Parent Network update 3rd March – lots of info!

Welcome to a longer update this week as there is lots to cover.
Back to school/college
HCC Early Years Survey
Testers for a health app
HPCI survey results for admission to hospital survey
SENDIASS job vacancy
Soundabout music sessions
Siblings Survey
Regional event on avoiding mental health admissions

Back to school/college 8th March  – Guidance
The return to school and college for all pupils and students starts next Monday.  As usual there is loads of guidance to read around it.  However luckily other people have read it for you!
Special Needs Jungle has produced a 10 point guide for SEND families.  You can find it here.SNJ Return to School
Also the Council for Disabled Children has produced a briefing – Council for Disabled Children – return to school summary
Masks – these are not recommended to be worn in primary settings and exemptions apply to those young people in secondary who are not able to wear a mask due to their needs.
Testing – this applies to secondary pupils and the first three tests will be administered by school and then by the family. Schools will send out more information directly.
If your child is not allowed into school because they are unable to wear a mask or decline to be tested then you can contact the DfE helpline.

Please let HPCI know too.
School Transport – will run as normal from next week and HCC has asked all drivers and escorts to be tested at the community-based testing sites twice each week but it cannot make it compulsory.
Anxiety and the return to school – where children and young people are refusing to return due to anxiety then the local authority has the same approach it has had in previous 2 lockdowns.
More information to follow in another email.
HCC Early Years Survey – for parents and voluntary sector organisations
HCC wants to gather the views of a range of people including parents and voluntary sector organisations who have early years focused work/groups. This is to help them to be able to deliver against HCC’s ambitions in Early Years (ages 0 – 5) SEND and to deliver high quality services.  If you are a parent of a child with SEND who is 0-5 or perhaps just through that stage HCC would like you to tell them where they are doing well or where they need to improve the provision. Complete the survey HERE by Thursday 11th March.
HCC’s SEND E news latest edition is dedicated to Early Years – not signed up? To subscribe go to

Health App testers wanted – from Herts – aged 14 plus with a learning disability 
As part of some of the health work happening in Hertfordshire around young people with a learning disability HCC along with Health Watch want to do some initial testing of the ‘Hear Me Now’ Health app. They are looking for 4-6 young people aged 14 plus to try it out. If you would like to volunteer then contact Carol Kelsey the HPCI coordinator by replying to this email. More information re the app can be found here :

HPCI hosted Hospital Admissions Survey results
This survey, that ran in November 2020, gathered information about what matters to families when their child or young person with SEND is admitted to hospital.  64 parent carers completed the survey from across the county, covering all age ranges of CYP from 0-25.  The full results, which included many helpful suggestions, have been shared with the working group at East and North Herts Hospital Trust, which includes a parent rep from HPCI, and will feed into staff training.  The results have also been shared with both the West Herts Hospital Trust and the Paediatrics department at Lister Hospital and we hope that they will be used to inform future improvement projects.
Many thanks if you completed the survey.  A summary of the results can be read here:

SENDIASS Job Vacancy
SENDIASS Development Manager
This full-time role of SENDIASS Development Manager will support the delivery of a responsive service, which can meet the increasing needs of children and young people with SEND and their families. The role will lead on and manage specific projects to increase service reach by creating and implementing a high-quality outreach and training initiative, conduct research and produce a range of reports.  If you are interested then click on the link in the job title above where you can find out more and how to apply.

Soundabout: free interactive music sessions
Soundabout believe that people with learning disabilities should have an interactive musical life that enhances their lives and education.  They have an extensive timetable of online music sessions for people with complex and additional needs that might be of interest: SOUNDABOUT
These include sessions for different age groups and an inclusive choir.

Survey on impact of Covid 19 on the siblings (aged up to 18) with a disabled brother or sister.
National Charity Sibs is interested in finding out more about the impact of this latest lockdown and the pandemic on the siblings (up to 18 years) of brothers or sisters who are disabled.
The results are collected anonymously and the Sibs is working with a researcher at University College London.  SIBS Survey

If you wish to book a place on the workshop below then you will need to copy the contact details as the links in the photo won’t work.