Autumn Term DSPL 2 Newsletter


Welcome to the first edition of the DSPL 2 Newsletter. Although we are unable to include all of the services provided within DSPL 2, we hope that it will give you a flavour of what is happening and let you know how you can get involved or be supported. The newsletter will be sent to all Headteachers and SENCos termly.

What is Developing Special Provision Locally (DSPL)?

DSPL is a Hertfordshire-wide partnership approach where parents, carers, staff in early years settings and schools, further education colleges, local authority officers and representatives from other agencies work together as part of an Area Group, to ensure that there is a range of provision and support services available in their local community that:

 Meets the needs of children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), aged 0-25 years, as close to home as possible.
 Widens choice for children and parents/carers.
 Removes barriers to learning.
 Improves outcomes for wellbeing and attainment.
 Uses resources more effectively.

The DSPL 2 support team

The DSPL 2 team consists of: Teresa Skeggs (Headteacher of lead school – Peartree Spring Primary School) Kim Taylor (DSPL 2 manager)

The DSPL 2 Website

In 2016 DSPL 2 launched the website ( It has content for parents & carers and also for schools and settings. It includes up to date info/flyers for courses and workshops within the ‘Parents page’ and ‘Training’ tab. It shows information about DSPL local projects. There is also helpful information and numerous links to appropriate organisations under the ‘Links’ tab. Within the Documents tab, there is an ‘Application for spend’ form.

Highlights of the Year

John Williams – My Son’s not Rainman. This was a guest speaker session that was held on the 11th May 2017. ASD leads – The ASD leads across DSPL 2 meet regularly to review and improve provision. Next meeting to be confirmed. These are excellent networking and information based sessions.

How can parents get involved?

There are a number of ways in which parents can get involved in support services.

Angels Support Group was formed in response to families in the community in desperate need of support for themselves and their children. All of our volunteers have children with either ADHD or an autistic spectrum disorder and are committed to providing a resource that people will find both useful and accessible, making it available to as many families as possible. Raising a child diagnosed with ADHD and/or ASD can be very challenging to any parent or carer without the right support. The aim of Angels is to help to empower parents and carers and encourage them to feel confident in supporting their child, both in the home environment and

Angels hold weekly support group meetings which are “adult only” time where we offer friendship, support, the sharing of ideas, difficulties and concerns, and we help to reduce isolation. There is plenty of opportunity to talk freely and discuss issues with other parents who completely understand the difficulties we all face. We support each other and offer a friendly meeting place to talk about all kinds of issues.

A free crèche is available for members with pre-school children at the Hitchin and Stevenage groups.


Space is a Hertfordshire based charity supporting parent/carers of children and young people on the Autistic Spectrum, with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or a related condition.

The group has been running since 2007 and it became a registered charity in 2017.

The group meet up several times a month in term time and have either a speaker or a coffee & chat session. Our meetings are held in Buntingford, Cheshunt, Hatfield, Hertford, St Albans, Stevenage Ware and Welwyn. We also organise and host workshops run by various organisations and arrange social events.

Invitations to parents and carers…

We are always looking for parent representatives to attend our DSPL 2 board meetings. Please email to register your interest.

Information about DSPL 2 Projects

Stevenage GLAS Mental Health project

GLAS provides specialist support to those young people with possible Mental Health and severe emotional and behavioural problems, who have been or are at risk of being permanently excluded
from school. GLAS are passionate about working with the young people and supporting their families to help that young person overcome the emotional barriers that are preventing them from achieving their optimum best at school and in their communities. Our specialist service helps support the young person to gain ownership of their mental health, emotional and behavioural difficulties and help them move from a place of inward chaos towards a place of feeling settled with a sense of purpose. GLAS ltd has worked closely with Stevenage DSPL over the last year delivering and developing support networks for schools, young people and their families and are very keen to evolve these services. DSPL 2 have funded access for 12 pupils and their families to access support. To make a referral for a child at your school, please find the form here.

Level 2 Stevenage 6th

The Foundation Skills Programme was established to further develop our original level 2 programme and to, again, increase student numbers supporting some of our most vulnerable young people including those with SEND who require a ‘nurture style’ setting and programme, reducing NEETs and supporting Raising the Participation Agenda (RPA). Students spend 3 days per week in Partnership Schools studying a variety of courses including;

 GCSE English / iGCSE English / Functional Skills English
 GCSE Maths / Functional Skills Maths
 Applied Science
 BTEC Money & Finance Skills
 BTEC Business Studies
 BTEC Public Services
 Sports Leaders UK – Level 2
 IOSH Health & Safety Qualification
 Duke of Edinburgh Bronze/Silver Award
 Vinspired 50 / 100
 Dragons Apprentice Challenge

The programme has grown steadily over the past four years and, this year, we have our largest cohort consisting of fifteen students representing all four of the Stevenage Sixth schools. With established links to Youth Connexions and North Hertfordshire College, the programme is now in a position to be able to recruit throughout this academic year as a preferred choice and to support students at risk. For further details regarding the Stevenage Stevenage Sixth Foundation Skills programme, please contact

Early Years Transition Workers

There are systems and processes in place to support transitions for children between settings in the early years but we identified that a relatively small number of children would benefit from additional support with transitions. DSPL funding was secured to fund an Early Years Transition Worker to work across the DSPL 2 area supporting children with identified needs that might affect their ability to move on to a new setting. DSPL 2 now funds 2 workers to work across the area. The workers are employed by and based in the 2 Children’s Centre Groups which means that ongoing support for families can be organised where appropriate. To make requests for a child who requires additional transition support to settle into pre-school, nursery or reception class, due to developmental, emotional or social needs, settings complete a Transition Plus Request form and forward it to the Early Years Transition Worker for their area. The referral form is available on the DSPL 2 website. Once the completed Transition Plus Request form is received the Early Years Transition workers offer, plan and deliver bespoke transition packages for children and their families who require additional support to settle into the new setting. This can involve working with early years’ settings, schools, childrens centres and/or in the family home. As part of Stevenage North and South team of children’s centre staff, working in partnership with early years settings, schools, health and other professionals and agencies, the transition workers can also signpost or refer families to the most appropriate services when required.

Spotlight on Outreach


The Greenside OUTREACH service is funded by The Local Authority in line with their service level agreement. The service is delivered to mainstream Primary for pupils in Reception and at Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 within DSPL 2 (Stevenage and the surrounding area).

OUTREACH is delivered in partnership with Woolgrove School. It is delivered by serving practitioners who have worked in both mainstream and special schools. Greenside is an all age special school for learners with severe or profound learning difficulties and Woolgrove is an academy for primary aged children who have learning difficulties.

Both schools have extensive experience and expertise in working with children and adults with Autistic Spectrum Conditions and are accredited by the National Autistic Society for their work with autistic learners. Greenside and Woolgrove have experience in supporting teachers and assistants in mainstream schools.

Together we offer 4 main types of support for mainstream schools:

1. Pupil focused support
2. School focused support
3. In-reach
4. Specialist training

How do I make a referral?

Complete a Greenside OUTREACH Referral Form. These can be obtained from the school office or found under OUTREACH SERVICES on the website

What will happen next?

Upon receipt of the referral form we will contact you to discuss what you need and identify which type of OUTREACH response is most appropriate.

Sharing Good Practice

In each newsletter, we will be sharing some good practice/advice from one of our schools. If you’d like your school to be featured, please contact us via

Top Tips for working with children with SEN

 Use simplified language, stress what you want the child to do, not what you don’t want them to do.
 Use visuals to support the auditory instructions given.
 Know the child really well.
 Know what your child is interested in and where ever possible follow this interest to help accelerate their learning.
 Know your child’s cognitive levels and tailor learning to this level whenever possible but keep in mind the age appropriateness of what you are teaching.
 Develop an understanding and awareness of your child’s sensory needs and incorporate this into their daily learning.
 Use a variety of different approaches with your child to engage them in their learning.
 Have realistic but high expectations.
 Ensure the adults work together and are a positive support to each other to enable the child to learn to their potential.
 Work on developing the child’s functional skills wherever possible.
 Make sure you put the time and effort into developing a positive relationship with your child.
 Break each activity down into small manageable steps. Don’t be afraid to let the child have a break after each little step and then return to it.
 Make sure you value any contribution the child makes during the school day.
 Try to limit the number of treats the child receives during the day, they can have breaks from learning to break up the task but these don’t all need to be treats.

Improved communication:

All schools need a SENCO email address – a request from Debbie Orton

In order to share essential information, including updates on the SEND Strategy implementation programme, the AET training programme and changes to processes such as ENF, it would be useful if we were able to directly contact the SENCo.

We are asking every school to set up an email address ‘SENCO@xxx’ in the same way as there is an Admin@ email address. I believe this will help us improve our communication with schools in the future. I would be grateful if you could do this and please send Lisa, ISL Business Manager, the information when you have set it up so that she can compile a full list.

If you have any queries please contact Lisa at

Autism News

Autism Education Trust training

Hertfordshire County Council has begun rolling out training to every member of teaching staff in Hertfordshire.

Tier 1: “Introduction to Autism – Making Sense of Autism, Raising Awareness”, can be booked by schools for up to 70 staff at a time by e-mailing:

Tier 2: “Good Autism Practice” This whole day course is aimed at teachers, teaching assistants, inclusion staff, SENCos and all staff who may be supporting children and young people with autism on a daily basis. Courses will be run regularly over the next two years.

Autism Education Trust materials for schools, parents and carers

All Hertfordshire Schools should be using the Autism Education Trust self-audit materials, to ensure they are following the best practice in supporting children and young people on the autism spectrum.

Free materials are available on the website at

CAMHs Transformation Project

Work has started to transform mental health services for children and young people living in Hertfordshire.

Following a major review of Hertfordshire’s CAMHS – Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services – in 2015, the resulting transformation plan secured national funding to improve services over the next five years.

At least one child in 10 in Hertfordshire has a diagnosable mental health problem, and many more will need some support to prevent more serious difficulties from emerging. As part of the CAMHS Transformation, Hertfordshire’s two NHS clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are offering a funded training programme to support school based professionals to improve the mental health and wellbeing of pupils.

Responding to Self Harm (16.10.17) – 9:30- 3:30pm
Everything you need to know about mental health (15.11.17) – 9:30-3:30pm
Youth health and mental first aid (21.02.18 and 28.02.18) – 9:30- 4:00pm
Staff sharing and Peer Supervision (07.03.18, 14.03.18 and 28.03.18) – 9:30- 11am
Anxiety Awareness (23.06.17) – 9:30- 12:30pm

All the courses will be held at Peartree Spring Primary School. Spaces are still available for this training. Please book by emailing with your contact details, the course you are interested in and the number of places required. The training is free. Lunch will not be provided. Please be aware that there is no parking available on the school site.

Some of our forthcoming events and training

Elklan Training for staff

Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust Speech and Language Therapy Service is continuing to roll out the highly popular ‘ELKLAN Speech and Language support’ courses to schools in Hertfordshire. ELKLAN is an accredited course for those working with children. It provides information and strategies to develop the communication skills of all children but especially those with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN). The early year’s course covers all aspects of SLCN including play, social communication, adult-child interaction, vocabulary and communication-friendly settings.

DSPL 2 will fund half of the course fees for teaching staff for Stevenage schools and settings delivered by the NHS Speech and Language team.

Email for further information.

SENCo forum

The SENCo forum’s are held at Peartree Spring. Sessions provide SENCos with updates from DSPL 2 as well as information and networking opportunities. Refreshments are provided. Here are the list of dates for the meetings this academic year:

14th November 2017 – 1:30- 3pm
23rd January 2018 – 1:30- 3pm
22nd March 2018 – 1:30 – 3pm
22nd May 2018 – 1:30- 3pm
12th July 2018 – 1:30- 3pm

Hertfordshire Steps – new delivery model

Hertfordshire Steps is the local authority’s preferred approach to supporting positive behaviour management in schools and settings. The Steps approach forms part of the authority’s behaviour strategy. It has been agreed through the SEND Executive and forms part of Hertfordshire’s Local Offer.

What is Hertfordshire Steps?

Hertfordshire Steps is a therapeutic approach to positive behaviour management and is already well established in many of our education settings and services. The Steps approach is based on the following principles:

 Shared focus on inclusion of all children and young people within their educational settings.
 A shared set of values and beliefs.
 Open and shared communication.
 A shared commitment to diversion and de-escalation.
 Shared risk management.
 Shared reparation, reflection and restoration.

Schools will need to identify members of staff who will become their own in-house trainers. Training courses are taking place at Robertson House in Stevenage. The DSPL 2 Board have agreed to part fund Hertfordshire Steps training to support this initiative across the area. For more information please contact

To find out more and book your place on any Hertfordshire Steps Train the Trainer course, please email Adam Hayes on

New to ASD/ SEN Support? A helpful ‘Who is Who?’ guide

DSPL 2 Team –work with schools and try and bridge the gap by offering regular networking through the ASD leads meetings and SENCo forums.

Communication and Autism Team – a County resource; schools can seek help from this team. They liaise with schools and provide training, support and bespoke programmes for children.

PALMS – Autism, Learning Disability and Mental Health Service. PALMS is a multi-disciplinary team who provide individually tailored support to help manage a number of concerns experienced at home. The service is available for children and young people up to their 19th birthday. PALMS provides intervention where necessary and intensive support to families reaching crisis with a step up and step down approach throughout their care journey.

Local Offer – a one stop shop for everything concerning health care and education. The Hertfordshire Local Offer provides information on what services children, young people and their families with SEND can expect from a range of local agencies, including early years, education, health and social care.

ADDvance – a registered charity founded in Herts in 1996. They provide specialist information, training and advice for professionals, adults and families on issues relating to Autism, ADHD and related conditions.

KIDS HUB – providers of free and impartial support over the phone, by email or face-to-face (including home visits). The help provided includes:

o Helping you find activities, groups and training.
o Providing information about benefits and parking.
o Supporting you at meetings about your child.
o Giving help with relevant forms and letters and EHCs.
o Signposting you to a range of local services for disabled children and young people including specialist services.
o Keeping you informed with regular newsletters and updates.
o Helping to develop inclusive provision in the community.
o Providing a venue to meet for support and networking.

Families in Focus – a charity that provides regular, free networks for parent/carers to share experiences, build local community support and reduce isolation. Bringing parents together to share knowledge and learning to build parental resilience and enhance family life in focused sessions including many courses.

Forthcoming events:

Please keep a look out for the DSPL 2 Conference – details shortly!

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