12th Nov 2020 – Parent Network Update – national and local information

This is a longer email than usual and the first section includes 4 national items and the second has 6 local updates.

Open letter to parents and carers from Children’s Minister Vicky Ford – 10th November.

This is the latest open letter from the Minister, Vicky Ford, which covers:

  • School attendance
  • Children and young people who are clinically extremely vulnerable
  • Remote education
  • A new winter package to provide further support for children and families
  • Face coverings in education settings
  • Respite
  • Health services for children and young people with SEND

You can download a copy from NASEN’s website:

Clinically extremely vulnerable children in England advised not to go to school during national lockdown
Children in England who have been confirmed by a doctor to be clinically extremely vulnerable are being advised not to attend school during the national lockdown until 2 December when it will be reviewed.
The guidance says to speak to your GP or specialist clinician, if you have not already done so, to understand whether your child should still be classed as clinically extremely vulnerable.  If your child does fall into this category, the guidance says that appropriate arrangements should be made by their school to enable them to continue their education during this time.  Parents of clinically extremely vulnerable children will be receiving a letter shortly confirming this advice
The list of conditions for adults automatically classed as clinically extremely vulnerable has also been updated to include over 18s with Down’s syndrome. There is an update on this on the SEND Local Offer HERE

Remote learning duty started on 22nd October

The government announced a legal duty on schools in England to provide remote learning to pupils who are at home because of Covid-19. Schools are now expected to offer pupils not in class because they are self-isolating, or because their school is shut because of local or national restrictions, the same lessons as those in class.

Flu vaccinations – podcast from Contact                                                               

National Charity Contact’s Strategic Health Lead Amanda Elliot talks in a podcast about the free NHS flu vaccination, why it’s important to get vaccinated and who can get it.


SEND Local Offer coronavirus page – HERE
On this page you will be able to find the latest service updates, information that has been sent to schools and settings around the latest government guidance.  Check it regularly.  The updates are all shared with HPCI first to make sure that they are helpful and work for parents and carers.

SEND Online Group
Help shape the Local Offer website quickly, and from the comfort of your own home; you can make a difference by taking part in simple, 5 minute activities sent direct to your inbox. Over 230 parents and young people are influencing decision making already – learn more about the families behind the Local Offer now and how to join them www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/sofgblog

ADD-vance courses
There are a number of free online courses for parents/carers of a child with a diagnosis or who are awaiting/suspected diagnosis of ADHD and or Autism.
They are free and delivered over Zoom.
Further details and booking here: http://add-vance.eventbrite.com

A number of other online sessions are also available for parents/carers who have children awaiting diagnosis, with a diagnosis or suspected of having Autism and/or ADHD from Angels working with Nessie and SPACE.  Check out their websites/facebook pages for more information and booking details: Angels/Nessie https://www.facebook.com/Spacehertfordshire/

Update on the progress of the Information, Advice and Support (IAS) work stream
The work with KIDS Hubs, SENDIASS and HPCI to develop a new SEND Information Advice and Support Service is progressing well.  HCC have looked at all the responses to the consultation they ran in spring this year and are including this feedback in the service design.  The service will deliver face to face and one to one sessions in local community venues, virtual workshops and webinars as well as offer support over the phone.

Social Story re PPE for Therapists – from HCT (Herts Community NHS Trust).
As parents we know that some of our children and young people have found the use of PPE challenging now that some face to face therapy sessions have resumed.  Therapists do need to use PPE when school staff don’t as they will be working with children from more than one bubble.  Here is a link to a social story they have prepared to help children understand.

Integrated Services for learning (ISL) helplines open to parents and carers.  These are manned by professionals working for Hertfordshire County Council’s ISL services.