Parent network update – 10th December

Welcome to this week’s HPCI parent network update. A number of things here including:

  • local learning opportunities for parent carers on sensory issues and mental health
  • surveys – yes more!!! and some results
  • new Money Matters guide for SEND families from national charity Contact
  • NNPCF national conference – watch key speakers online
  • Easy read version of Covid Tier system

Sensory issues – online workshops for parents.

HCT (Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust) are the providers for therapies for children with SEND and they have been developing a range of workshops for parents as part of their contract.  They have two sensory workshops for parents running next term led by their occupational therapists.  The workshops are open access to parents – you don’t need to be on their caseload.
The service is also asking that parents take these workshops before requesting a referral to occupational therapy for sensory issues.
Sensory issues affect a wide range of children and young people with SEND.  We are not talking here about visual and hearing impairments but rather about those who have difficulties such as high sensitivity to noise, touch, knowing where they are in space, textures etc.
The first workshop – Understanding your child’s sensory needs – is intended for parents of younger children new to sensory needs. More details and booking via these links

The second workshop – Supporting your child’s sensory self-regulation development is intended for those parents who are further on in their journey.  More details and booking via these links

DSPL4 SEND and mental health conference 29th January 2021 via Zoom

This conference is open to parents/carers across Hertfordshire. It is from 9am to 2.30pm with a range of speakers and a range of workshops. The key note speaker is Dr Pooky Knightsmith and an opening address by Sir Charles Walker KBE MP.
You can download a delegate pack with further information and booking details here:

Herts County Council (HCC) – Post 16 education survey

HCC are running a survey for parents and carers to collect feedback on SEND education for 16-25 year olds in the county. If you are a parent/carer whose young person:

  • is in year 11 and thinking about their post-16 education
  • is currently in post-16 education
  • has accessed post-16 education in the past

They want to hear from you and are keen to hear from a wide range of parents with young people who are in mainstream, specialist settings, colleges or out of county settings. The survey will take 5-10 minutes to complete and will help inform how they shape services in the future.
The survey will close 8th January 2021.

National survey by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists has been concerned about the impact of the pandemic on children and young people who are supported by speech and language therapists.
We know that many of you will have felt this impact and the Royal College would really like to hear from you about it. They have designed a survey to find out how the pandemic and the lockdown has affected access to speech and language therapy and they plan to use the results to make the case for more speech and language therapy support.
Complete it here:

Survey results from HPCI Return to education October 2020 survey are out!

Thank you to the 192 parents and carers who completed the survey and now you can read a summary of the results via our website.
What have we done with the results?  Presented them to senior leaders across the system and we are working with them on a response around what they are doing which we will share as soon as it is ready.

Improving admission to hospital surveyTHANK YOU to the 64 parents who completed this survey which closed on the 8th December.  We are analysing the results and have passed them on to the working group and our parent representative.  We will publish a summary of the results in the new year.

Contact Money Matters – free downloadable guide for parents and carers
National charity CONTACT produce lots of great information for families with SEND.  The latest is an updated downloadable guide to Money Matters England and Wales
This guide covers: disability and sickness benefits, carer’s allowance, universal credit, benefits if you’re out of full-time work, money and vouchers for having children, working tax credits, at school, help with rent, mortgage and council tax, transport, grants and loans and other help.

NNPCF/Contact National Annual Conference on parent participation

This year the event was held online and many more representatives from forums such as HPCI were able to take part.
You can watch recordings of some of the key speakers here:
The keynote address and Q&A with Professor Russell Viner, President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, member of SAGE Children’s Task and Finish Group and Chair of the NHSE Children and Young People’s Stakeholder Council may be of particular interest to you as he talks about the effect of the pandemic on the health of children and young people with SEND.

FINALLY – Here is a helpful Easy Read guide to the Covid Tier system