Lots of information in this update, as well as opportunities to give your views, and some events that may be of interest. A quick summary is below, so you can quickly find your way to the sections that are of interest.
EHCPs – Who to contact and when?
Following on from our update last week, one thing that our annual survey made clear was the difficulties contacting the HCC team that leads on EHCPs. Just in case you haven’t seen it already, the local authority has put together some guidance to set out the communication process for reaching that team, which is available here: Contacting the SEND Team
Consultation: Home to School Transport
HCC is currently consulting on its home to school/college transport policies. HPCI have expressed concerns particularly around proposals to amend the charging structure for 16-18 year olds and the impact this might have on families.
They are also seeking views on Personal Travel Budgets and the possible introduction of “spare seats” on vehicles to Hertfordshire special schools.
If you wanted to respond immediately, the consultation can be found at www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/transportconsultation. (The consultation closes on 26 March.)
However, we are aware that people have a number of queries about these proposals and so HCC have agreed to host some information sessions for families, which you may want to attend before submitting your response. Dates are yet to be set – we will let members know as soon as these are agreed.
Survey: Making health provision better for children and young people with SEND aged 0-25
NHS England has asked the National Network of Parent Carer Forums to help them to design a survey which will find out what ‘quality’ means to parents and carers. They will use this information to produce a quality improvement framework describes what ‘good quality’ is and what steps, skills and ways there are of improving quality in NHS services.
Please fill out this survey if you your child or young person with SEND is accessing or waiting to access an NHS service. This survey is anonymous, and you may answer as many or as few questions as you want. The closing date for responses is 28 February 2023.
Survey: Use of online Educational Psychologist Assessments
The use of virtual assessments by educational psychologists appears to be on the increase. Essex Family Forum are working with other Parent Carer Forums and Local Authorities throughout the East of England to understand what works well, when and for whom it works best. Please share your views IF your child/young person has had an Educational Psychology assessment since 2020. https://forms.office.com/e/JbEd71ZXyR
Information: All-Party Parliamentary Groups of relevance to families with SEND
All- Party Parliamentary Groups are informal groups that bring together politicians from across political parties to discuss a particular issue. There are APPGs on a range of issues that may be of interest, including SEND, autism, ADHD, carers, children who need palliative care, deafness, disability, Down syndrome, epilepsy, school exclusions and Alternative Provision, Speech and Language difficulties, and more.
One of our members has asked me to flag a recent report from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Cerebral Palsy which covers the transition from childhood to adulthood for young people with CP. If you would like to read more, a summary of recommendations is here.
Healthy Living Fair – 21 Feb (Hatfield). This event is aimed at helping service users and their carers to improve their physical health and wellbeing. Find further details here:
Moving and Handling workshop (for parents of children with a physical disability) – 23 Feb (Hertford) This HCT workshop aims to provide you with advice and support on how to move your child safely, whilst looking after yourself. It covers topics such as the importance of back care, moving and handling techniques, using equipment and relevant legislation. Further details here: