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Transforming SEND services update

2019 was a busy year for everyone in the special needs arena, with lots of challenges and exciting successes.

The Transforming SEND programme is reviewing SEND services across the board and we are doing this in partnership with children and young people, parents/carers and staff. Several workshops, meetings, focus groups and surveys have been held over the past year and we will continue working together with you for the duration of the programme and after.

With the festive season well and truly over we now start 2020 looking at our new goals and resolutions for the new year – below are some of the areas we are addressing:

Information, advice and support (IAS)

We now have a working group whith a strong family voice at the heart with HPCI representation developing a more dynamic and up to date communications plan to guide our work in improving access to quality information advice and support for families and professionals, and to ensure it is received at the point and the level it is needed.  A key role of the group is to ensure the IAS arrangements comply with the SEND Code of practice and the relevant national miniumum standards for SEND IASS. Read more here and if you have any suggestions for improving how you hear from us please email the editor dee.debruin@hertfordshire.gov.uk

Local Delivery Networks –what are they?

The vision for Local Delivery Networks in Hertfordshire is a partnership model that will bring together all service providers in a local area to

  • create clearer pathways for families to access SEND support
  • help more children with SEND be educated within a local school and participate in their local community
  • improve support to local mainstream schools for inclusion and flexible provision

We are trialling projects in Stevenage to achieve these aims (see what we're doing by clicking on Stevenage Sandpit diagram on the right).

We have held two workshops so far, bringing together local professionals and parent/carer representatives to explore different ways of working. Supporting professionals in the pilot, we have a family practitioner working at Greenside Special School in Stevenage, to bridge Early Help and specialist SEND services. She will be also be working with partners to produce early help SEND toolkit for partners.

Make sure you read our update blogs on the Local Offer, to keep in touch.

Developing special schools/specialist provision for the future

Hertfordshire County Council has been working on developing its specialist education provision for children and young people with SEND so that more children can be educated closer to their homes. You'll find the report from HPCI (Herts Parents and Carers Involvement) in this issue.

Hertfordshire County Council was one of 39 successful local authority bids for a special free school, planned in Welwyn Garden City. We are now waiting for the Government's decision on applications received to sponsor the Free School.  Further details of that process can be found on the Local Offer website and the DfE website

We are working to have Specialist Resource Provisions attached to our mainstream schools.  The plan is to have 4 secondary and 8 primary across the county.  These bases will be for children and young people with communication need.  We have held a stakeholder event in January where a lot of positive interest has been shown.  

This month also saw the launch of the Link Academy’s new ESC site in Hatfield, previously known as the Park ESC. The provision is now part of the Links multi-academy chain, supporting young people who are at serious risk of permanent exclusion or who have been permanently excluded from their mainstream school. Contact Links Academy for more information.

We are working on a number of other exciting projects such as looking at an online version of the application for an education, health and care plan (EHCP) assessment - we will tell you more about this in the next issue of SEND news.

As always, we value your input and welcome your comments, suggestions or requests for information. Email us at SENDtransformation@hertfordshire.gov.uk


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