week, had some preliminary discussions with key officers on how we may work together to improve things for families in the future.  We will also be thinking about what HPCI should do next and we will of course keep our networks posted.

Ofsted/CQC Inspection feedback

Update on Inspection of Hertfordshire by Ofsted and CQC (Care Quality Commission) – 4th to 8th July 2016

A team of inspectors from Ofsted and CQC visited Hertfordshire to look at how well the Local Authority ie Herts County Council and Health services are doing in implementing the SEND Reforms from the Children and Families Act 2014.

The inspectors held a number of meetings on specific topics with officers from HCC and Health,  professionals from different services,  parents and parent representatives and also children and young people.  The inspectors also visited education settings that they had chosen as well as health services.

HPCI had parent reps at all the key subject meetings and presented inspectors with a written report which is below.  We also had a survey out which over 600 parents completed and the results of that are also further down this page.  The lead inspector also held a webinar for parents.

Inspection Result – this will be published as a written report early in September and HPCI will let our parent network know the results and what will happen next.

A big thank you to all the parents who took part in our survey and the Ofsted webinar. 

Ofsted CQC Final data Questions

Update on Inspection of Hertfordshire by Ofsted and CQC

Ofsted/CQC Local Area Inspection of Hertfordshire 4th to 8th July

PLEASE take this once in 5 years opportunity to tell inspectors what you think.  Our survey takes about 5 minutes to complete and is available here :  

Dear HPCI network member, generic cialis
Next week a team of inspectors from Ofsted and CQC (Care Quality Commission) will be in Hertfordshire looking at how effective the local authority (ie Herts County Council and Hertfordshire Health services) are for children and young people with SEND (special educational needs and/or disabilities).  They will be looking at this for ALL children and young people 0-25 with SEND NOT just those with a statement or the new EHC plan.
The inspection will look at how effective Hertfordshire is in the following three ways :-

  1. Identifying the needs of children and young people with SEND
  2. Meeting the needs of these children and young people with SEND.
  3. Improving their outcomes and chances of taking part fully in society.

This new type of inspection, comes out of the SEND reforms and Hertfordshire is one of the first Local Authorities to be inspected over a 5 year period.
In these inspections there is a big emphasis on finding out the views of parents and carers.  The inspectors will hold meetings with parents and parent groups and also visit a small number of education and health settings.  HPCI will be sending parent representatives to meetings. This inspection is different to the Ofsted inspections carried out at individual schools and education settings.
All parents of children and young people should have the chance to contribute their views and to help do that HPCI has developed an online survey based on the questions the inspectors will ask.  We we will pass the results of our survey on to the inspectors.  The survey is confidential and you will not be individually identified.

Ofsted and CQC inspectors are holding an online webinar (that is a type of question and discussion group) which we would also strongly encourage you to take part in if possible.
The webinar takes place at 6.30pm on Wednesday 6th July, led by inspector Heather Yaxley, and will ask parents and carers about their views and experiences on how effectively Herts County Council is fulfilling the 3 responsibilities numbered above.  YOU MUST REGISTER IN ADVANCE FOR THIS WEBINAR – the link is : 

Best wishes,
Carol Kelsey
Coordinator HPCI


Inspection of Hertfordshire by Ofsted and CQC (Care Quality Commission) – 4th to 8th July 2016

Inspection of Hertfordshire by Ofsted and CQC (Care Quality Commission) – 4th to 8th July 2016

This document is to give parents and carers a guide to what the inspection is about and what will happen during and after the inspection.

  • This is a NEW type of inspection covers the local AREA (Hertfordshire) and not just the Local Authority as in the past so now it will include Health services in the area. Inspections are jointly carried out by Ofsted (same organisation that inspects schools and colleges) and CQC (Care Quality Commission). The notice period is 1 week.
  • Inspections teams will consist of HMI, buy cialis a CQC Inspector and up to two other local authority inspectors (not from Hertfordshire). They will look at national data and inspections by CQC & Ofsted in Herts before they arrive. Local Areas will be expected to know how effective they are and be able to demonstrate it.
  • All 152 areas in England will be inspected over the next 5 Academic years (started May 2016). The plan is to inspect 30 areas a year but NOT in the school holidays. 8 Local Areas will be inspected from May to July 2016 – they will be selected to cover all 5 regions and type of council structure/size and then August will be a period of reflection and review for Ofsted/CQC.
  • Local Areas will be judged by the SEND Reforms and so if the Local Area is doing right by the reforms it will be fine. The SEND reforms were brought in with the Children and Families Act September 2014

Inspection Results – this will be a written report and not a grade like you have for schools. Depending on the inspection report Local Areas may need to produce an action plan on how they are going to improve. There may also be some follow-up inspection activity from either Ofsted or CQC.

What will they look at?

  • The inspection will look at ALL children and young people 0-25 years who have special educational needs and/or disabilities NOT just those with the most complex needs, statements or EHCs (Education, Health and Care plans). It will also include CYP (children and young people) who are Out of County, Home Educated with SEND and not in education
  • They will visit a small sample of education settings ie schools, colleges etc that they choose but are not inspecting the school or college. They will want to meet parents and CYP there.
  • They will visit Health and Social Care services focusing on their contribution and ability to work collaboratively to meet children and young people’s needs. They will not be inspecting the service.
  • There will be a strong emphasis on gathering the views of young people and parents and carers. This is an entirely new aspect of the inspection and will involve meeting parents during visits to settings, meeting with established parent and carer groups. There will also be webinar for parents and carers during the inspection week.
  • They will also meet with elected members, key officers for Health, Education and Social Care, leaders of Early Years settings, schools, colleges and specialist services.


What does GOOD look like?

  • Local areas must work in partnership with children and young people, and their parents and carers to understand their needs so that outcomes can improve.
  • Early years providers, schools and colleges must also work in partnership with the local authority and social care and health services to identify and meet these needs effectively.
  • Education, health and social care services must work closely together to jointly commission (plan and buy) the support and services their children and young people require, including where these are not located in the same area.
  • Focusing on the needs of children and young people who have an education, health and care plan cannot be at the expense of providing for those others who require support but who do not need a plan.
  • Early intervention and timely support can prevent some children and young people from needing an education, health and care plan at a later stage.
  • Each local authority must set out the support it expects to be available in its local offer and ensure that this information is accessible.

Ofsted/CQC inspection framework published 

The Framework and Guidance for Inspectors can be found at the following links:

Update on Baker Small Twitter storm

Dear HPCI network member, buy cialis

Following on from our email of yesterday Herts County Council have made the following press release concerning their relationship with legal firm Baker Small.  We welcome the decision made by Herts County Council and this means that, cialis generic so far, 8 local authorities have taken a similar decision.
Herts County Council have also taken the very positive step of inviting HPCI to meet with them to discuss the wider issues that our letter raised.   We look forward to meeting with them and having a fruitful discussion and how we can work together more effectively to improve services, provision and family experience.
Further information – HPCI released a press statement at the request of the Comet newspaper and our Chair Leise Cooper was interviewed today for BOB FM radio.   HPCI is also quoted in the Guardian newspaper 

HCC Press Release
We were very disappointed to read the totally unacceptable and insensitive comments made by Baker Small Solicitors on social media and are taking this matter very seriously. Baker Small will no longer be representing us on new cases. We will be terminating our association with them at the earliest possible opportunity without causing disruption to ongoing tribunal cases and unnecessary delays to families, or putting the council at risk of legal challenge.

HPCI Statement on Baker Small

Herts Parent Carer Involvement are dismayed to note the recent disparaging public comments made on Twitter by Baker Small Solicitors. Baker Small works on behalf of Local Authorities, cialis including Hertfordshire, to defend appeals against those families who need to access the Tribunal system in order to secure the Special Educational Provision needed by their child. The comments made show a disdain and disregard for these families who are seeking support for their children with special educational needs and disabilities.

Parents in Hertfordshire, who have encountered Baker Small representing Herts County Council, have made us aware in recent years that this confrontational, aggressive, disrespectful attitude to parents is common place. We have also heard from professionals in Herts who have attended training run by Baker Small and funded by HCC, that the training includes strategies to use at Tribunal to belittle and undermine parents, by making them appear emotional and unreliable as witnesses. In the aftermath of the unprofessional tweets of the weekend, we have been contacted by parents due to face Baker Small at Tribunal in the coming months who are very distressed at the possibility of their children’s needs being so publicly ridiculed by someone representing HCC. Parents are not legal experts and challenging through the courts to get their child’s needs met is a hugely difficult and emotionally draining experience, for parents who are often already at full stretch simply caring for their disabled children.

We have on many occasions as a forum expressed our frustration to HCC officers that HCC use money from Government that is allocated to meet the SEND needs of children in Herts to pay for an advice contract with Baker Small and to engage them on a case by case basis. We have in the past successfully challenged the total amount of additional money being spent on further staff training from Baker Small, and indeed HCC have spent a much smaller amount of money instead on upskilling parents to have a greater understanding of the new system, which we appreciate as a positive step. We welcome the clear leadership show by Cambridgeshire County Council in announcing that they are cutting their ties with Baker Small.

One of the key aims of the Children and Families Act 2014, is to reduce the adversarial nature of the SEND system and one of the ways that it does this is by enshrining in law the requirement for Local Authorities to work in partnership with families to assess and provide for a child’s SEND We strongly believe that by continuing to use Baker Small, who are demonstrably invested in keeping the system adversarial and confrontational, is not in the best interests of Hertfordshire’s children with SEND or it’s wider population.

Herts Parent Carer Involvement are the Parent Carer Forum for Hertfordshire, as recognised by the Department of Education and Hertfordshire County Council. We are an independent parent-led organisation that works to improve services and life chances for children and young people in Herts with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.