HCC open letter to families with SEND and Minister Ford’s letter

Hertfordshire County Council letter to parents and carers of children and young people with SEND
Following on from our last update on Friday 15th this letter from HCC has gone out to all specialist education settings and also to all mainstream schools and colleges in Hertfordshire.  Settings will then be making the letter available to all parents and carers of a child with SEND attending their setting.
The letter was written with HPCI’s full involvement and you will see our logo and signature featured.

Each week HPCI attends the SEND Covid meeting at HCC where we raise issues and concerns that we are aware that families are facing and discuss the latest guidance, communications and possible solutions to issues.  We have particularly asked HCC to emphasise the need for all settings to have open conversations with families where not all of their child’s provision can be provided and come to a mutual agreement about what can be done. There is no doubt that the pandemic has gone on longer than we all thought at the beginning and that many families with SEND are struggling with juggling educating from home, working and other issues.
There is now some light at the end of the tunnel with the roll out of the vaccine happening but the positive impacts of that for children and young people are still a few months away.  There are more children with SEND attending school now than were doing so in the first lock down but most of the specialist settings are facing significant issues over safe staffing levels due to higher levels of infection and self-isolation amongst staff.  This will mean that they may not be able to offer the number of places to families that they may want to and that the situation could vary from week to week.
The letter is available to read on the SEND Local Offer website using the link below.
HCC Open letter 15 Jan (hertfordshire.gov.uk)

Letter from Children’s Minister Vicky Ford
On Thursday 14th January Vicky Ford MP, the Minister with responsibility for SEND at the Department for Education, sent out a letter to the SEND community, including parents and carers.  Her letter covers some of the same topics at the HCC letter but from a national perspective.  We have made the letter available for you to read on our website.