Google Mail

News Feed for HGfL

Subscribe to
Grid News Feed


01438 844777


Latest news for Hertfordshire Schools
- updated 1 April, 2020

Coronavirus - UPDATED WEDNESDAY - 12.29 pm 01/04/2020 in school only

Public Health and HCC are regularly updating their advice and information for schools on Coronovirus and links to the latest news to keep you up to date on this rapidly evolving situation.
Latest: Go to: Coronavirus latest updates and guidance

arrow Working from home guidelines for school and setting staff (1/4/2020

arrow Covid-19 Schools update - Tania Rawle, Head of School Standards and Accountability (1/4/2020)

arrow Payroll guidance (31/3/2020)
arrow Free school meals
- revised guidance (31/3/2020)
A range of guidance to support schools and parents during school closure is also being published


Insurance - engineering inspections

Further to our previous update we have now received the below from HSB Engineering:
Following the latest UK government update on Monday 23 March, we made a difficult decision to pause our inspection services whilst we sought guidance from the HSE and SAFed as to the approach required for statutory inspections. As of Thursday 26 March, we will be continuing with our inspections in accordance with the latest HSE and SAFed guidance.

Monday 30th March 2020

HICs Customers - RM SSL Connect (VPN) Service Improvements

We have had several reports from schools who have been experiencing VPN connection issues and have been in discussions with RM to identify how we can jointly support you as effectively as possible. Within the next 24 hours the following changes will take place:
- All schools will each be upgraded from 10 concurrent sessions to 50
- The HICs network was previously capped at 500 concurrent connections.  Burst capacity will be enabled for up to 2500 connections
- The duration of user connections timing out when they are inactive has been reduced to 10 minutes.  This will reduce the amount of connections which are left dormant, making them available for others to use.
We hope this will drastically improve the effectiveness of the service during this difficult period of time and we will continue to monitor the situation closely, but if you do continue to experience any issues, please contact the Service Desk on 01438 844777 (Option 2).

Friday 27th March 2020

Fraud Alert
Fraud - Thank you letters from DfE

Fraudsters are sending out Thank You letters to teachers allegedly from the Department for Education. Watch out for scam messages, from unknown email addresses, Don’t click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails, and never respond to unsolicited messages and calls that ask for your personal or financial details. arrow Fraud advice

Friday 27th March 2020

RE support through Coronavirus

RE Today, in parentship with NATRE, have produced a series of free, quality-assured online resources to support parents and their children with the provision of RE activities for use during the coronavirus crisis. These resources are available for anyone to access at:

Friday 27th March 2020

Update: The SFVS Return Deadline has been changed to 30th April 2020

Due to the extenuating circumstances currently faced by all schools, we have extended the SFVS Return submission deadline to 30th April 2020. We would like to thank schools who have already submitted their return, but for others, we recognise work to comply with Government regulations is the key priority at this time. arrow More information

Thursday 26th March 2020

Scam email being sent to parents asking for bank details if they are Free School Meals IMPORTANT ALERT

HCC has received reports that a scam email is being sent to parents, asking them for bank details if they have children who qualify for Free School Meals.  Please could all schools send out a communication to their parents, warning them about this scam email.  In addition, it may be sensible to remind them not to give out private information (such as bank details or passwords), reply to text messages, download attachments or click on any links in emails if you’re not sure they’re genuine.  Please see this government link for further helpful information:

Wednesday 25th March 2020

child protection
Covid-19 Important notices from the Child Protection Team

Temporary closure of the Consultation Hub for child protection advice and team cover and contacts. arrow More information
Cancellation of all CPSLO training. arrow More information

Wednesday 18th March 2020

Emotional wellbeing
Reading Well for children – books to help you feel better

A booklist has been developed which is targeted at children in Key Stage 2 (aged 7-11). It includes a wide range of reading levels to support less confident readers, and to encourage children to read together with their siblings and carers. The books are all categorised for different aged children and relate to informative subjects and topics. arrow More information

Wednesday 18th March 2020

Covid-19 - school users of HCC/Serco payroll & transactions services (For action by schools)

A summary off the steps being taken by Serco to ensure the continuation of payroll services for schools and to re-assure employees that they will continue to receive their salaries. arrow More information

Wednesday 18th March 2020

How to talk to children about Covid-19

The PSHE Association’s has published advice on how to respond to any questions from pupils on the coronavirus in PSHE lessons. Please see the guidance. arrow More information

Wednesday 18th March 2020

Primary Maths Conference
Primary Mathematics Conference: Joining the Dots 2020 – Tuesday 30th June 2020

The Herts for Learning Primary Maths team are proud to present an inspirational and thought-provoking day to help schools bring the big mathematical picture into view, featuring a keynote from Andrew Jeffery, Mathematics Consultant and Author. Come and find out what the latest findings from research projects show about children’s learning and how simple tweaks and approaches can improve their outcomes. Prepare to be enthused by practical sessions in which delegates can really experience effective approaches ready to share with colleagues back at school. arrow More information

Wednesday 18th March 2020

Travel insurance
Travel insurance policy update - Coronavirus

In light of Covid-19, updated information on the current travel situation for travelling within the UK, including the Channel Islands and travelling overseas has been made available. arrow More information

Tuesday 17th March 2020

Headteacher updates
Spring term Headteacher updates

In the light of Covid-19, a decision has been made to cancel the sessions at Aldenham Country Club, Wodson Park and the governors session at Beales Hotel in Hatfield.  We are holding off making a decision about the Stevenage session at Hertfordshire Development Centre at the moment and exploring options of how this may be recorded and disseminated to schools. arrow Spring term updates

Monday 16th March 2020

Fraud Alert
Coronavirus scams - protect yourself

Fraudsters are sending out coronavirus-themed phishing emails in an attempt to trick people into opening malicious attachments or revealing sensitive personal and financial details. Watch out for scam messages:  Don’t click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails, and never respond to unsolicited messages and calls that ask for your personal or financial details. Prevent Fraud by improving your processes and follow some simple tips from the Shared Anti-Fraud Service. arrow How to protect your school

Monday 16th March 2020

View All Courses

Herts for Learning

Inter-school moderation of final teacher assessment of Key Stage 2 writing Tuesday 19th May 2020 arrow Book now

Effective Reporting in SIMS - the basics Tuesday 19th May 2020 arrow Book now

Assessing primary RE - raising attainment Wednesday 20th May 2020 arrow Book now

IR35 awareness workshop Wednesday 20th May 2020 arrow Book now

Inter-school moderation of final teacher assessment of Key Stage 2 writing Thursday 21st May 2020 arrow Book now

Leading on Reading Thursday 21st May 2020 arrow Book now

The National Award for SEN Coordination for Hertfordshire SENCOs

All SENCOs new-to-role since 2009 must successfully complete the National Award for SEN Coordination within three years of coming into post.
The Award is a mandatory qualification which the Eastern Partnership UK (SEND) (hosted by Herts for Learning) has been delivering successfully since January 2010.  Completion of the National Award ensures a high level of knowledge and skills required to lead on the development of policy and practice for children and young people with special educational needs in schools and settings. arrow More information

Thursday 12th March 2020

Great Big School Clean – competition deadline - Friday 24th April

As part of the Great British Spring Clean, WasteAware are encouraging schools to join in with ‘The Great Big School Clean!’ For your school’s chance to win two pencil-shaped bins and two recycling-related books simply contact us on with any activities you have planned for the Great Big School Clean or wait until the event is over and send us details of what you did. Accompanying photos (with photo permissions) would be great too! The deadline is Friday 24th April 2020 and one winner from each district will be selected at random and announced the week commencing Monday 27th Aprilarrow Read more

Thursday 12th March 2020

Budget Preparation 2020-21 in school only

Financial services have issued the 2020-21 Budget Preparation Guide for schools. arrow More information

Wednesday 11th March 2020

Travel insurance
Travel insurance policy update - Coronavirus

The policy does not provide cover for the circumstances in the event of a quarantine. Due to the government officials of the respective country imposing it, the Insured (school) will be responsible for covering all of the extra costs for the quarantine itself and also rearranging any flights, accommodation etc. The policy excludes regulations or orders made by any public authority or government. arrow More information

Tuesday 10th March 2020

Families First Awards
2020 Families First Awards nominations - closes Friday 3rd April

We are very excited to announce that the nomination process has now opened for our 2020 Families First Awards! These awards are an opportunity to celebrate team and individual successes in Early Intervention that have made a significant impact to the lives of children, young people and families in Hertfordshire through their outstanding work and achievement of positive outcomes. All shortlisted entries will be invited to the awards ceremony which are being held on 6th May at the South Hill Centre in Hemel Hempstead where all shortlisted nominees will be invited to a celebrate their success and enjoy an afternoon tea. There are 13 categories and you can find more information and nominate arrow Families First Award nominations

Monday 9th March 2020

View All Courses

Herts for Learning

Curriculum beyond the classroom: using the great outdoors Tuesday 12th May 2020 arrow Book now

Come outside - maximising the use of the outdoor environment to support learning across all areas of the curriculum Tuesday 12th May 2020 arrow Book now

Managing your school's finances for headteachers Tuesday 12th May 2020 arrow Book now

Introduction to HR for school leaders Tuesday 12th May 2020 arrow Book now

Business management briefing Thursday 14th May 2020 arrow Book now

The secrets of SIMS: a year in the life of a school administrator Friday 15th May 2020 arrow Book now

travel insurance
Travel insurance policy - Coronavirus

If school trips have already been booked, and the FCO advice changes to advise against all travel or against all but essential travel, then the policy cover will apply (subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions) and should provide cover under the cancellation section for the costs which are unrecoverable from accommodation and travel providers. Please bear in mind that each claim is judged on its merits and the particular circumstances which apply. If the school decides to cancel a trip where the FCO advice has not changed, then this would be disinclination to travel and not covered by the policy.

Thursday 5th March 2020

DfE Consultation on Keeping Children Safe in Education 2020

The DfE is seeking views about proposed changes to the Keeping children safe in education (KCSIE) statutory guidance, with a view to making changes for September 2020. Closes 21st April 2020. arrow Consultation

Thursday 5th March 2020

Shut Out: The experiences of LGBT young people not in education, training and work

Stonewall’s new report, with BritainThinks, shines a light on the experiences of LGBT young people. Until now, as recognised by the Government Equalities Office in 2016, no research on LGBT inequalities has existed. Shut Out uncovers the specific challenges that lead many LGBT young people to become disengaged from education, training and work, alongside the obstacles many face to re-entry. arrow Read more

Wednesday 4th March 2020

View All Courses

Herts for Learning

SIMS Personnel Monday 4th May 2020 arrow Book now

Supporting EAL learners in the primary classroom Wednesday 6th May 2020 arrow Book now

Appraisal and capability workshop Wednesday 6th May 2020 arrow Book now

Induction for new SENCOs Wednesday 6th May 2020 arrow Book now

Deputy and assistant headteacher induction: session five - effective communication Thursday 7th May 2020 arrow Book now

Monitoring in the EYFS for middle leaders Thursday 7th May 2020 arrow Book now

Risk Protection Arrangement
Risk Protection Arrangement

The Risk Protection Arrangement (RPA) currently offered to academy status schools by Central Government/DFE will be made available to all Local Authority Maintained schools with effect from the 1st April 2020. All schools currently insured through Hertfordshire County Council’s Policies are tied in until the 31st August 2020 as per the agreement signed within the Delegated Funding Pack in 2016/2017; this was effective from 01 September 2017. Hertfordshire County Council will continue to offer you the same insurance covers you currently have in place from 1st September 2020. arrow Read more

Thursday 27th February 2020

Severe weather guidance in school only

As the weather turns colder please make sure you are familiar with the procedures for school closures in the event of snow and the closure notification system. arrow More information

Wednesday 26th February 2020

Herts for Learning training programme summer 2020

Herts for Learning is pleased to announce that our Summer 20 training programme for staff working in primary, including Early Years, and secondary phases is now available on our CPD Hub. arrow Read more

Wednesday 26th February 2020

Primary English Conference: Love That Book 2020 – Friday 3rd July 2020

Following the success of last year’s Love That Book conference, the HfL English team intend to recreate the magic with an even bigger and better celebration of the best of children’s literature. We will be hearing from Simon Smith, a book-savvy headteacher, who knows from experience how to whip up a book frenzy across a school. We will also be joined by representatives from schools involved in the Stevenage and North Herts Writing Project to hear about how this innovative approach to collaborative reading and writing, has sparked a renewed love of literature for many children (and mayxbe a few teachers too!). We are delighted that Dianne Hofmeyr, author of Zeraffa Giraffa, will also be joining us. arrow Love That Book

Tuesday 25th February 2020

Updated new starter forms now available in school only

New starter forms for teaching and non teaching staff for both academies and maintained schools have been updated and are now available on the Grid. arrow New starter forms

Tuesday 25th February 2020

Reminder: Changes to the way in which you request ISL Services - updated forms

The updated Single Service Request (SSR) form is now available for schools to download and import into SIMS from DMS Portal on the Herts for Learning website. arrow ISL Services

Monday 24th February 2020

Recognise, Response, Refer posters and postcards

The Recognise, Response and Refer advice for Early Years and advice for schools safeguarding posters and postcards have been revised to align with current procedures. arrow Read more

Thursday 13th February 2020

Reach for the Stars! Raising aspirations and expectations for our disadvantaged learners – Wednesday 1st July 2020

This annual conference will focus on addressing the needs of our disadvantaged pupils across all phases of education. This year Marc Rowland, Pupil Premium and Disadvantaged Learners Adviser for Unity Schools Partnership, will be delivering a keynote on improving outcomes for disadvantage and vulnerable learners. Dr Janet Goodall, Associate Professor in the School of Education at Swansea University will be delivering the second keynote related to a parental engagement and the impact on children's learning. arrow Reach for the Stars!

Friday 7th February 2020

NCS and the Role of the Youth Support Worker

National Citizen Service with YC Hertfordshire is a fantastic opportunity for 16 and 17 year-olds. It brings together young people from diverse backgrounds, providing them with an amazing once-in-a-lifetime experience and the prospect of making a real difference in the world. We are looking for seasonal team members to be NCS Youth Support Workers, willing to help guide young people every step of the way as they take on the NCS challenge, gain new skills and make new friends. arrow Read more

Thursday 30th January 2020

Action regarding the school budget software (Access Education Budgeting, was HCSS)

As we approach the release of the budget software for 2020/21, planned for early February, the access to the school’s budgets for year 2018/19 will be removed. This is due to the software providing access to two years at one time only, the current and prior year. It is suggested that schools review their requirements for retaining records of their 2018/19 budget scenario(s) and print and/or save any reports to keep if not already done so. Recommended reports to keep include: The Hertfordshire Report Pack (available from the software in: Reports > Hertfordshire Reports). If you have any questions regarding the above please contact the Helpline on 01992 555753 or email

Thursday 30th January 2020

Don't be caught out!

Invoice fraud is a growing problem for schools. Don’t be a victim – be aware of it and have the necessary measures in place to help ensure you’re able to spot it. Prevent invoice fraud by improving your processes and follow some simple tips from the Shared Anti-Fraud Service. arrow How to protect your school

Friday 24th January 2020

Free access to the FundEd online fundraising portal and termly publication for all Herts schools

From January 2020, for a 12 month period, all Hertfordshire schools will have free access to FundEd’s online fundraising portal and termly publication. This will provide all Herts schools with the chance to increase their income generation prospects. To access the portal, schools will need to use the login details for the FundEd website sent on Wednesday 18th December 2019 to all Heads and School Business Managers. arrow Read more

Wednesday 22nd January 2020

Authorised Signatory Forms for SERCO - now updated

Schools must register authorised signatories to enable Serco to process invoices and payroll transactions on behalf of the school. These documents have now been updated. arrow Authorised Signatory Forms

Thursday 16th January 2020

Online safety newsletters - Spring 2020

The spring HfL Online Safety Newsletters have now been published by the HfL Wellbeing team and feature a wealth of helpful links, guidance, news and updates. Please feel free to download the School Staff and / or Parents and Carers version and share it with your personal and professional networks. arrow Online safety newsletters

Thursday 16th January 2020

HR and Payroll Guides for Schools

New guides for HR and payroll have been produced to provide basic guidance for those taking on the role of HR and Payroll administration in schools. arrow Read more

Friday 10th January 2020

Model policy for reducing the need for restrictive interventions in schools update

Hertfordshire schools and educational establishments are encouraged to use this updated framework, and to adapt it to their own situation. It is advised that all schools should be familiar with the Hertfordshire Policy on the use of Restrictive Physical Intervention. arrow Read more

Friday 10th January 2020

Herts for Learning appoints Transformation Director

Herts for Learning is delighted to announce an important new addition to its leadership team. Matt Schofield has been working with HfL since mid-2019 to help select new Finance, Payroll and other support systems, and has now joined the company as Transformation Director. Matt will be a member of the Executive Team. In this role he will help to manage implementation, data cleansing and training to ensure that the change is successful and that HfL realises the benefits of this important investment. arrow Read more

Thursday 9th January 2020

New updates added to the Standing Advisory Council on Religous Education (SACRE)

New updates have been added to the SACRE page on the Grid. These include guidance on collective worship and also information on what is SACRE and what does it do? arrow Read more

Thursday 9th January 2020

Herts for Learning appoints Head of Technology in Schools

Herts for Learning is delighted to announce the appointment of Chris Bramwell as Head of Service – Technology in Schools with effect from January 2020. Chris is an experienced technology leader, having spent more than 25 years both in the public and private sectors including ten years as a head of IT at BT. Much of Chris’ career has focussed on delivering ‘fit for purpose’ IT solutions and technology-enabled change. This included delivering Wi-Fi for the Olympic venues and ensuring that BT Mobile launched without a hitch. arrow Read more

Thursday 9th January 2020

Data Collection Calendar – Spring term 2020 in school only

The Spring term Data Collection Calendar for 2020 has now been published which gives a list of the major and statutory data collections and disseminations of data between schools and the local authority. arrow Data Collection

Monday 6th January 2020

» Previous updates are listed in the Archive pages 5 4 3 2 1
(page 5 most recent).

Herts for Learning

New Essential HfL Links

Training Courses


HCC Online Services

Essential Grid Links

Do not delete cell