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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

Educational psychology - 01992 588 574 (Wednesdays 2pm - 4pm)

Specialist Advice and Support Services; see service times below) - 01442 453 920 (term time only)

  • Specific Learning Difficulties: Monday and Thursday 9.30am - 12pm
  • Speech, Language, Communication and autism Needs: Tuesday and Wednesday 1.30pm - 4pm
  • Early years: Wednesday 9am - 12pm and Thursday 1.30pm - 4pm


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 open letter from the Director of Children's services about education provision in schools, for parent/ carers of children and young people with SEND

15 January 2021

Jenny Coles, the Director of Children's Services for Hertfordshire County Council has sent out an open letter for all parent/ carers of children and young people with SEND in Hertfordshire. The letter gives information about how your school and the local area are working to meet your child's needs in these difficult times.

The letter highlights key points from the Department for Education's school national restrictions guidance and further details about the situation in Hertfordshire, including:

  • school attendance rules for children with EHCPs
  • when school closures may occur due to health and safety reasons
  • provision for support outlined within EHCPs
  • services supporting young people with SEND

Latest guidance to schools from the Education leadership team

11 January 2021

  • Early Years including maintained nursery schools and school based nurseries. Hertfordshire County Council expects that all nursery schools will remain open for face to face learning, even if they are part of a primary, junior or all through learning school. The only exception to this would be if a closure is as a result of positive COVID case(s) in the nursery school and any relevant self-isolation period is being observed or, because it is operationally impossible for them to open. Read more about the decision making process behind keeping nurseries open.

  • Remote learning and ‘live lessons’ guidance from HfL. We know that some schools have been asked by parents to deliver live lessons. The Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, said in the House of Commons yesterday that,

    "Government expects schools to have a digital platform, such as G-Suite or Microsoft Education, and should provide at least some of their remote provision via video lessons – this can be done by school-led videos or using other providers like Oak National Academy".

    There is currently no legal requirement for schools to deliver ‘live’ lessons, nor is there evidence that live teaching delivers higher quality outcomes for learners. We expect our schools to use a mixture of approaches to remote teaching to ensure that all types of learners can benefit.

  • Defining who is counted as a critical worker. View a full list of critical workers at gov.uk.

  • Update on DfE devices to support remote learning. The DfE has released digital devices to all secondary schools in Hertfordshire (including maintained and VA schools). Speak to your school if you do not have a device for your child's online learning.

  • Access to mobile data for households without broadband (Years 3 to 11 only). The mobile data allowance scheme is being rolled out in Hertfordshire. Speak to your school if you:
    - do not have fixed broadband at home
    - cannot afford additional data for their devices
    - need data to access remote education

  • Free school meals. Schools should continue to provide meal options for all pupils who are in school. Meals should be free of charge to all infant pupils and pupils who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals. Schools should also continue to provide free school meals or food parcels for pupils who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals who are not attending school.

School closures: what we are doing next and service updates

6 January 2021

Following the announcement regarding school closures we have been working closely with our school leaders and the Department for Education to look at the new guidance and what it means for our schools. Despite the challenges of staffing, schools are doing everything they can to provide the education that all pupils deserve, whether this is remotely or within school. We are closely supporting education settings where possible.  

We are working with Herts Parent Carer Involvement, and our colleagues across education, health and social care to coproduce the right support for our children and young people with SEND and their families. We will have more to tell you about this support in future updates.

If there is any support or guidance that you feel would be helpful to you at this time, we are keen to hear from you. We can't guarantee that we can put it all in place but we will do whatever we can. Please share any ideas you have with localoffer@hertfordshire.gov.uk

Here is a rundown of how our services are running at the moment:

  • Therapies and Community Paediatrics:  Currently all services are continuing as pre-Christmas break, and no staff have been redeployed to support the vaccination or COVID surge programmes.
  • The Speech and Language, Occupational and Physiotherapy teams continue to provide face to face support in Special Schools with other appointments virtual either at home or at school.
  • There have been some staffing difficulties this week whilst schools establish the critical worker provision, but this should be resolved by next week.  
  • Short Breaks Local Offer: Physical SBLO sessions are running with reduced capacity due to social distancing measure. Virtual SBLO sessions are available with some providers.  View the Short Breaks physical and virtual offers 
  • Overnight Short Breaks: All 3 Overnight Short Breaks settings are open with reduced capacity due to social distancing measures.
  • Direct payments: view our guidance on direct payments and coronavirus
  • Homecare: In some cases you may be visited by a different carer due to staff needing to self-isolate. Your Homecare agency will let you know if this happens.

Service updates

14 December 2020

  • Children and Young People’s Therapy Service (including speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, physiotherapy): There is currently no change to the service. We are continuing to comply with social distancing measures when delivering appointments, using a virtual first approach.
  • Short Breaks Local Offer: Physical SBLO sessions are running with reduced capacity due to social distancing measures. SEN Ventures' Saturday Clubs have restarted. Virtual SBLO sessions are available with some providers. Further information on the activities available.
  • Overnight Short Breaks: All 3 Overnight Short Breaks settings are open with reduced capacity due to social distancing measures.
  • Homecare: Homecare is such an important service for the wellbeing of SEND children and young people and families across Hertfordshire and our homecare agencies continue to provide a service in these very challenging and difficult times. In some cases you may be visited by a different carer due to staff needing to self isolate. Your Homecare agency will liaise with you regarding this.

Latest guidance given to schools by the Education Leadership Team

1 December, 12.15pm

Here's a run down of the key topics from the twice-weekly update schools receive from our Education Leadership Team (from over the last 2 weeks):

Christmas celebrations and activities for students and staff

  • Can pupils and staff give and receive Christmas cards and presents this year?
    Children can give and receive cards within and outside of their bubbles, however where schools want to do this, they should adopt a 72 hour ‘quarantine’ period for the cards before delivery to another bubble.
  • Can schools have decorations and Christmas trees?
    Yes. Decorations and trees within a class bubble are fine. However, pupils should avoid touching them, as cleaning these is not easily possible. Schools should also be mindful that cleaning of some surfaces may be more difficult with decorations and should remind staff and cleaning teams that the approach to rigorous surface cleaning must take priority over decorations. If the school has a tree or other accessible decorations in a central area, then pupils/staff should avoid touching these to avoid transmission risk between bubbles.
  • What about any Christmas parties in school?
    Yes, within bubbles. However, pupils should not bring in food to share, and it would be best to provide any food and drink from one source (e.g. school kitchen or staff purchased). That way precautions around hand washing and container hygiene can be ensured.
  • Can Christmas performances happen?
    Avoiding bubble mixing and the lack of any audience means that most schools will have already considered this issue in the light of all their current processes and risk assessments. Some may have found creative ways of using technology to support any such activities.

Early closure of schools and absences ahead of the end of term

We’ve had a number of queries from head teachers about closing early for Christmas, particularly to avoid the need for staff/students to self-isolate during the Christmas holidays should they get the virus or become a close contact of a positive case.

  • The Education Leadership Team advises that schools should remain open for face to face teaching until the end of the Autumn term. Following the latest tier announcement from Government from 2 December, the expectation from DfE is that schools are to remain open. 
  • If you decide to withdraw your child/ren for the last week of term, this absence will be recorded as an unauthorised absence.

COVID-19 Winter Grant Scheme and free school meals

27 November, 5pm

Winter Grant Scheme

On 8 November, Government announced a package of extra targeted financial support for those in need over the winter period. £2.49 million has been allocated for Hertfordshire out of the the COVID-19 Winter Grant Scheme to support those most in need with the cost of food, energy, water bills and other associated costs. We are now working to roll out 3 different strands of support:

  •  A supermarket voucher scheme for children entitled to free school meals for Christmas 2020 and February 2021 half-term
  • Non-food offer for households with children
  • Food, bills and crisis support offer for individuals and households without children

Free school meals

We (Hertfordshire County Council) have teamed up with the Family Food Trust, a government backed charity, to deliver food vouchers to children and young people in receipt of free school meals this Christmas holiday and in February 2021 half-term.

A total of £30 per entitled child will be provided for the Christmas holidays (10 days) and £15 per child for the February 2021 half-term (5 days). Families will receive support for each of these holidays separately, before the end of each term.  

This support is not available for children entitled to Universal Infant Free School Meals, but entitled children in Reception, Year 1 and 2 will receive a voucher.

The electronic vouchers for food and groceries can be downloaded and used in 4 major supermarkets (Asda, Morrisons, Tesco and Sainsbury’s) and will be sent to families directly by email or if necessary, they can be printed, and we will distribute them.

Families who do not qualify for free school meals but are worried about their finances or having enough food this winter can contact HertsHelp, email info@hertshelp.net, call 0300 123 4044 or visit the HertsHelp website.

 

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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.

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Required functionality

To track the effectiveness of our website using Google Analytics. 

2 years

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Performance and feature

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1 month

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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

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

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Performance and feature

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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.

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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

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It expires at the end of your browser session.

Bing

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Google

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HotJar

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