Parent network update December 17th

This is HPCI’s’ last communication to parents and carers in our network for 2020.  We will be taking a break over the festive period from 18th December and we will be back of the 4th January 2021.    This email includes:

  • Co-production and the Local Offer
  • Coronavirus testing in schools and colleges from January
  • Courses next term on Makaton and various courses from SPACE
  • Survey on palliative care for parents and carers of children with life limiting or threatening conditions
  • Research request for parents on children with learning disabilities around feeding difficulties
  • End of year message from HPCI.

SEND Local Offer co-production stamp

Look out for the co-production stamps on the Local Offer website.  These mean that the information you are seeing has been created from scratch with families from HPCI or from the Local Offer teams SEND online feedback group. The HPCI stamp can only be added to a page with the agreement of the members of HPCI who have worked on it.  We’re also looking to see how else these stamps might be used in the future to show how other developments have been co-produced with HPCI.


Every secondary school and college in England, as well as special schools and alternative provision, will have access to rapid coronavirus testing from January to help keep staff and students as safe as possible and in education.
This means that lateral flow tests will be in all secondary schools and colleges to help detect asymptomatic cases and break chains of transmission.  Staff will be tested weekly, and staff and students to be tested daily if identified as a close contact.
The fine detail of exactly how this will work in schools and colleges has yet to be ironed out and HPCI has raised concerns locally about how the tests will work for those children and young people with SEND who may struggle with the way the test is taken, who can give consent and what will happen around mental capacity.  More information will be available in the New Year.

Makaton Courses – online via Teams
Makaton is a form of sign language that many children and young people with speech, language and communication difficulties find helps their communication.  It is widely used in specialist provision in Hertfordshire and elsewhere.  Find out more at
Herts Community NHS Trust’s (HCT) speech and language therapy service is putting on 2 courses open to parents and professionals next term.  Each course consists of 2 sessions – you need to attend both – and due to the specialist nature of the training there is a charge of £69 per course.  Further details of each course and links to sign up are below.

Level 1 Course – teaches signs and symbols from the core vocabulary in stages 1 & 2 and also methods around using Makaton.  You will receive a manual and an attendance certificate.
26th January and 2nd February 2021 — 9.15AM-1.00PM
Eventbrite link:

23rd February and 2nd March 2021 — 9.15AM-1.00PM
Eventbrite link:

3rd March and 10th March 2021 — 9.15AM-1.00PM
Eventbrite link:

Level 2 Course – This is a practical 2 session workshop, which teaches signs and symbols from the Core Vocabulary in stages 3-4. This will build on the knowledge gained in the level 1 workshop. Participants will receive a manual and an attendance certificate.

16th March and 23rd March 2021—9.15AM-1.00PM
Eventbrite link:

SPACE Online Workshops next term – booking open now
SENSORY WORKSHOP – 18th January 7-9pm…/sensory-workshop-tickets…

UNDERSTANDING ADHD – Friday 22nd January 11am -12pm…/understanding-adhd…

SLEEP WORKSHOP – Weds 27th January 10am to 12pm…/sleep-workshop-tickets…

UNDERSTANDING AUTISM and ADHD – Tuesday 2nd Feb 7-9pm…/understanding-autism-and…

UNDERSTANDING AUTISM  – Thursday 11th Feb 10am to 11am…/understanding-autism…

NAVIGATING THE SEND WORLD – Wednesday 24th Feb 10am to 12pm…/navigating-the-send…

AUTISTIC GIRLS -Thursday 25th Feb 7-8.30pm…/autistic-girls-workshop…

ANXIETY WORKSHOP – Friday 5th March 11am to 12pm…/anxiety-workshop-tickets…

ANGER & CONFLICT – Monday 15th March 10am-11.30am…/anger-and-conflict…

UNDERSTANDING ADHD – Tuesday 16th March 10-11am…/understanding-adhd…

Palliative Care Survey – for parents and carers of children with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions including those who have been bereaved in the past 12-24 months.
The Institute of Palliative Care, Policy & Rehabilitation at Kings College London is keen to recruit more parents and carers of children and young people with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions for this survey (either those who are currently caring for a child or those who have been bereaved within the past 12-24 months).
The link to the survey is here:  It should take no longer than 10 minutes to complete.

It has been a challenging 10 months for us all as parents and carers. However, despite the many challenges HPCI’s parent reps have continued to work hard ensuring that the voice of SEND families is heard loud and clear and we will continue to do so throughout 2021.

We hope you all have a safe and enjoyable Christmas break whichever tier you are in and we look forward to a hopefully brighter 2021.