SEND news

Latest news and updates

How can we improve our information sharing? Consultation closes 14 June

Do you care for a young person with special needs?

We are exploring new ways to provide families with professional SEND information, advice and support and are keen to hear your views about our proposed improvements.

The consultation on the proposed changes on how we offer SEND (special educational needs or disabilities) information, advice and support closes on 14 June 2020.

Visit for more information, some frequently asked questions and a downloadable questionnaire if a written submission is preferred.

Email us at if you have any queries. We look forward to hearing your views.

Transforming SEND services - Update on 'Local Delivery Network'

What's happening in Stevenage?

We have been working alongside a range of Families First services in Stevenage, learning more about how they deliver services so that we can share the emerging learning and recommendations gathered within the Early Help settings between Family First and the 0-25 Together service. By working with Family Centres, Barnwell school, Stevenage Educational Trust (Stevenage Local School Partnership), Intensive Family Support Team, being co-located in Greenside Special School and based on learning and evidence from case studies, we have worked collaboratively with Early Help colleagues to develop and create a first draft SEND self-help guide for parents/carers and a toolkit for professionals.

In our ‘Community around the School’ project, we are meeting with partners to understand existing issues that schools are particularly experiencing. We hope this joint working will encourage workers who are uncertain about which services are available (“you don’t know what you don’t know”) to find out how to access them when they really need them and reduce the “scattergun of referrals to range of services and reduce tribunals, exclusions etc.

This work provides us with opportunities to understand the complex commissioning arrangements and data across education, health and social care partners and to help creative minds to get together to achieve results such as:

  • building networks to improve local partnerships
  • testing and delivering new ways of working at a local level to improve outcomes and quality
  • designing and applying new tools and systems that help citizens to help themselves wherever possible

 If you have any questions or feedback regarding the Local Delivery Network project, please email us at

Transforming SEND services - Update on 'Preparing for Adulthood'

Preparing for Adulthood projects aim to ensure young people with SEND can successfully move into adult life with equal life chances, independence and work opportunities to achieve their aspirations as citizens of Hertfordshire

One of the main areas of focus in the Transforming SEND Services programme is to make sure that we can provide young people with SEND and their support network, with suitable educational pathways.

To help them make informed decisions when thinking about leaving school, a document which shows what mainstream schools within the county are offering to those who are aged 16 years and older is going to soon be available on the Local Offer. Using the online document, you will be able to find the school address, links to the school’s website and 6th form department, the courses that are offered and information about their special educational needs policy and relevant contacts in the school.

For any  questions please email

Transforming SEND services - Update on the 'Local Offer'

Helping families to educate their children at home

With children and young people out of education settings at the moment, families may be needing a bit of extra help to keep their child’s education progressing, or to help keep them entertained. The Local Offer, Hertfordshire’s website for families of young people aged 0 -25 with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), has a resources area where parents and families can find materials and resources they can use to help their child learn key skills. The resources area is to specifically support families whose child has an additional need, although there are certain educational activities that can help any pupil to develop a skill they may be struggling with and so anyone can use them.

The resources area includes:

  • Activity sheets and ideas provided by the Specific Learning Difficulties team, which can help progress in key areas including writing, memory, numbers and spelling
  • Practical help for children who are struggling with their mental health, either as a result of COVID-19 or more generally
  • Help with explaining COVID-19 to younger children and young people with autism, including social stories and easy read documents
  • Materials which help young people to develop their independence, including cooking activities
  • Lots of fun ideas for your children to do independently or as a family at home to encourage them to explore and use their imagination

Find it all at


We have also published a new blog about how we plan to continue improving the Local Offer website

You can find the blog here:

Supporting children and young people with SEND as schools and colleges prepare for wider opening

The government has issued new information on the recommended approaches that local authorities, educational settings and parents should follow for the return to educational settings from 1 June 2020 of children and young people with EHC plans.

The guidance also includes recommendations for those with complex needs but who do not have an EHC plan.

You can read the guidance on GOV.UK here

A new system for Exceptional Needs Funding in Hertfordshire

Hertfordshire County Council is replacing Exceptional Needs Funding (ENF) with a more effective system for identifying SEND needs and resources.

The new system will be called Top Up (High Needs) Funding for mainstream schools and nurseries.

How will the new Top Up (High Needs) Funding system work?
It will start from 1st September 2020 and the work to get things ready is continuing despite Covid 19. 

Funding - A review highlighted that compared with similar local authorities HCC spent significantly less of its High Needs Block funding on supporting children with complex needs in mainstream education.  Around £4 million pounds of extra funding has been found to implement the new system for this financial year.

Hertfordshire Parent/Carer Involvement (HPCI) has worked closely with HCC to ensure any changes are a positive move. You can read more detail on their website here.

Things to do in Hertfordshire

Things to do

Winnie and Wilbur stay at home

Join the favourite duo Winnie and Wilbur in a brand-new stay-at-home adventure.

With Wilbur’s fun ideas and Winnie’s magic wand, staying at home can be lots of fun!

You can read the free ebook here.

For more Winnie and Wilbur stories and activities to enjoy at home visit

You’ll find lots of ideas for things to do, like designing a new hat for Winnie or creating your own spell or just listen to more Winnie and Wilbur stories.

Check in and Chat sessions with SPACE

Dont forget to check in on the SPACE website here to find out about events near you during June.

These include:

⭐️Croxley Green ⭐️

Join Team SPACE in a fun filled quiz for ‘grown ups ‘ bring your best game because it’s East V’s West 

⭐️Hemel Hempstead and St Albans ⭐️

Busting those EHCP myths with Team SPACE

⭐️ Bishop Stortford and Ware⭐️

Come and Join us as we focus on some essential Wellbeing 

⭐️ Cheshunt and Hoddesdon ⭐️

The challenge is on- join us for a quiz for grown ups in our friendly East V’s West 

⭐️ Welwyn and Hatfield ⭐️

Join Team SPACE and DSPL5 as we look at those all important Transitions 

There are also minecraft tutorials (requests welcome!), story time, cooking, family quiz nights and more online activities on our public page ‘SPACE Hertfordshire’ and closed group ‘SPACE’!

Best wishes, stay safe, from all at Team SPACE

Supporting families in Hertfordshire 

Online parent courses - My Teen Brain and Managing Challenging Behaviour

Free online courses run by Supporting Links are available for parents and carers of young people.

A 6 week course for parents/carers of young people aged 12-19 years will cover: 

  • The Teen Brain: Recognising the physical and emotional changes taking place during the teenage years and why their behaviour changes.
  • The link between behaviour and communicating difficult feelings
  • How to maintain your relationship with good communication.
  • Understanding risk taking behaviour around drugs, alcohol and gang culture
  • How to negotiate during a conflict situation

Please open the Talking Teens poster for booking reference and details

A free 6-week online course for parents/carers of children aged 0-12 will help you to :

  • Manage challenging behaviour with consistency
  • Encourage positive behaviour
  • Build your child’s self esteem
  • Set and maintain boundaries
  • Respond to tantrums and difficult feelings in children

Call 07512 709556 or email

Please open the Talking Families poster for booking reference and details

Have a look at their Summer brochure here, for more dates and details of other courses.

Support and Advice

Help from the school nursing team

Support, advice and guidance for 11-19 year olds is available through the NHS Chathealth service. 

Young people can text

The Chathealth number for the School Nurse service in Hertfordshire is


from 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday for support from a school nurse who will be operating the line during those times.

A response will be received on that day, usually within the hour.

You can find more details online at

Need to talk to a SEND specialist?

Worrying about your child or facing new challenges while schools are closed?

Don't forget, you can now call a dedicated contact helpline and talk to either a Specialist Advisory Teacher in the mornings and/or an Educational Psychologist in the afternoon.

This contact line is available Monday-Friday, 10 am – 2 pm when Advisory teachers from the Communication and Autism team will be taking calls and from 2pm – 4pm  by Education Psychologists.

The phoneline is also open to staff and schools.

April 2020 issue images

01992 588574

Hugo's story - travelling independently

Travel training helps young people with SEND become comfortable with travelling independently. Our experienced Travel Trainers give the young person all the encouragement, information and support they need, and work with them on a one to one basis

Hugo was 18 when he started on the Travel Training programme, and the team have now been working with him for around 6 months. He lives in an area that is relatively remote, and goes to College at North Herts College in Stevenage. Prior to his involvement with the team he had never travelled independently before and occasionally travelled with his family on the train.

Hugo has made excellent progress and has worked hard to develop his independent travel skills around road safety, reading timetables and planning a journey, communicating with safe strangers and knowing what to do if he needs help or if he makes a mistake.

He has recently completed his first independent journey from home to college on the train, and has since made the journey a number of times. This was a massive step for Hugo, who rightly so, was very proud of his achievements; “I was a bit scared at first because I don't know where to get off but then I had been taught there were only 3 stops from where I live to Stevenage. After a few times with help I feel really grown up and I feel independent. I can travel on a train and buy a ticket by myself.” His Mum also noticed how proud of himself he was and has seen his confidence grow.

Part of the work of the Travel Trainers involve building relationships and working with the families of students. We understand and take the time to listen to parent’s concerns, and we acknowledge the worries that allowing your son or daughter to travel independently can bring. However, the patience and expertise of the Travel Trainers ensure that once the students engage in the programme, the progress (which is all logged and evidenced) and development of skills and increased confidence are apparent for all to see.

Hugo’s Mum Margot told us; “We were really apprehensive about Hugo travelling by himself. With the support of the Travel Training Team we were able to trust Hugo and face our fears to allow him to go alone. Without support these steps are very difficult for us. It's amazing, he is confident in buying a ticket, getting the right train and getting off at Stevenage. He is even able to use the Trainline app to check train times. Thank you so much to the Travel Trainer for building our confidence as much as Hugo's!!”

Travel Training your son/daughter

If your son/daughter does not meet the eligibility criteria and you are interested in doing some travel training with them, the Travel Training team have produced a toolkit which you can use. It contains the areas you should cover, strategies you can use, some top tips as well as a useful resources section. There are two versions, one which is an interactive, online copy and the other which is printer friendly, so you can print it off and use it in the way that best suits you.

Your services

SENDIASS is still here for you!

How SEND SASS supports early years

    • Patricia Walker (pictured left), new head of Hertfordshire’s SEND Specialist Advice and Support Service (SASS shares how changes in the new team will offer stronger leadership in areas of specialism including Early Years.

      Patricia said how proud she is to now witness first-hand the amazing wealth of expertise and knowledge within the SEND SASS team and what a privilege it is to work with such dedicated professionals.

      The broad range of expertise covered by this team working with children and young people (0-25) includes:

      • Speech, Language, Communication and Autism
      • Hearing Impairment
      • Multi-sensory impairment (combined impairment of hearing and vision)
      • Vision impairment
      • Physical and neurological impairment 
      • Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD)

      At the end of last year, a comprehensive review of Hertfordshire’s Early Years Services for Children and Young People with SEND was undertaken. In response to some of the recommendations we have redeveloped two roles emerging in the team.  An Early Years Inclusion Specialist (EYIS);

      -the EYIS will work across private, voluntary and independent (PVI) and maintained early years settings to improve the transition between nursery and reception schooling and to help raise the attainment of children within the early years sector. EYIS will use their specialist skills to support children with specific needs in settings and through groups.

      - Secondly, Inclusion Development Officers (IDOs) help to raise the level of SEND support across individual and clusters of PVI nurseries. They will continue to coordinate and run cluster groups, for example, to deliver Early Years Autism Training or other child-focused training at clusters if needed.   We will be working more closely with the Council’s Early Years’ Service (previously known as Family Services Commissioning) to better co-ordinate all early years activity and resources in Hertfordshire.

      SEND SASS offers crucial multi-specialism support at individual pupil and whole-school level across the county - you can find out more about the team on the Local Offer website.

      If you have any questions about the new arrangements, please email us at

    Hertfordshire's Targeted Youth Support (TYS) changes its name

    In April, what used to be called the Targeted Youth Support Service (TYSS) became known as the Specialist Adolescent Service Hertfordshire (SASH). 

    Always in high demand, TYSS is transforming the way in which it works in order to provide more effective and meaningful support to:

    • Young people aged 11 to 17 in families at risk of breakdown or on the edge of care
    • Young people who go missing from home or those that are at risk of, or experiencing, child exploitation, including gangs and county lines
    • Young people in the Youth Justice system to prevent offending and re-offending; and to support victims of youth crime and their communities
    • Young people aged 16 to 17 years old who are homeless.

    There will still be four area teams and two cross county teams, one with a responsibility for Youth Justice the other for Social Care. 

    To speak to someone in the team, call 0300123 4043

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