10th July 2020 Parent Network Update

This update covers returning to school/college, shielding, free school meals, YC Herts survey for young people, SEND Local Offer resources page and services from national charity Contact.

Return to school and college in September
The government has issued local authorities, schools and specialist settings with guidance on what they need to do to ensure that ALL children and young people can return to school in September.  You can find the schools guidance here: GUIDANCE  There is also specific guidance for specialist settings which is here: Specialist settings
The SENDIASS service has produced summaries of the guidance for parents which will shortly be available on their website and we will send you the link when we have it.
HPCI is working with HCC on making sure that they are clear on what they expect schools to do and on how they can support children and families as well as schools on getting children back to education smoothly.  We will be helping make the communications clear for parents and sending out updates to our networks during the summer.  We are also raising questions and issues with them as we go along.

Covid Summer Food Fund for Free School Meals
Schools have now received all the guidance to administer the vouchers for families receiving Free School Meals. All schools must sign up for it and should be in touch with parents about getting the vouchers.  HPCI is aware that more families may be eligible for free school meals due to the changing economic and employment situation.  You can check if your children are eligible for Free School Meals and find out more about how the scheme is organised here: https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/Freeschoolmeals

YC Hertfordshire Young People’s Survey – an opportunity for young people to tell us how the COVID-19 lockdown has affected them for ages 11 – 24
YC Hertfordshire Services for Young People is conducting a survey throughout July to ask all young people in Hertfordshire how the COVID-19 lockdown has affected their wellbeing and what their biggest concerns are.  The survey results will be used to help shape the support and services available to young people over the coming months. It would be great to have a good representation from young people with SEND.
The closing date is 31st July 2020 and all young people who complete the survey have the chance to win one of three £30 Amazon vouchers. The winners will be randomly selected.
Young people’s survey summer 2020
If a young person would like one of the local Youth Workers to help them complete the survey please ask them to call 01992 588220, text 07860 065173 or email their local YC Hertfordshire team:

The government has confirmed that the majority of children in England currently considered extremely vulnerable to COVID-19 will be removed from the shielded patient list Shielding guidance. This will only be done in consultation with their GP or specialist.

Herts SEND Local Offer blog – resources page
Have a look at this latest blog about the resources area of the Local Offer. www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/resource-area-revisted

National Charity Contact
Free online workshops for parents
Contact are running free online workshops for parents on topics such as Money matters, Encouraging Positive Behaviour, Wellbeing for you, and Managing your child’s sleep.  Find out more and how to book HERE

Listening ear service
Contact’s new  ‘Listening Ear’ service provides free 1-1 confidential support for parents via a telephone appointment with one of their family support advisers, at a time that suits you. They can help with emotional support, strategies for reducing your child’s anxiety or challenging behaviour or help you with structuring the day.