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Latest news for Hertfordshire Schools
- updated 2 July, 2020

Coronavirus - UPDATED Wednesday 01/07/2020 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 Coronavirus FAQs for schools - (26/06/2020) Updated
arrow Medium term planning framework from HfL and HCC - 29/06/2020 New

arrow COVID-19 update - Tania Rawle, Head of School Standards and Accountability -



Top-up High Needs Funding (HNF) and Local High Needs Funding (LHNF) in mainstream schools
Top-up High Needs Funding (HNF) and Local High Needs Funding (LHNF) in mainstream schools

The SEND Funding in Mainstream Schools Banding Tool is now available.  This sets out Hertfordshire’s approach to funding the special educational provision expected for children and young people in a mainstream school or early years setting. There is a guide in the tool that will explain how the different sections and tabs (worksheets) within the Excel tool operate and what information is required to ensure it works as expected. arrow Read more

Thursday 2nd July 2020

Data Management Services
Important announcement from Herts for Learning Data Management Services and Capita ESS

Capita announced this week that they are to sell Education Software Services, this is the Capita division that is responsible for the SIMS Software that many of you use for your MIS. A Statement was emailed out to all customers from Andy Bennett, Managing Director of Capita Education Software Services. If you have not received the email then you can access it here. Data Management Services attended a briefing call with Andy Bennett this week and can advise that there is no need to be concerned, this will not affect the service you receive from HfL DMS or Capita ESS. As far as HfL DMS and Capita ESS are concerned it is business as usual and you will see no change in your support. We will endeavour to keep you informed as the sale progresses but if you do have any concerns then please feel free to contact us via the ICT Service Desk.

Friday 26th June 2020

Special Educational Needs
Top-Up High Needs Funding (HNF) – Interim arrangements for extraordinary cases

The new system for funding CYP with High Needs in Mainstream Schools will begin from September 2020. There is more information on children and young people with EHCPs in place from 1st September 2020 and Early Years children starting in September arrow Find out more

Tuesday 23rd June 2020

View All Courses

Herts for Learning

Every time we write – developing metacognition and self-regulation to improve writing outcomes Tuesday 30th June 2020 arrow Book now

KS2 Reading Fluency Project: implications for classroom practice Friday 3rd July 2020 arrow Book now

Effective mathematics leadership: planning the year ahead Wednesday 8th July 2020 arrow Book now

Armed Forces Day
Armed Forces Day school toolkits

This year, Armed Forces Day is 27 June and is a chance to show support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community. The Armed Forces Day website has a lot of helpful information and provides toolkits for both Key stage 2 and Key stage 3 to get involved. arrow Read more

Tuesday 16th June 2020

Fraud Alert
Fake invoices – protect your school

It appears the head teachers and other school member’s emails have been compromised and fake invoices are being sent to finance. Take care and follow action plans to protect your school from fake invoices. arrow Read more

Friday 12th June 2020

Herts for Learning summer training update

Since the start of April we have taken more than 2,800 bookings for delegates on a programme of over 100 courses, seminars and conferences and as you will be aware, due to Covid-19, we have responded by switching our training programme to purely online delivery and have continued to update to the programme to respond to feedback from schools and the ongoing and continually developing situation. Details of all the courses available for the balance of term are available on this link: HfL-DigitalTraining-summer2020 or via HfL CPD Hub

Thursday 11th June 2020

Important information - insurance renewals 2020

Last year we asked you to complete the online Insurance Recharge form which is a new way of asking you for your Annual Travel Scheme, Third Party Hirers and Computer declarations. We would now like you to complete and submit this form for this year. The Insurance Recharge form can be found in your list of forms when you log in to The Schools On Line Electronic Returns and Outputs (SOLERO). Please complete and submit this form by Tuesday 30th June 2020. Failure to send this to us by the deadline date will result in your school being recharged using the information we currently have. If you do have any questions, please email

Monday 8th June 2020

Bereavement support for students

Teachers need to support pupils as much as possible if they are dealing with family bereavement. Lessons on change, loss and bereavement should be taught in the classroom as part of a planned programme of PSHE education. Pupils should engage with this complex and sensitive topic in discussions and activities facilitated by a teacher, within a safe classroom environment.
However, at times when there has been a bereavement in the school community the priority is for pastoral care rather than preventative education, so we would direct teachers to Child Bereavement UK, Winston’s Wish, Hope Again and Grief Encounter. All offer excellent guidance that teachers may find useful to forward to parents and pupils, as well as helpline options. arrow Read more

Monday 1st June 2020

volunteers needed
Financial Services Helpline closed for training

The Financial Services Helpline will be closed for training on Tuesday 2nd June. Cases can still be raised and will be addressed on the Helpline’s return.

Monday 1st June 2020

volunteers needed
New HfL and HCC funded Covid 19 return to school primary English resources in school only

The HfL primary English advisers have produced a FREE and comprehensive suite of ‘return to school’ resources that can be used by teachers/teaching assistants to engage their groups in exciting and purposeful book-based learning activities from Monday 1st June and over the summer term. arrow Find out more

Friday 29th May 2020

volunteers needed
New Grid website - user testing task

Thank you to everyone who responded to the first user testing task we sent out.

Monday 26th May 2020

Returning to school – audit of needs

The Educational Psychology Service are creating a resource to help schools support the wellbeing of children and families in the return to school. To make sure this is matching the needs of parents, we would like to hear from school leaders and parents about any concerns you have and the support you would be interested in receiving. The survey should take less than 5 minutes to complete and can be accessed by the following links: School leaders survey:  and Parent survey:

Monday 18th May 2020

Families First Newsletter: Covid-19
Family First News: Covid-19 special edition

Whilst our services are all adapting and working differently we want to ensure we stay in touch with our partners and continue to share some of the key information that is being sent our way. We will continue to update and add to this special Covid19 edition of the Families First News which we hope you will find valuable. arrow Families First Newsletter: Covid-19

Friday 15th May 2020

Cycle to Work Scheme
Cycle to Work Scheme - June 2020 in school only

The cycle to work salary sacrifice scheme will be running throughout June 2018, to help with the cost of new bicycles and cycling equipment up to £2,000. The scheme will be open from 1st – 30th June 2020. arrow Cycle to Work Scheme

Friday 15th May 2020

HfL NQT induction service
Impact of Covid-19 on NQT induction

Herts for Learning has produced some guidance about the changes to the NQT process due to the impact of Covid-19. arrow NQT induction and Covid-19

Wednesday 13th May 2020

Herts SACRE Newsletter for Schools – RE teaching resources

A special Hertfordshire SACRE Newsletter for Schools with information about resources to help teachers with their online teaching resources. arrow RE News

Monday 11th May 2020

Britannica Digital Learning

Britannica is a safe, cloud-based resource library. It is differentiated, updated every 20 minutes, matches the curriculum and is translated into over 120 languages. This site is accessible for the least to the most able. arrow Britannica Digital Learning

Wednesday 6th May 2020

COVID 19 – Temporary extension of FSM eligibility to NRPF groups

This article provides guidance about the extension measure put in place by DfE and how schools should support families with applications. arrow Temporary extension of FSM eligibility to NRPF groups

Tuesday 5th May 2020

Important update to SFVS requirements

As part of the approach to reducing information collection and reporting burdens on Schools during this challenging period, the Department for Education have this week removed the requirement for the Council to submit the CFO Annual Assurance Statement for the School’s Financial Value Standards. For Hertfordshire schools, we would still recommend the completion and return of outstanding SFVS returns, but with an extended timeline for submission to the Local Authority of September 2020 (with this timeline subject to further review where required). arrow Update to SFVS requirements

Tuesday 5th May 2020

volunteers needed
New Grid website - volunteers needed for user testing

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic and the shift in all our priorities, we are starting work on the development of the new Grid website as commissioned by HCC. Feedback from schools will be important in shaping the website and ensuring it meets your needs so we are looking for volunteers from schools to take part in online user testing (10-15 minutes each time) over the next few weeks. Ideally from a range of roles in schools (heads, SBMs, teachers, school office staff), to reflect all users of the Grid. arrow How to get involved

Thursday 30th April 2020

Changes to Exceptional Needs Funding (ENF)
Changes to Exceptional Needs Funding (ENF)

We have reviewed the way in which we currently meet complex (high) needs in schools through ENF. Both nationally and locally, there is a rising need for support for pupils with complex needs in mainstream schools and nurseries. This has an impact on how we spend money we have across the education system. The review highlighted the concerns of education providers and parents/carers about ENF, and their views that children and young people are not all getting the funding they need. The review is part of our commitment to make sure that funding is sustainable for schools and nurseries in the future so that they can fully meet children and young people’s needs. arrow Read more

Wednesday 29th April 2020

Diabetes 4 T's campaign
Diabetes 4 T's campaign

Diabetes UK have re-launched the 4 T’s campaign to raise awareness of signs and symptoms of Type 1 diabetes in children & young people. This is especially important currently when people may delay or avoid seeking medical advice or treatment because of social distancing measures due to the coronavirus pandemic. arrow 4 T's campaign

Tuesday 28th April 2020

Online safety at home
Summer training and events: leading the way in digital delivery

In response to the continuing Covid-19 situation we have taken the decision to rationalise our summer programme of training and events. Approximately one third of courses originally scheduled to be delivered face-to-face during the summer term will now be delivered digitally, focusing on areas where demand from schools and settings is likely to be greatest. arrow Read more

Monday 27th April 2020

Online safety at home
Online safety at home

The #OnlineSafetyAtHome hashtag has been created by the NCA-CEOP Thinkuknow Education Team to support parents and carers during COVID-19 and the closure of schools. Each fortnight, the team release new home activity packs with simple 15 minute activities parents and carers can do with their child to support their online safety at home. arrow Read more

Thursday 23rd April 2020

Get involved with #iSchoolation
Get involved with #iSchoolation

We want to see what imaginative, creative or artistic methods teachers and parents in the county are using to educate their and pupils and children. We’re running a social media campaign called #iSchoolation where people can share all the great examples of home learning that they’ve witnessed during the lockdown and take some inspiration from others in the same situation. arrow Read more

Wednesday 22nd April 2020

Relationships and Sex Education
New Relationships Education or RSE School Policy Review service launched for summer 2020

Schools will be finalising their Relationships Education or RSE (Relationships and Sex Education) policies in the summer term 2020 to ensure that they are fully compliant with their new statutory duties from September 2020. The HfL Wellbeing team are offering a new RSE policy check and review service for schools who would like to be sure their policy meets all requirements. arrow Find out more

Monday 20th April 2020

New home learning resources

You may be feeling anxious or concerned about continuing to provide the best support for LGBT children and young people in the face of school and youth group closures. We know that for many LGBT children and young people, schools and youth groups can be some of the most important sources of support and community in their lives - being apart from teachers, group leaders, friends and peers may feel scary and isolating right now. Stonewall have produced a range of free downloadable activity packs and educational resources that can be used in the classroom with children and young people still attending school, or at home for those who are now being cared for by family and friends. arrow Read more

Tuesday 14th April 2020

Child Protection
Update to Child Protection Policy

Additional information has been added to the Child Protection Policy for Coronavirus (COVID-19): Safeguarding in schools, colleges and other settings as well as interim DfE Safeguarding Guidance. arrow Child Protection Policy

Tuesday 7th April 2020

Online safety newsletters
Online safety newsletters - Summer 2020

With many school staff and Early Years practitioners currently supporting pupils and their families at home and online, the HfL Wellbeing team have brought forward the publication of the  summer term School Staff and Parents and Carers HfL Online Safety Newsletters.  The newsletters 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 schools’ parent body and your personal and professional networks. arrow Online safety newsletters

Monday 30th March 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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