HPCI Member Update 1 July 2022

A wide range of updates this week – ranging from holding HCC to account on SEND, to training sessions, and summer activities.  This update covers:

  • SEND Scrutiny
  • Parent / Carer Sensory Information Sessions
  • Hertfordshire Family Centre Service
  • HAPpy summer camps
  • Reminders about SpLD survey (closing soon) and HPCI vacancies

SEND Scrutiny

Last week, there was a meeting of the Hertfordshire County Council’s SEND Topic Group, which has been set up to gather evidence, review current SEND policy and make recommendations to the council.  The Group is made up of Hertfordshire councillors who are not part of the HCC Cabinet and is part of a wider process by which scrutiny committees review the decisions that the council makes in order to hold the Cabinet to account.

A number of parent/carer representatives, including HPCI, gave evidence to the group, telling a compelling story about where things aren’t working and the very real and significant impact this has on children and young people, and their families.

The next step in the process will be the publication of a scrutiny report and a response from the SEND service.  The recommendations in the report will be monitored by councillors and another meeting will take place in approximately six months to check on progress.  We are really pleased to be part of this process of holding the council to account and we’ll keep you updated as the report and recommendations are produced.

Parent / Carer Sensory Information Sessions

Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust (HCT) is running two different training courses for parents and carers aiming to support you to understand your child’s sensory needs.

  • Supporting your child’s sensory Self-Regulation development is running online with dates in July, August, October and December.  Further information here.
  • Understanding your child’s sensory preferences is also online with dates in August, September, October, November and December.  Further information here.

Ever wonder what your local family centre does? 

Hertfordshire’s Family Support Service helps families from pregnancy through to when a child reaches the end of Primary School (age 11).  They have recently published their annual report which sets out what they do and their priorities (no. 4 is focussed on SEND and each centre has a SEND Champion who works closely with specialist services to support families and be a source of expertise).  Find out more at your local centre or by calling 0300 123 7572 or visiting their website Family Centre Service.

SEND summer activities as part of the HAPpy programme

HAPpy activity camps are for children and young people who attend a Hertfordshire school and are in receipt of benefits-related free school meals.  While not all are SEND specific, there are a number of sessions that are.  You can find those activities aimed at children with SEND by clicking here and then clicking “show filters”, “type of activity”, then “suitable for those with a disability”.  If your child is eligible, you should have already received a booking code from their school. Parents or carers who have not received the code should contact their school office or email haf@herts.ac.uk.

There are also lots of other SEND specific holiday activities which do not require your child to be in receipt of free school meals – have a look at the Local Offer to see what’s available.

Reminders about SpLD survey (closing soon) and HPCI vacancies.

Just a quick reminder that, if you haven’t completed our survey about support in Hertfordshire for children and young people with Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD), you only have until Sunday 3 July to share your views – please do so here.

And also, if you’re interested in finding out more about our current job vacancies in HPCI, further information is here.  Closing date for applications is 10 July.