May '19 Update: Transforming Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) support and services

Local Delivery

Like many of you, having had some time off around Easter, the last few weeks have been busy getting back into the swing. Jo, I and the rest of the team continue to be out and about talking to stakeholders in recent weeks. We’ve heard some very clear messages about the challenges that families, schools, and teams are facing in responding to growing need in the system. Following the stakeholder event before Easter, we’re starting to shape this strand of transformation and looking forward to the DSPL conference early next month as an opportunity to reflect on how local groups are pushing forward with in delivering the SEND Strategy locally. I was sorry to miss discussion at the recent ISL East service day but will be responding to the various questions raised there shortly. We also had the opportunity to attend the whole SEN Service day and following those sessions a number of ideas have been put forward that we’ll take a look at and feedback on.  

Felix Gilding has come into post working as a new Commissioning and Services Development Manager and has spent much of his time in the first few weeks starting conversations about opportunities for greater integration between HCC’s work and that of health: this will set the scene as we begin to get into more detailed planning and testing out new ways of working to align NHS and HCC support and focus more on an early intervention approach.

We know that having clear, accessible and timely data available will be a key part of achieving success. As a first step, Rory Seymour has developed an early version of an SEND outcomes dashboard that pulls together some key information from our publicly available data and marks another step forward towards achieving a joined-up approach to data to inform service development, local provision, and wider SEND commissioning.


The Digital team have run the first two test using the SEND online feedback group (now 154 members) and had excellent response rates to both from the panel. Please do keep publciising the panel to parents as the more people engaging will help us gain better insight into what works for parents! The team have also launched a new Local Offer blog for parents to keep them updated on activity in this workstream.

We’re also working on the structure of the information, the design of the website, and auditing the current content for the next few months and work has started on all of these areas. We have started engagement with health about what support should be on the Local Offer and how we work with them to ensure that the Local Offer reflects up to date, accurate and useful information for families.

SEND service users in Adult Care Services receive a Purple Folder (health passport) that helps them record details relevant to professionals working with them – we are investigating opportunities to adopt a similar approach to this for children and young people along with other online options that will enable families to contribute online to their child’s Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan and link up education, health, social care, Families First and family support records, so that the child or young person’s story only needs to be told once.

 Preparing for Adulthood (PfA)

Arrangements are well underway for a Preparing for Adulthood (PfA) stakeholder workshop on Monday 20 May. Key leaders across the SEND system in Hertfordshire have been invited to a workshop to update them on the current Preparing for Adulthood strategy and focus on collectively identifying additional opportunities to develop the strategy further and improve outcomes for our children and young people. Once again Roger Bushell from the Staff College will facilitate the session, together with members of the 0-25 SEND Commissioning Team and the Transforming SEND programme. We’ll be testing out some new approaches to this type of engagement using a technique called ‘Unconferencing’. This flows from the observation about conferences from David Winer that “the sum of the expertise of the people in the audience is greater than the sum of the expertise of the people on stage.” We want to tap into the collective ability in the room to begin to shift our approach to Preparing for Adulthood. Recognising this, we’ll be giving over a large chunk of the session enabling people taking part to have the conversations they want to have about the challenges they are facing, with others who face the same challenges and use this to shape the next steps of our PfA programme. We’ll report back next time on how it went and what’s happening as a result.

In January 2019 YC Hertfordshire LDD Team recruited a Supported Internship Placement Co-ordinator (Nic Harley) to help the four Hertfordshire Colleges in securing suitable work placements for the interns. This is allowing work coaches who support and train the Interns, to focus more of their time on placement.  The YC Herts LDD Team is also leading on a project to develop Vocational Skills Profiling for young people with LDD within Special Schools and the four Local Colleges. This is being launched from this month, May 2019. A standard approach across Hertfordshire should support young people to have a clear and accurate cumulative record of their work skills, broken down into tasks (and any reasonable adjustments that can be put in place) to help them in negotiating employment in the future.  

Get in Touch

Don’t forget, we are always keen to hear from you with ideas, questions or comments. Please do email us at: and watch for more updates at

Best wishes

David Butcher, Head of Transforming SEND Services


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