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 SENDtransformation@hertfordshire.gov.uk