Parent network – 25th March 21

This week we have a number of local items and some national ones.

  • Parent advice wanted for art work for the new St Alban’s Children’s Centre
  • Parent input for the therapy transition work to FE/Adult services
  • Summer term parenting courses and support in Dacorum
  • Young people aged 14-16 needed for trial of health app
  • Herts County Council guidance on emotionally based school avoidance
  • New Top Up High Needs Funding Manual


  • National Survey for parents on children having clinical procedures
  • Campaign from the Disabled Children’s Partnership
  • Education Policy Institute Report on identification of SEND

Do you have a child with sensory issues (not hearing or visual impairment) and could help with making the new location for St Albans Children’s Centre more sensitive to their needs?

Later this year St Alban’s Children’s Centre is moving to St Alban’s Civic Centre and there is a project going on at the moment to fit out the new location. They are currently looking at way finding (ie moving around the building) and wall art and would really appreciate the input of a parent who has a child with sensory needs.  Visual and hearing impairment is already covered.  The main reception in the civic centre is a big open area and they would also really appreciate some feedback on any changes they could make to the area to be as sensitive as possible. The parent would be working with Karen Woollard who is the children and young people’s Therapy Services Manager at Herts Community NHS Trust (HCT) and the design team. This would probably involve meeting them at the new site where you can talk through the areas where they are seeking advice. This will of course be done in a Covid safe way.   If you are interested then please contact myself, Carol Kelsey – contact details at end of email.

HCT (Herts Community NHS Trust) – Transition into Further Education and/or Adult Services for Young People with Therapy Needs

This project focuses on access to Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy and SaLT therapy and how the CYP therapy service can improve transitions for young people and their families. HPCI already has an experienced parent rep involved but we would really welcome another parent getting involved who has an older child who has used these services and has experience of transition to FE or adult services.
If you are interested in getting involved then please contact myself, Carol Kelsey, contact details at end of email.

Dacorum area – DSPL 8

They have recently published their Summer 2021 offer for Dacorum Online Parenting Courses and Support.  Please note that for some of the courses, priority is given to parents living in the local area.  The brochure can be downloaded from their website: –

Two volunteers aged 14-16 years wanted to trial new Hear Me Now digital app.

As part of efforts to improve the long term health outcomes for those with a learning disability. Herts County Council (HCC) are working with Herts Healthwatch on trialing the Hear Me Now digital health app.  The trial group currently consists of 5 young people age 17 to early 20’s and 3 parent/carers but they would like to have some younger participants aged 14-16 years and their parent.
If you are willing to take part please contact me, Carol Kelsey  – contact details at the end.

HCC – guidance now available online:

Survey for parents on Children Having Clinical Procedures

Professor Lucy Bray is an amazing Children’s Nurse is working on creating better experiences for children and their families, through establishing internationally agreed standards regarding supportive prep, holding etc when clinical interventions are required. This would be across all settings Emergency, Primary Care, Mental Health and General Paediatric settings. Lucy has done brilliant work with children about what they want – but now would like the perspectives of parent/carers. Survey link is:

Disabled Children’s Partnership National Campaign

The Disabled Children’s Partnership is asking for members of the public to write to their MP’s and demand a COVID-19 recovery plan. By generating this public pressure, they can put the issues affecting disabled children and their families squarely on the political map and ensure that – as we ease gradually out of lockdown – targeted recovery policies are put in place to make-up for a lost year of development. Further information here:

Educational Policy Institute Report – on identification of SEND

The EPI research is “the first-ever study to fully quantify how SEND support varies nationally.” It shows that in primary school, the chances of being identified as a pupil with SEND largely depend on the school that a child attends, rather than their individual circumstances.