HPCI Network Update – 14th May

Welcome to this week’s parent network update.  As usual there is a mix of local and national items.

  1. Survey reminder
  2. YC Herts name change
  3. Healthy start food vouchers
  4. CDC eLearning courses
  5. Podcast on top tips for hospital appointments/stays
  6. Ofsted research – how well do mainstream schools support SEND?

Survey Reminder for Parents of children with hearing, visual or physical needs

If you have received an email or letter from HCC about this survey in the last few weeks then this is a reminder that this SEND Specialist Advisory Service survey closes on the 21st May.  If you think that this may include you but you haven’t heard, then we suggest you check your spam/junk folder.  It was the 2nd item on our email of 23rd April which can be found here:  23rd April Update
There has been some confusion about this survey amongst the parents of deaf children as their children’s equipment comes from various sources but there is a separate communication going out to those parents directly to make things clearer.

YC Herts Name Change: now Services for Young People.

YCHerts (which also used to be called Youth Connexions) have changed their name to ‘Services for Young People’. Here is a link to their updated website: Services for Young People
One section which may be of particular interest is services for young people with learning disabilities HERE

Can you help the County Council reach 5,000 families who are missing out on Healthy Start food vouchers?

If this might apply to your family or any family you know please check they are aware.
The vouchers were increased to £4.25 from April following lobbying from England footballer Marcus Rashford, who has now teamed up with TV chef Tom Kerridge to help provide families with recipes to make the most of the vouchers. There are 52 great recipes all based on the voucher scheme.

The individual needs to be at least 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under four years old and could be entitled to Healthy Start Vouchers worth £4.25 per child per week (£8.50 if under 1) to spend on milk, plain fresh or frozen fruit and vegetables, and instant formula milk. The vouchers can be redeemed at local retailers. If you are entitled to Healthy Start Vouchers you will also get free vitamins designed to help pregnant and breastfeeding women and growing children. Check eligibility here

Application leaflets are available from GP’s surgeries or baby clinics. Alternatively, a form can be obtained by ringing 0345 607 6823 or by downloading and printing  a form.

Council for Disabled Children e-learning courses

One of the best ways for us as parents to support our children is to educate ourselves about both their needs and the SEND system as a whole.
The Council for Disabled Children has developed a suite of online training for CDC members and affiliated organisations and services. The courses have been developed to improve knowledge, understanding and practical skills and support in range of key areas that impact children and young people, particularly those with special educational needs and disability. They are free and available to parents – one of the areas is for parents only.

eLearning courses include: 

  • Introduction to Mental Health
  • Introduction to Children’s Social Care
  • Holistic Outcomes in Education, Health and Care Plans

Each module takes between 30-45 minutes to complete. The training is free to complete online from any computer/tablet. You can complete it at your own pace.
Link to the eLearning page: https://councilfordisabledchildren.org.uk/cdc-learning
Link to the training catalogue https://learning.councilfordisabledchildren.org.uk/

Contact Podcast on Top Tips for hospital appointment and stays.

National Charity Contact have a podcast – The helpful podcast for families with disabled children – and a new one is from one of their By Your Side Team’s Senior Parent Advisers Ruth who shares the team’s top tips for hospital appointment and stays.

Ofsted Research – How well do mainstream schools support SEND?

This newly released piece of research undertaken before the pandemic by Ofsted has been released and has conclusions that will not be a surprise to many parents.  You can read the research here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/supporting-send

Special Needs Jungle have an informative post on the research which is available here: https://www.specialneedsjungle.com/ofsted-asks-how-well-do-mainstream-schools-support-send/