15 November 2021


In this issue:

SEND Strategy, and how we are responding to the biggest challenges in SEND in Hertfordshire

We use our You said, we did webpage on the Local Offer website to explain how our services respond to feedback from families, and how we are trying to improve based on the challenges we are aware of in SEND.

We have updated our webpage to tell you a bit more about how we are responding to some of the biggest challenges we have in Hertfordshire. These are things that you have told us are your highest priorities, including the lack of special school places and issues with communication in the Statutory SEND team. We know we aren't getting things right, and we are working to fix that. We want to be better at telling you how we are fixing things too, so we will be updating this information and sharing more regularly.

How we're responding to the biggest challenges in SEND in Hertfordshire

Our SEND Strategy sets out how we make sure things are better in the future. County councillors have today approved the SEND Strategy 2022-25 which sets out our vision, aspirations, and priorities for the next 3 years and our commitment to continuously improving support for children and young people with SEND in Hertfordshire. 

New strategy sets out Hertfordshire County Council's commitment to children and young people with SEND

Short Breaks Survey

In Hertfordshire, we are dedicated to improving the lives of our children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and strive to deliver high-quality targeted services.

If you have a child with SEND, we would be very grateful if you could complete this questionnaire about our current Short Breaks Local Offer (SBLO) giving feedback on our current provision and also any ideas for how it could be improved. It should only take about 10 minutes to complete and your responses will be very gratefully received.

Many thanks, SEND Commissioning Team.

Fill in the Short Breaks survey now

Just Talk Campaign week

The Just Talk campaign week is 15 - 21 November. This year, Just Talk is focusing on the importance of kindness – how we can all benefit from being a little kinder to ourselves, and each other. Young people, as well as their parents and carers are invited to get involved and promote positive mental health in Herts. 

Following the success of 2020’s event, this year’s campaign week will be taking place online and in schools and colleges across the county. You and/or young people, parents and carers, will be able to access a range of FREE informational webinars throughout the week.

Visit the Just Talk website for more information and a schedule of free webinars

Anti-bullying week

Kindness is more important today than it has ever been. The isolation of the last year has underlined how little acts of consideration can break down barriers and brighten the lives of the people around us. This is one of the reasons, that ‘One Kind Word’ has been chosen as the theme of Anti-Bullying Week taking place from 15 to 19 of November 2021.

The statutory guidance for schools and colleges - Keeping children safe in education 2021 - has been updated.  The Anti-bullying Alliance has outlined how this guidance relates to bullying and how these points differ from previous guidance.  For more information on this, and to read the report, visit the Anti-Bulling Alliance website.

The Anti-bullying Alliance's call to action: 

Ask if someone’s OK. Say you’re sorry. Just say hey.

In a world that can sometimes feel like it’s filled with negativity, one kind word can provide a moment of hope. It can be a turning point. It can change someone’s perspective. It can change their day. It can change the course of a conversation and break the cycle of bullying.

Best of all, one kind word leads to another. Kindness fuels kindness. So from the playground to Parliament, and from our phones to our homes, together, our actions can fire a chain reaction that powers positivity.

It starts with one kind word. It starts today.

Why not check out this year's Parent & Carer resource pack? Written with the help of Kidscape, it's full of info, tips & tools for speaking to your children about bullying

PHonesmart logo

The Anti-Bullying Alliance have been working with EE on their PhoneSmart Licence, a free online course that ensures kids getting their first phone know how to stay safe and be kind online. The course features four modules; Online Hate, Digital Wellbeing, Staying Safe Online and Digital and Media Literacy. They have also collated some of the best online resources for parents to help the conversation about phone safety with their children.

It's completely free for parents to give to their children before they receive their first phone. It's available no matter what network your phone is on. 

Find out more about the PhoneSmart Licence.

Young People's Survey

young people's support group

Services for Young People want to capture the voices of young people up to the age of 25 with special educational needs, about the activities and support available for them in Hertfordshire. The survey is open until 17 December - make sure you have your say!

Complete the SEN Young People's Survey now


View all courses and events here

Home Education: Choices, Realities and Reintegration (online - Herts Parent Carers Involvement)

Tuesday 23 November 10am - 11am

This session is being delivered by Sarah-Jane Critchley, who has both personal and professional experience when it comes to home educating.  You will learn about important things to consider when thinking about home educating your child, what it's really like to home educate, what the law says, and information on LA help and Education Other than at School.

Tween Group for ages 8 - 11 from Potential KidsPotential Kids logo

Tuesday 23 November 2021 from 4.30 - 6.30pm at the Potential to Grow Learning Garden, Hatfield Galleria

TWEEN group is an inclusive and safe group for neuro-diverse people to make friends, socialise and learn new things while having fun.

SfYP Focus Youth Project for young people with learning disabilities

Tuesday 30 November 7 - 9pm, Waltham Cross Young People's Centreyoung people doing crafts

The Services for Young People Focus Youth Project is an exciting youth project for young people with learning disabilities. If you are aged 13-24 and interested in playing sports, cooking, arts & crafts, music-making and socialising then this is the project for you!