The SEND specialist advice and support service (SEND SAS team) is made up of teachers and support staff who work with children, families and schools across the county when children need extra support for their learning.

Gemma Wishart is managing some changes that are currently being made with this service. In this blog post, she explains what the changes are, why it's happening, and how parents can get involved.

"Our SEND SAS service is a really important part of the work that we do in Hertfordshire to support children to achieve their best. The SAS team provides advice and support for lots of different types of needs.

We have specialists in:

  • Early years
  • Communication and autism
  • Physical and neurological impairments
  • Sensory impairments including hearing, vision and multi-sensory impairments
  • Specific learning difficulties

We're always looking for ways to make this service even better.

We recently asked parents, schools and staff for their views on how our service is working. Based on the comments from this, we think that we could improve by:

  • changing the way that the service is organised, so that the leadership structure is clearer
  • support staff better in their specific areas of knowledge.

We need your help

We'll be making these changes happen in 4 stages. In "stage 1", we're asking parents, schools and other interested people to help us gather initial ideas. If you've got any thoughts about:

  • the way the team is structured now
  • how the service could be organised differently

we'd love to hear from you by 13 September 2019, when stage 1 of the process ends. Email us at:

After 13 September, we'll start "stage 2", which will pull together all the ideas that have been shared, alongside all of the information collected in previous reviews of the SAS service.

In "stage 3", we'll build and share a first draft of a proposed new structure and capture your feedback.

Then, the final stage will be a formal consultation, due to begin on 11 November 2019.

We'd love to hear from you at any stage of the process, but this early stage is the time to really help us with new ideas about how we structure and lead this service.

If you want to share any thoughts for stage 1 of the consultation, or you have any questions - please email us at sendsas.restructure@hertfordshire.gov.uk  before the 13 September 2019."

Gema Wishart, Integrated Services for Learning project manager