SEND News - 15 November 2023


In this issue:

Hertfordshire Local Area SEND Inspection report (all ages)

For those of you who missed it: last week Ofsted and the CQC published the final Area SEND inspection report of the Hertfordshire Local Area Partnership (that includes Hertfordshire County Council and Hertfordshire health services)

Find the SEND Inspection report and further information

The inspection report identified ‘widespread and / or systemic failings’ across the local area partnership.

We accept the findings of the report. We understand the scale of the issues and know that too many children and young people with SEND and their families have not had the service and outcomes they need and deserve.

We want to say sorry to you, our families.

We recognise that improving services and rebuilding trust will take time but we are determined to work together to ensure children with additional needs and their families have the right support at the right time more often.

Herts Parent Carer Involvement have commented on the report: 

"We welcome the urgency with which the local partnership is looking to address the issues raised. It is vital that plans for improvement are delivered quickly and effectively. HPCI will continue to challenge and support the partnership, to drive change and ensure that work remains focused on how these changes will improve the lives of children and young people."

HPCI are gathering feedback from families on the report, so if you have any thoughts on the report's findings, or ideas on how the improvements can be delivered, you can email them at They will then collect the comments and feed them back to us and to health services. 

What's next?

We have 35 days from when we received the final report to submit a "priority action plan" for review (our deadline is 19 December 2023). This will outline how we plan to address the issues in the report. Once Ofsted and the CQC have approved our plan, we will publish it on our website. It is likely to be early in the new year.

Services for Young People Supported Internships (for ages 16 - 25)

Services for Young People (SfYP) is hosting a series of events to encourage and inspire both young people and employers to take part in Supported Internships.

Supported Internships are for people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) aged 16-25. They support the transition from education to employment, equipping young people with essential skills and workplace experiences to prepare them for adulthood and the world of work.Image of 2 young people in a workshop

Interns get on-the-job training supported by job coaches and also receive education in subjects such as maths and English as needed. The internships align with the young person’s long-term career goals and fit with their working capabilities. Young people who have completed an internship have reported significant improvements in their communication skills, confidence, and belief in what they can achieve.

Young people with SEND and their parents/carers are invited to join our online Supported Internships Q and A session on 21 November 2023 at 5pm - 6pm. They can also book 1 to 1 discussions with SfYP’s Supported Internships Project Officer.

Find out more about SfYP's supported internships and book your place

Anti-bullying week (all ages)

This week (13 November - 17 November) is Anti-Bullying week and this year organisers are encouraging people to 'make a noise about bullying'!

Disabled young people and those with SEND, are significantly more likely to experience bullying - including online bullying - than their peers. Children who have learning disabilities and autism are particularly at risk.  

The Anti-Bullying Alliance is a group of organisations and individuals, working together to stop bullying and create safer environments in which children and young people can live, grow, play and learn. They worked with the Council for Disabled Children to produce this short video where young disabled people share their tips and advice about cyber-bullying and staying safe online.

Angels Neurodiversity Podcasts (all ages)

Angels are an experience-led charity that aims to make the world a better place for autistic children and children with ADHD.  

You may have seen that they've recently started to expand their services and produce neurodiversity themed podcasts. These are short and informal chats about life as neuro-divergent families, and cover a range of different topics including:

  • Living with ADHD
  • What is an EHCP
  • Sensory Needs
  • Autism and ADHD Accessing Health 

These are a great way to keep informed and listen to other parents' experiences and advice on supporting children with SEND. 

You can listen to the Angels Podcasts on Spotify, or find them in the Podcasts app on your iPhone. 

Just Talk Week (ages 11-25)

If a young person opened up to you, would you know how to help them?

Monday 20 November marks the start of this year’s Just Talk Week, which aims to help children and young people understand that mental health is just as important as physical health. The theme is 'Back to Basics'. We will be encouraging children and young people in Hertfordshire to embrace conversations about mental health and showing them where to find support if they need it. Just Talk carries the important message that it’s okay to not be okay and there is help readily available for everyone who needs it.

Mental health is one of the top 5 worries for 11 to 19 year olds in Hertfordshire, according to the Health and Wellbeing survey. 

The Just Talk website is a hub of information and tools for young people, as well as parents, carers and professionals - all with the common goal of enhancing the emotional wellbeing of children and young people. We invite you all to explore our resources and help to spread positive messages about mental health.

Find out more about Just Talk week and how you can support a young person with their mental health, or check out our social media pages @justtalkherts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for regular updates.

Mudlarks Christmas Trees (for those in the Hertford area)

Mudlarks Charity Christmas Trees flyer

This Christmas, you can have a beautiful Christmas tree delivered straight to your front door, AND support a great cause!

Each year, Mudlarks sell locally sourced Christmas trees with proceeds going to support Mudlarks - a charity which supports adults with learning disabilities and mental health concerns in and around Hertford

Visit the Mudlarks website to learn about their Christmas tree delivery  or use this form to order your tree.


View all courses and activities

Emotionally Based School Avoidance - Coffee morning for parents/carers in DSPL 7 and 8

Tuesday 28 November, 9.30am - 11.30am at Hemel Hempstead Young People's Centre, XC

For parents/carers who have a child in years 7-11 who is not attending school due to emotional, mental health and wellbeing issues.

Add-vance: Understanding medication options

Wednesday 22 November, 10am - 11.30am, online

A workshop for parents/carers to explore how medication can be used to support neurodivergent children and young people.

SPACE - Christmas Craft workshop

Saturday 18 November, 10am - 12pm, Woodhall Community Centre, Welwyn Garden City

A Christmas craft session for children and young people in years 5 and above.