15 September 2021


In this issue:

SEND Strategy Drawing competition - win a £50 Amazon voucher

Girl drawing picture of cat

To celebrate the upcoming launch of the SEND Strategy 2022 - 2025, we are running a drawing competition - children and young people can take part and could win a £50

 Amazon voucher! There are 5 up for grabs. Just pick one of our categories and make a picture for it. You can paint, draw, collage, use an iPad - create however you want to!  

SEND Drawing Competition (hertfordshire.gov.uk)

Come along to one of our drop-in SEND Community events in the coming weeks too: SEND Community events

Update from the Educational Support for Medical Absence (ESMA) team

Over recent months we have revised and developed our ESMA service to better meet the needs of more young people. This has included:

  • making it clearer what our service provides, which is a teaching service for students unable to attend school for medical reasons.
  • revising our ESMA team structure and practices to increase our teaching capacity.
  • working to a 'graduated approach' model, offering 5 types of support - depending on the needs of the pupil.
  • introducing a Teaching Assistant role to support teachers paired / group learning.

This is a very exciting time for ESMA, learn more about our newly updated ESMA Service (PDF 1.23mb). If you would like to feed back, please get in touch with esmaenquiries@hertfordshire.gov.uk.

ESMA also has a new duty line, for parents to call and ask for advice. 01442 454 802 (school hours, term time only).

Equipment survey

The SEND Commissioning Team would like to hear from parents/carers who have had experiences of requesting or receiving equipment for their child or young person with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities. Please take part by completing the short survey which is open from 13 September until 1 October 2021.

Complete the equipment survey

Hertfordshire Dyslexia Association event

Dyslexia – one word, many experiences. An on-line panel event which explores the stories, realities and coping strategies of those affected by dyslexia. Come and hear their story and participate in a Q&A session with our panellists, who between them cover a wide variety of experiences as parents, teachers and adults in the workplace.
Thursday 7 October, 7pm – 8.15pm (followed by HDA AGM at 8.15pm).

Book your free place at this event

Log-in details will be emailed to you prior to the event.

HAPpy Programme

Food parcel delivered with fresh ingredients for a vegetarian chilli

Hertfordshire County Council joined forces with the Herts Sports Partnership and the Hertfordshire Community Foundation, to organise a programme for the summer holidays aimed at countering the triple inequalities facing Hertfordshire’s most disadvantaged young people – holiday hunger, physical inactivity and social isolation.

This initiative funded by the Department for Education, included 4 hour programmes for those young people aged 5 - 16 who are in receipt of free school meals. Programmes were led by a range of organisations from across the public, private, community and voluntary sectors, offering a range of catering, sports, physical activity and enrichment activities.

The Herts Sports Partnership and SEND Commissioning Team worked together to tailor the HAPpy initiative to meet the specific needs of SEND children accessing SBLO activities. In partnership with Morrisons and John Lewis, food parcels and activity packs were delivered to children and young people known to SBLO services. The activity packs included sensory items and booklets that children could use to have fun and get active throughout the summer holidays. These were packed and delivered by Herts Full Stop directly to SBLO providers who helped ensure that the packs reached all eligible families. The food parcels were partly donated by Morrisons and were delivered to all the eligible SEND households. Children received two separate packs, with goodies and food delivered in two different weeks during August.

In total, over 200 activity packs and food parcels were delivered to the SEND children most in need.

This was a result of a great team and partnership effort that involved Hertfordshire’s SBLO providers, SEND Commissioning Team and Herts Sports Partnership. We are pleased to have been able to successfully reach and provide more opportunities to our most vulnerable families.

What a SBLO parent said:

“Thank you so much for sorting out and liaising with Morrisons. The food parcel was delivered early without fuss and the contents were really practical. 

I have enclosed a picture of the contents so you can see what was delivered. It was a veggie chilli with ample ingredients including fresh and ambient packages. With a recipe card included. Thanks again”

Spotlight on events

View all events

Online - Understanding ADHD (ADD - Vance)

Monday 20 September, 10am - 11.30am, free

Understand more about the strengths and challenges associated with ADHD, recognise the different ways that ADHD may ‘present’ in children/young people, explore helpful support strategies, and know where to get more help.

Hertford  - Train and Track Play Session (SPACE)

Tuesday 21 September, 5pm - 6pm, £5.98

Space Hertfordshire, in conjunction with Train and Track, are pleased to host this SPACE exclusive train play session. This is a perfect, relaxed play session for children, (guided age 3 to 11 years) with SEN who love trains!

Broxbourne - Special Needs Trampolining (John Warner Sports Centre)

Saturday 25 September, 4.15pm - 5.15pm, from £4.80

Learn and develop new trampolining skills with these great sessions for children with special needs, for young people under 16 years old. Happens every Saturday (term time only).