HPCI Parent Network Update – 12 November

Lots to update you on this week including:

  • Results from the SEN Officer Survey
  • Webinar news – new sessions on Legal Protection and Home Education
  • Open letter to families of children and young people with SEND from Children and Families Minister
  • Contact’s Listening Ear Service

Results from the SEN Officer Survey
You may remember that a few weeks ago, we drew your attention to a survey that was being run by the SEND National Crisis Team Hertfordshire.  This survey was seeking views on the impact that the Herts County Council SEN Officer staffing issues were having on families.  They have now published the results of the survey, which can be found here.  The survey gives us helpful data, providing further evidence of the issues that we have mentioned in earlier newsletters about the timeliness and quality of EHCPs and the difficulties in communicating with SEN Officers.  Over the last few days we have had further discussions with the local authority on the urgent need for effective change, and improved communication with families.  We hope to have some communication from HCC that we can share with you shortly.  And we will continue to work with the SEND Crisis team, as well as all other local partners, to make sure that the views and concerns of Hertfordshire families are understood by local decision makers and service providers.

Webinar news – new sessions on Legal Protections and Home Education
We are very pleased to announce that we will be running a new webinar next week, which looks at the legal aspects of ensuring the future wellbeing of your child with SEND.  It will cover Wills, Trusts, Lasting Powers of Attorney & Court of Protection matters, and the session will also allow time for questions to be put to the presenters – solicitors from the Burnside Partnership.  If you would like to book your free place, please click here: Friday 19 Nov (10:00 – 11:00).

The following week, we also have our new session on home education.  For more information about this, and to book your place, click here: Tuesday 23 November (10:00 – 11:00).

In less exciting news, I’m afraid that due to staff shortages, the rest of the webinars that SENDIASS were due to deliver for us this term can no longer be run as live sessions.  However, anyone who was signed up will be able to access a recording and the full resource pack.  I will be sending out emails to all those who were booked on a live event shortly.  My sincere apologies for this.

Open letter to families of children and young people with SEND from Children and Families Minister
This week, Will Quince, the new Children and Families Minister published an open letter to all parents and carers of children and young people with SEND.  The main topic of the letter is the delayed SEND Review, to which the Minister says he is wholeheartedly committed: “I agree improvements are needed – and overdue”.  He says Government needs to “improve early intervention, make clearer the support and services everyone should be able to expect and have funding and accountability systems in place which support this”.  However, the letter does not offer any specifics and, reading between the lines, implies that it will be some months before the full set of proposals are published for public consultation.  We will keep you informed.  If you want to read the full letter it is available here.

Contact’s Listening Ear Service
In case you ever need some emotional support, a quick reminder that Contact, the national charity for families with disabled children, runs a free “listening ear” service.  This is available to any family across the UK, and daytime, evening and weekend appointments are available.  To find out more, please follow this link to the Contact website https://contact.org.uk/help-for-families/listening-ear/.

Thanks for reading and I hope that you have a good week,

Kate Hudson
HPCI Membership and Comms Officer