Skip to content

  Give feedback Menu  Close 

You can follow service updates to all Hertfordshire County Council services (including libraries and schools) on their Coronavirus service updates page.

Speak to a team

Find all of the contact details and opening times on our contact a service page.

Resource area

We have collected practical resources to help you on a number of topics - whether you are home educating, or need strategies for mental wellbeing and building daily routines.

View our Resources Area now.

An update on COVID-19 vaccination plans for 12-15 year olds in Hertfordshire

10 September 2021

Who is eligible to get the vaccine now?

The 12 - 15 year olds currently being offered the COVID-19 vaccine are those who live with someone who has a suppressed (weakened) immune system, and children who have a condition that means that they themselves are at high risk from COVID-19.

These children are being offered 2 doses of a vaccine approved for their age group, which will be given 8 weeks apart.

GPs have been using their records to identify:

  • Children aged 12 - 15 with severe neuro-disabilities, Down’s syndrome or underlying conditions resulting in a weakened immune system.
  • Children with profound and multiple learning disabilities, severe learning disabilities or who are on the learning disability register.
  • Children aged 12 years and over who are household contacts of people with weakened immune systems. Please note, there are adults who are extremely clinically vulnerable because of a health condition whose 12-15 year old children are NOT recommended to have a COVID vaccination.  The eligibility for this programme is strictly defined, so that vaccines are given to those most at risk. GPs decide who is eligible based on the guidance from the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

Where and when will these children be vaccinated?

A number of the children identified by their GPs are being vaccinated by their network of GP practices.

Where GP practices are not vaccinating their own patients, they have provided lists of eligible 12-15 year old patients to Hertfordshire Community Trust (HCT), the NHS organisation which administers school-aged children’s vaccinations in Hertfordshire. HCT have been commissioned to vaccinate these children.

HCT staff routinely vaccinate children with profound and multiple disabilities, or who are on the learning disability register, in their familiar school environment. HCT are in the process of gaining consent from the parents or guardians of these children to administer their COVID-19 vaccinations in their specialist schools. This vaccination programme starts on 13 September.

For children who have been identified as eligible but who attend mainstream school, or who are educated at home, 4 special clinics have been commissioned in Hertfordshire and west Essex that parents can take their children to. 

  • These one-off clinics are dedicated to vaccinating only 12-15 year old children and are being held over the next 10 days in Epping, Ware, Watford  and Bishop’s Stortford, from Sunday 12 September onwards. Clinics will take place at the weekends, or after schools have finished for the day. 

Parents and carers of eligible children are being contacted with the details of these clinics, together with contact information for HCT, in case they have queries or concerns. Individual catch-up arrangements will be made for children who cannot attend these clinics.

What if a child is eligible to be vaccinated but has not yet been contacted?

Parents and carers of the 12-15 year olds who meet the criteria described above should have been contacted, either by their own GP, via their child’s special school, or through a text or phone call from HCT. 

If you have not been contacted, you should speak to your own GP practice and request they provide your child with a vaccination, or alternatively refer your child to HCT.

What about additional children recently recommended to receive the COVID-19 vaccination?

On Friday 3 September, the JCVI recommended that more 12-15 year old children should be added to the list of those eligible to be vaccinated, including those with:

GPs will now begin to identify these additional children, so that they can be vaccinated as well.

What about plans for vaccinating all 12-15 year-old children?

We are awaiting government decision on vaccination policy for the remainder of the 12-15 year old population. We will let you know about local arrangements if a decision to offer the vaccination is made.

How should I follow up a concern?

If you have a concern, for example, if you think that your child is eligible to be vaccinated but hasn’t been contacted, you should contact your own GP practice in the first instance. 

Failing this, you can contact the Clinical Commissioning Group which oversees the vaccination arrangements in your area. 

Children and young people no longer considered as clinically extremely vulnerable

27 August 2021

Recent clinical studies have shown that children and young people are at very low risk of serious illness if they catch Coronavirus. Therefore children and young people who were originally thought to be at high risk from coronavirus are no longer considered to be clinically extremely vulnerable and should continue to follow the same guidance as everyone else. This recommendation was agreed to by the Chief Medical Officers of the UK.

It is important that your child continues to attend their school or setting. All early years providers, schools and colleges are continuing to put in place measures to help minimise the risk of spreading COVID-19.  

A very small number of children and young people will have been advised to isolate or reduce their social contact for short periods of time by their specialist, due to the nature of their medical condition or treatment rather than because of the pandemic. If this is the case for your child, they should continue to follow the advice of their specialist.   

Accessing NHS services

It is important that your child or young person continues to receive the care and support they need to stay safe and well. Providers of social care and medical services are making every effort to ensure services remain open and as safe as possible, and you should continue to seek support from the NHS for their existing health conditions.

You can access a range of NHS services from home, including ordering repeat prescriptions or contacting a health professional through an online consultation. Find out more about the NHS - health at home.

Covid-19 vaccination for children and young people ages 16 - 17 and 12 - 15

18 August 2021

For people aged 16 - 17

All 16 to 17 year olds should be offered a first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. We expect that a second vaccine dose will be offered later, after there is more understanding about the effectiveness and safety in this age group.

This is in addition to the existing offer of 2 doses of vaccine to 16 to 17 year olds who are in ‘at-risk’ groups and who are household contacts of people (adults or children) who have a weakened immune system (these groups have already been offered vaccination in Hertfordshire).

17 year olds within 3 months of their 18th birthday are now being invited by text to book their COVID-19 vaccinations through the National Booking Service (on the NHS website or by calling 119). Where there is no recorded mobile number, letters will be sent. They will have 2 doses of the vaccine. Invitations will then progress through the younger age groups.

For people aged 12 - 15

Young people aged 12 to 15 years with specific underlying health conditions that put them at risk of severe COVID-19, should be offered 2 doses of Pfizer vaccine with an interval of 8 weeks between doses. Young people aged 12 years and over who are household contacts of people (adults or children) who have a weakened immune system should also be offered 2 doses of Pfizer vaccine.

This currently includes children with:

  • severe neuro-disabilities
  • Down’s Syndrome
  • underlying conditions resulting in a weakened immune system
  • profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD)
  • severe learning disabilities
  • or children who are on the learning disability register.

Further details on the exact groups will be provided as updates in the Green Book on vaccination.

The offer of vaccination may help to reduce the stress and anxiety experienced by some children and young people in these groups.

Young people in the 12 - 15 categories above will now start to receive invitations to attend for vaccination. Many young people with underlying conditions have already been fully vaccinated.

Information and informed consent

The offer of vaccination to children and young people will always be accompanied by appropriate information to help children and young people understand the benefits and risks of vaccination, to make sure they can provide informed consent.

Younger children (nursery and primary age)

Clinical trials are underway in pre-school and primary-school aged students. Vaccines are only likely to be approved for use in these age groups after summer 2021.

Walk-in clinics for under 18s

We expect that walk-in clinics will be opened to people under 18 very shortly. This will be widely publicised. Further details of where vaccines are available in Hertfordshire.

Reasonable Adjustments

View Mencap's document on how vaccine centres can make reasonable adjustments for your young person's vaccine appointment: Vaccine_reasonable_adjustments.pdf (mencap.org.uk)

Test and Trace £500 payments for parents

15 April 2021

The Department for Education (DfE) have announced that parents and carers of children who have been advised to self-isolate by their education setting or by NHS Test and Trace are now able to apply for a Test and Trace Support Payment of £500, if they are eligible (which includes being in receipt of certain low-income benefits).

The Test and Trace Support Payment scheme is arranged through district and borough councils in Hertfordshire, and ensures that parents receive some financial support if they are unable to attend work due to childcare responsibilities and are unable to work from home. Learn more on GOV.uk about test and trace support payments.

The Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme ends on Wednesday 30 June.

Nurseries, schools, colleges and further education providers are required to provide a letter to all parents or carers of children advised to self-isolate, to support their application to the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme.

Which district am I in?

Information about face coverings in schools

9 April 2021

The Department for Education (DfE) announced on Tuesday (6 April) that face coverings should continue to be worn in secondary schools and college classrooms when students return after the Easter break.

Those who rely on visual signals for communication, or speak to or provide support to those individuals, are still exempt from any requirement to wear face coverings in schools or in public places.

It is expected that face coverings will no longer be required in classrooms, or by students in other communal areas, at step 3 of the roadmap, which will be no earlier than 17 May. At that point, the next easing of restrictions, including increased social contact indoors, will be confirmed following a review of the latest data on infection and vaccination rates.

There are updates on gov.uk's following guidance to reflect this announcement:

Shielding guidance to be paused for clinically extremely vulnerable people

29 March 2021

From Thursday 1 April, shielding guidance will be paused for clinically extremely vulnerable people. From that date they will no longer be advised to shield and must continue to follow the national restrictions that are in place for everyone.

From Thursday 1 April:  

  • all clinically extremely vulnerable children should attend early years provision, school, college, wraparound childcare and out-of-school settings, unless they are one of the very small number of children under paediatric or other specialist care and have been advised by their GP or clinician not to attend. 
  • Clinically extremely vulnerable students who are enrolled in practical, or practice-based (including creative arts) courses should return to in-person teaching.  
  • Clinically extremely vulnerable staff are advised to continue to work from home where possible, but if they cannot work from home, they should now attend their workplace. 

 There is guidance to assist school leaders in actions they should take to minimise the risk of transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) in their setting. This includes public health advice, endorsed by Public Health England (PHE).  

Message to education leaders from Gavin Williamson, Secretary of State for Education

8 March 2021

Gavin Williamson has written to education leaders to thank them for the huge effort they have made to provide education and support to their pupils throughout the pandemic. He also sets out in more detail the easing of restrictions on face to face teaching. Here's a summary of his letter:

Return to school

  • All schools, colleges and further education settings should allow full attendance from 8 March.
  • Wraparound childcare, including childminders should also allow attendance for eligible children.
  • Secondary schools and colleges are able to phase return over the week of 8 March to allow students to be offered testing on return.
  • The usual rules and duties around school attendance are in place from 8 March (including mandatory attendance). All schools should communicate expectations about regular attendance to pupils and parents.
  • Schools should identify pupils at risk of disengagement and develop plans to re-engage them.
  • In further education settings, we expect that every 16 to 19 student (or 19 to 25 with an EHCP) will undertake the majority of their planned hours on site. For adults, further education providers should determine the appropriate balance of on-site and remote education and training, based on the type of programme and the student’s ability to engage with the programme remotely.

Rapid testing

  • Twice-weekly asymptomatic testing is available for the workforce of schools, colleges and nurseries.
  • Secondary schools and colleges have also been able to offer testing on return for their students, and we are now asking those leaders to put this in place for all students across the week of the 8 March as they return.
  • The asymptomatic testing programme will also offer regular twice weekly testing of secondary school and college students at home.
  • Rapid testing is in place for those arriving or staying at university.
  • All staff at private, voluntary and independent nurseries will have access to tests to use twice weekly at home
  • Childminders can continue to access community testing

Safety measures

  • We recommend that face coverings should be worn by staff and pupils in year 7 and above where social distancing cannot easily be maintained outside of classrooms, such as in corridors and communal areas.
  • In the same settings for a limited period, we recommend the use of face coverings in classrooms unless wearing a face covering would impact on the ability to take part in exercise or strenuous activity, for example in PE lessons, or for those who are exempt from wearing a face covering.
  • In primary schools and early years settings, face coverings should be worn by staff and adult visitors where social distancing between adults is not possible.
  • Children in primary schools do not need to wear a face covering.

Education recovery and qualifications

  • The government is prioritising education as we begin to ease restrictions.
  • Ofqual will be setting out further details of the alternative arrangements to exams very soon. This follows the consultation which received over 100,000 responses.

Covid recovery funding in education

8 March 2021

On 24 February, the government announced an extra £700m to give early years settings, schools, providers of 16-19 education – including specialist settings - and local authorities the tools they need to target support for all students. Details of the package are:

Recovery Premium

A new one-off £302m Recovery Premium for state primary and secondary schools, to support pupils who need it most. Primary schools will receive around £6,000 additional funding, and secondaries around £22,000 additional funding. Schools can use the funding from September, and they choose how they spend it. They could lay on additional clubs or activities or other evidence-based approaches for supporting the most disadvantaged pupils, including those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).The Recovery Premium will be allocated to schools based on the same methodology as the pupil premium. Pupil premium eligible pupils in mainstream schools will attract £145 to their school and pupil premium eligible pupils in special schools, bases and other special provision will attract £290 over the next academic year.

Tutoring

The announcement confirmed £200 million to fund tutoring, which has been shown to boost learning by as much as 3 - 5 months. This will include:

  • An expansion of the National Tutoring Programme for primary and secondary schools, to increase access to high-quality tuition for disadvantaged pupils, helping to accelerate their academic progress. We are committed to being as inclusive as possible by supplying suitable provision for supporting SEND pupils within all schools.
  • An extension of the 16 - 19 Tuition Fund for a further year to support more students in English, maths, and other vocational and academic subjects. Providers are asked to consider the needs of students with SEND when prioritising students that would benefit most for small group tuition. Students with SEND aged 19 - 24 who have an education, health and care plan will be eligible for the Tuition Fund where they meet the criteria. Adults are able to pause their learning where it has been significantly impacted by coronavirus and, in agreement with their provider, pick up from where they left off at a later date.
  • Support for early language development in the early years, supporting a critical stage of child development.

Summer Schools

£200 million will be available to all secondary schools, including specialist settings, to deliver face-to-face summer schools. Schools will be able to target provision based on pupils’ needs but the government suggests they may want to initially target incoming year 7 pupils. This is alongside wider support funded through the Holiday Activities and Food Programme across the country. A range of high-quality online resources provided by Oak National Academy, will be available for all teachers and pupils, starting from the summer term and throughout summer holidays. The funding available for the summer schools programme supports a 2-week scheme for pupils most in need. We expect that most schools will want to offer a mix of academic, enrichment and pastoral activity to appeal to pupils and deliver the range of benefits that the evidence shows summer schools can deliver. Schools will need to determine how best to use the funding and staff the scheme to ensure that the extra time is used effectively.

 

Cookies

Like many other websites, we place small information files called 'cookies' on your computer.

Why do we use cookies?

To remember your settings, for example your language and location. This means you don’t have to keep entering these details when you visit a new page.

To find out how you use the site to help us update and improve it.

How do I change my cookie settings?

You can change the settings of your web browser so that it won’t accept cookies. For more information visit AboutCookies.org.

But, doing this may stop you from using some of the online features and services on this website. 

Cookies we use

Cookies do a lot of different jobs, and we use 2 types of cookies:

Required functionality cookies – these cookies are essential for the website to work.

Performance and feature cookies – these cookies help to improve the performance and feel of this website, for example providing you with personalised services.


Take a look at a list of cookies we use on our website:

NameTypeHow we use itHow long we use the information for

ASP.Net_Sessions

 

Required functionality

An automatic cookie set by our software. 

Just for the time you are on our website.

ServerID

 

Required functionality

An automatic cookie set by our software. 

Just for the time you are on our website.

_ga

Required functionality

To track the effectiveness of our website using Google Analytics. 

2 years

saved-pages

Performance and feature

To save the pages that you visit by clicking the heart at the top of the page. 

1 month

geoPostcode

Performance and feature

This stores your postcode (or partial postcode) when we ask you for your location.

Just for the time you are on our website or 30 days (you choose this).

geoCoordinates

Performance and feature

This stores your location as a pair of latitude / longitude coordinates.

Just for the time you are on our website or 30 days (you choose this).

reckonerName-history

Performance and feature

This keeps a history of all answers submitted to the ready reckoner.

This is set in the control for each ready reckoner. If you haven't interacted with the ready reckoner for the set amount of days, the cookies are deleted.

reckonerName-content

Performance and feature

This keeps a history of what content cards are clicked on when using the ready reckoner.

This is set in the control for each ready reckoner. If you haven't interacted with the ready reckoner for the set amount of days, the cookies are deleted.

SQ_SYSTEM_SESSION

Required functionality

This used to track user sessions on forms hosted on eservices.hertfordshire.gov.uk

Just for the time you are on our website.


Third party cookies

There are links and content from other sites and services on our website. These sites and services set their own cookies.

Below are a list of cookies that the other sites and services use:

Service namePurposeMore information

Google analytics (_utma/b/c/z)

These are used to compile reports for us on how people use this site.

Cookies of the same names are also used for the same purpose by other websites such as Building FuturesCountryside Management Service and Hertfordshire LIS.

Visit the Google Analytics website for more information about the cookies they use.

You can prevent data from being collected and used by Google Analytics by installing Google's Opt-out Browser Add-on.

Google Translation - googtrans

This cookie is used to remember which language to translate each page into if you have chosen to do so.

It expires at the end of your browser session.

Bing

We use a Bing cookie to track the success of our marketing campaigns and make them more efficient.

Visit Bing to find out more about their cookies.

Google

We use a Google cookie to track the success of our marketing campaigns and make them more efficient.

Visit Google to find out more about their cookies.

Facebook

We have a number of presences on Facebook, which we may link to. Facebook may set some of its own cookies if you follow these links.

Visit Facebook to find out more about their cookies.

Twitter

We have a number of presences and feeds on Twitter, which you may wish to follow or read from this website. Twitter may set some of its own cookies.

Visit Twitter to find out more about their cookies.

YouTube

We have a YouTube channel, which we may link to. YouTube may set some of its own cookies if you follow those links.

Visit YouTube to find out more about their cookies.

Netloan

This ASP.NET_Sessionid cookie is essential for the Netloan secure online payments website to work, and is set when you arrive to the site. This cookie is deleted when you close your browser.

 

HotJar

This session cookie is set to let Hotjar know whether that visitor is included in the sample which is used to generate funnels.

Visit HotJar to find out more about their cookies.

Siteimprove

These cookies are set to help us report on how people are using the site so we can improve it.

Visit Siteimprove to learn more about their cookies.