HPCI parent network update – 15th January

Here we are at the end of the second week of the spring term and with our weekly update for parent network.
This update is quite long and will be followed by another one on Monday which will feature an update from HCC to parents and another from the Children’s Minister Vicky Ford. Keep a look out for it.
In this update we have a mix of local news and events along with links national guidance, surveys and reports.

Letter to parents from Hertfordshire’s Director of Public Health and Operations Director for Education.
This letter was sent out via schools to parents on the 11th January and is not SEND specific but does have useful links and information in.  It is available on our website if you have not received if from your child’s school.
https://www.hertsparentcarers.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/HCC-Letter-parent-11-January-2021-FINAL.pdf

Councillors give the go ahead for a countywide pattern of Specialist Resource Provision (SRPs) in mainstream schools.
HPCI parent reps have been working for several years on a number of different developments around specialist provision for children with SEND.  SRPs are one of those developments and you can read the full Report to Councillors from the December meeting and also take part in the consultations open until 1 February 2021 to let them know your views. The easiest way to do this is by completing the online response form on HCC’s website: www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/consultations.

What are SRPs? –  these will replace the current Speech, Language and Communication Need (SLCN) provision in phases and will broaden the needs they meet to include social communication and autism.   Parents have told HPCI that this type of provision is really needed many many times over the last 10 years.  Now even more children are being placed in independent specialist provision or in special schools because mainstream schools cannot meet the increasing complexity of the needs of these children and young people. The SRPs will replace existing SLCN provision and enable children and young people to access mainstream education, whilst offering specialist intervention and support. This will be done in phases starting with 4 secondary bases planned to be opened at:
Bushey Meads School (Academy) Bushey in September 2022
Longdean School (Academy) Hemel Hempstead in September 2022
The Priory School Hitchin in September 2022
New Avanti Schools Trust school (Academy) Bishops Stortford in September 2023
There is a consultation live at the link above for each one of these bases. The governing bodies of all 4 schools support the proposals.

Help support your 4-8 year old child with their motor skills – online sessions for parents – 21st Jan and 11th Feb from 10.30am to 11.30am
Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust occupational  therapists are putting on 2 online sessions for parents who would like to understand more about their child’s motor development and how to support this. The session will share information about the typical ages when children develop different motor skills. It will explain how to breakdown an activity such as pulling on a jumper into simple steps to help your child complete this independently. You will also get advice on activities and simple things you can do at home to support your child’s motor development. Booking and information here:
https://www.hct.nhs.uk/our-services/childrens-occupational-therapy/
Or here:
Thursday 21st January 10:30am – 11:30am https://tinyurl.com/y3pjzooj  

Thursday 11th February 10:30am – 11:30am https://tinyurl.com/y4duuqq3

Positive Behavioural Strategies (PBS) events
These two events are being put on by the team in Herts County Council as an introduction to PBS and will be carried out over Microsoft Teams.

  • Thursday 21st January 2021, 12.30 – 1.30pm (for family carers of those 18+)
  • Tuesday 26th January 2021, 12.30 – 1.30pm (for family carers of those 0-18 years)

To find out more and book a place go to: PBS event booking

Covid 19 Vaccination list – parent carers added to priority list.
This is great news for many families and parent carers will now be in group 6.  You can read more here:  Parent carers added to vaccine priority list

Further Education Guidance for this lockdown                                                           New guidance was published on Friday 8th December regarding further education provision – please follow this link to view https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-further-education-provision

Free School Meals                                                                                                    Following the social media storm earlier this week about the quality of the offer to those receiving free school meals at home the Dept for Education provided updated guidance on this which can be found here: New Free School meals guidance
Any families receiving vouchers may be interested to know that Marks and Spencer will make each £15 voucher worth £20 when shopping with them and have produced sample menus to help parents – of course other supermarkets are available!!

Webinar on wills for families whose child cannot manage their own finances
The session ‘Trust in your Will’ by Irwin Mitchell Solicitors, guidance and webinar for families The full webinar is available for you to access on YouTube here.

National Learning Disabilities Improvement Standards Carer Survey
This NHS survey, still open from 2020 seeks opinions and feedback from parents and carers to  help improve the experience and outcomes that families and carers of people with learning disabilities, and/or autism receive from the NHS.
The information will be used as part of the National Learning Disabilities Improvement Standards helping to improve NHS services.  https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/nhsildcarer

Ofsted report on remote education
With so many children now receiving their education remotely this report is very timely.  HPCI is working with HCC on some more information for parents on what is available.
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/whats-working-well-in-remote-education/whats-working-well-in-remote-education
If you are not happy with remote education offer from your child’s setting then please contact your child’s teacher, SENCO or Head teacher.  Please be aware that schools do not have to offer ‘live’ online lessons they can be recorded.