SEND news

Latest news and updates

Is your child on the GP learning disability register?

Approximately 1.5 million people in the UK have a learning disability (NHS, 2018), of which less than 300,000 are registered on the learning disability register (NHS Digital, 2018).

The learning disability register, formally known as the Learning Disability QOF register is the list of people with learning disabilities that should be held by each GP practice in England (Public Health England, 2017).

We have recently been promoting the need to have an Annual Health Check – however, the first step to this means an individual must be listed on the learning disability register. According to our HCC data, there are an estimated 21,000 people with a learning disability living in Hertfordshire, of which only 5,000 are listed on the learning disability register. This means a significant proportion of people with a learning disability are unlikely to be receiving an Annual Health Check – an important part of detecting, treating and preventing new and unmet health needs. Being recorded on the learning disability register is essential for enabling people with learning disabilities to receive proper support from their GP practice.

The local Learning Disability Mortality Review (LeDeR)3 is aware of these issues and stated that the main reason people with learning disabilities are not recorded on the learning disability register is because they have not asked their GP practice if they can be put on the register, and/or have not been identified by their GP practice as having a learning disability.

The Transforming SEND Preparing for Adulthood (PfA) workstream is working with stakeholders to highlight the need for health checks, and  our 'experts by experience' have included tips in our online information to help the young person who may be feeling nervous about the check.  You can help us by making sure your GP has your child registered on the learning disability register.  With your permission, or in some cases your carer or family members permission, your doctor can add more information about your condition to your summary care record (SCR). Everyone has an SCR – it is a summary of GP medical records such as medication or hospital appointments.

Let your doctor know that you would like to give consent for additional information (AI) to be stored on your SCR. This can include details of a learning disability, any physical/sensory disability, communication needs, or contact details of a carer or next of kin. This can really help with medical appointments as it means that health professionals will know about your latest medical needs and requirements.

Information from the Healthwatch annual review   and Devon County Council learning disability register  

Healthwatch easy read version is also available

The Downs Syndrome website is featuring information on the disability register - visit their website


Share your thoughts on home education

Parliamentary Education Committee – inquiry into home education

Instead of sending your child to a place of education, some parents are choosing to educate their child at home. This is known as home schooling, or elective home education (EHE). Doing so is a big decision and there's information on the Local Offer here to help you decide whether home schooling is right for you and your child and whether you decide to do it full or part time.

A recently launched inquiry will look at whether the current arrangements for home education give enough support for home educated children to access efficient, full-time and suitable education and what further measures may be necessary to make this work.

It will also look at how COVID-19 has impacted home education.

The Parliamentary Education Committee invites written submissions including those from parents on a range of points.

You can find more details and information on their website here.

The inquiry closes on 6th November 2020.

How is the return to education going for your children?

Our Hertfordshire parent/carer forum, (HPCI) is gathering the views and experiences of parents/carers of children and young people with SEND.

Please help us find out how the return to education is going for your child/children.  The results will inform HCCs work with families and education settings as well as being fed into any visit that Ofsted/CQC might make to Hertfordshire.  HPCI will share key points with their national organisation the NNPCF who meet regular with government departments including the Department for Education.

If you have more than one child with SEND then please complete a separate entry for each child.

The survey will be open until Sunday 8th November.
If you would like help completing the survey then contact HPCI on 07840 360245

PLEASE - promote the survey to other parents who may not be members of HPCI's parent network.  The impact of the survey is greater the higher the number of parents who complete it.

Update on a new SEND information, advice and support service

Our work with Kids Hubs, SENDIASS and Herts Parents Carer Involvement (HPCI), to develop a new SEND Information Advice and Support Service is going well. 

We’ve looked at all the responses to the consultation we ran in Spring this year and are including this feedback in the service design.  The service will deliver face to face and virtual workshops and one to one sessions in local community venues, as well as offer support over the phone and on webinars. 

Things to do in Hertfordshire

Short Breaks Local Offer for this Autumn Term

The Autumn offer has been published on the Local offer website on this page.

This information has also been emailed to all parent carers with an active account on the SBLO online system.  We regret that the online system is still not available to access by parents and carers due to the ongoing coronavirus situation.

We know how important overnight and short breaks are to families and we have been working hard with our providers to ensure that they are as available and accessible to families as possible. It may not be possible for Overnight Short Breaks and the Short Break Local Offer providers to keep children in the same bubble they are in during the school day, so we are asking providers to put in place other ways to minimise the risk of transmission of Coronavirus.

To find out more about Corona-19 and the precautions we need to take, visit

Join Playskill's drop-in session

Charlotte Kohnhorst answers your questions about literacy, numeracy or behavioural issues

Charlotte (pictured left) is a teacher & assessor of Specific Learning Difficulties (SLD) and will be available to answer your questions at the Playskills drop in surgery on

20 October 2020
Time: 8:15 pm - 9:15 pm

10 minute appointments are available for Playskill members/children.  

Click here to book 

All training events will be delivered via Zoom while Playskills navigate the COVID-19 restrictions. Please book on today so you do not miss out.

Mental Health & Wellbeing Workshops

Potential Kids  is a local charity that supports Neurodiverse children and their families.

Passionate about helping young people through these tough times of Covid-19, Potential Kids are offering free mental health and wellbeing workshops for students in years 7 - 13.

The workshops are aimed at providing young people with information, support and skills to enable them to understand and improve their own mental health and wellbeing and will be run by a qualified and experienced Mental Health Trainer from Potential Kids. 

You can download this poster and go online here to book

For more information about this programme or what Potential Kids could offer to your families, please contact 

More here

NESSie & Angels parent training

Are you waiting for an assessment of your child/young person aged 4 – 15 years who is displaying traits of ASD and/or ADHD?

Nessie and Angels training gives parent/carers the opportunity to explore and discuss these issues.

Places must be booked via our website:

Support and Advice

Worried about your child’s sensory development?

The Hertfordshire Community Trust’s Children’s Occupational Therapy service is running free online courses during the Autumn term – 2 more dates are available

Monday 16th November 10am-11am  

Wednesday 9th December 10am-11am  

You can find out about courses on ‘Supporting your child’s sensory Self-Regulation development’ here

HCT also has a dedicated telephone number which parents, carers and professional can call to speak to a therapist about a new referral or child’s development.

The advice line number is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please leave a message at 01992 823093 and a therapist will contact you.

Calls are responded to by a therapist on weekdays an you can find out more on their advice lines here

If your child is already known to the service there is a different number - please call 01923 470680 or email

Parenting support

In Hertfordshire our ambition is that all children are given the best start in life, with parents and professionals working together to provide all the opportunities children need to become happy, healthy and successful adults.

Hertfordshire’s overall commitment is that no child, family or community is left behind. This means that all children are given the opportunity to achieve the best outcome they can. One of our key services to enable this to happen is our menu of high quality training courses that will support parents to be the best that they can. Celebrating October ADHD awareness month we have a selection of courses on this topic as support and information for parents/carers.

A list of upcoming relevant courses can be downloaded here.


Create your own Mind Plan to better mental health

On October 10th we celebrated Mental Health day. This annual event is held to help raise awareness about how every day can present challenges to those struggling with mental health issues.

Every Mind Matters offers a range of resources that help you spot the signs of common mental health concerns. It offers practical self-care tips and guidance and, importantly, explains when to seek further support.

There is also a free NHS-approved online tool called Your Mind Plan. Simply answer 5 quick questions to get your personalised plan of simple ideas to help improve mental health and wellbeing.

Wash hands, cover face, make space! Are you doing your bit?

Watch the latest video from the Purple All-Stars explaining how important it is to wear a face covering in the community.

We know that exemptions are available to people who cannot wear masks due to their learning disability or other health problems, but we think it is important to explain to people why wearing a mask if you can helps protect you and those around you.

Face coverings have now become compulsory when using public transport and in a number of public settings, to help keep yourself and others safe. If you have a health condition or disability that makes wearing a face mask challenging you can download or print an exemption card here.

You may wish to share this link of the Purple Stars with friends and family

Hand washing

Respiratory issues are the leading cause of death for people with learning disabilities. Good hand hygiene to reduce the spread of the cold and flu virus is therefore very important. The Purple All Stars show the different stages to washing your hands thoroughly. Watch the hand washing rap

Your services

Help us shape the Local Offer

Over 230 parents and young people are influencing decision making for the Local Offer already and we still need you to help shape the Local Offer.

You can make a difference by taking part in occasional simple, 5 minute activities or questions which we send to your inbox. 

 Learn more about the families behind the Local Offer now and how to join them by reading our latest blog at

A Journey of Rediscovery

Finding Hope and Opportunity in Changing Times - sign up for HPFT's first online Recovery Conference on Monday 2 November.

Join the Hertfordshire Partnership University, Foundation Trust at their live community conference (with pre-recorded sessions) talking about mental health, 'Recovery' advice, support and personal stories for anyone looking for some advice or support.
The Recovery Conference includes conversations on Where are we now?; Changing times; and Hope and opportunity.

Monday 2 November 2020

Visit HPFT Journey of Discovery here

Once you've registered, you are able to email your questions for the live panels to:

There will be something for everyone - anyone who would like to know more about how to improve their own mental health or someone who might be struggling.

Please share to help spread the word.


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