Parent network update 26th November

Welcome to this week’s network update.  We have 6 items in this email and an easy guide to self-isolating at the end.

SBLO (Short Break Local Offer) is back online!

We are very pleased to say that, following a request from HPCI the Short Break online system is back up and running.  You can find it at the link below along with an explanation of how services are operating in this pandemic.  There has also been a small increase in funding to help providers with extra costs and to support the online offer.
Direct contact with providers remains, so new or existing users can continue to directly contact SBLO providers to express interest in play schemes and book face to face sessions. The access to the SBLO Virtual offer (online & livestream sessions) are free of charge therefore these will not require a booking via the system.
The changes introduced with the 2020 SBLO summer offer will remain in place during the Autumn and Winter 2020. Here is a recap of the changes:

  • Safety measures & capacity: SBLO clubs will continue to run at reduced capacity to ensure that social distancing and other safety measures can be in place.
  • Physical & virtual activities: Most providers will continue to update their online remote activities and also have face to face activities on offer – please refer to the Local Offer website and its Autumn Offer section for a list of all SBLO activities.
  • SBLO hours will continue to be allocated differently:
    • ensuring that the most vulnerable children and young people can access Autumn SBLO and as far as possible that every child and young person with SEND can access at least one form of care support.
    • Hours will not be based on formal allocations. Instead there will be a fair distribution of hours so that every child and family have an opportunity for additional care support over the Autumn and Winter.

Follow this link for the full list of SBLO virtual content.

Top up High Needs Funding – update on the Local Offer

As you may be aware ENF (Exceptional Needs Funding) has been replaced with a new system called Top Up (High Needs) Funding (HNF) for mainstream schools and settings.  HPCI parent reps have been involved in all aspects of this development which will provide funding for a  greater number of children in mainstream schools than ENF did.
You can find out more about it and what this may mean for your child along with why the change has happened at
You can also watch a film of the training session held in October and download the PowerPoint slides via this link

SENDIASS Webinars – in partnership with HPCI
EHC Annual Review webinar

There is another chance to attend a live EHC Annual Review webinar. It is being held at 7.30pm on Wednesday 9 December and will last around an hour.  Registration is vital and is via this link:

Choosing a school webinar

Choosing a school for your child is one of the most important decisions you will make.  This can be daunting at the best of times, and even more so with current restrictions meaning that many schools have had to cancel their usual in-person open days.  This webinar will help you think about the right kind of school for your child, how to draw up your list and what to look for during a virtual visit.  This is a pre-recorded webinar that you can watch at a time that suits you, and there is also an accompanying booklet that you can use for reference, so you don’t have to take notes!
The webinar can be found on the HPCI website at:
The same web page also includes information from other webinars, covering topics such as applying for an Education Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment, and all you need to know about EHC Reviews.

Winter Grant Scheme for families

Via the link below you can read what Hertfordshire County Council’s is providing with the £2.5m invested to support families as part of the new winter grant scheme:
As a forum we are well aware of the hardships that many families are facing and that families who have children with SEND form a significant proportion of families on low incomes.

Dyscalculia Guidance

HPCI parent reps worked with the SpLD (specific learning difficulty) advisory teachers and an educational psychologist on this guidance which is for schools and parents.  We have already contributed to one on dyslexia and work on the dysgraphia guidance is starting shortly. You can find the dyscalculia one here:
This has been sent out to all schools with links to the SpLD number assessment, and two webinars – one on recognising and responding to maths difficulties and dyscalculia and one on how to use the SpLD number assessment to identify strengths and difficulties and plan teaching.
The dyslexia guidance can be found here:

Don’t Forget!

We have another survey out.  Currently this is the best way for us to get a good range of parent views to help our parent reps with their role.  The latest one is around improving admission to hospital for those with SEND.  We want to hear from as many of you as possible whether your child has been ever been admitted to hospital or not.  It will take about 5 minutes to complete. The survey is open until  Tuesday 8th December.

Self-isolation guidance – see the handy guide below which makes the rules clear