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Useful information for parents

What is SEND?

Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) can affect a child or young person’s ability to learn. They can affect their:

  • behaviour or ability to socialise, for example they struggle to make friends
  • reading and writing, for example because they have dyslexia
  • ability to understand things
  • concentration levels, for example because they have ADHD
  • physical ability

What is the SEND Code of Practice?

The Code of Practice provides statutory guidance on duties, policies and procedures for children with Special Educational Needs.   

What support is available in Hertfordshire?

The Hertfordshire Local Offer lets parents and young people know what special educational needs and disabilities services are available in Hertfordshire, and who can access them.

What is DSPL?

DSPL stands for Delivering Special Provision Locally.   DSPL is a Hertfordshire-wide partnership approach where parents, 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, reviewing and developing the range of provision and support services available to their local community that :

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


Abel Smith is in DSPL3.   DSPL3 covers East Hertfordshire (Bishops Stortford, Sawbridgeworth, Buntingford, Ware, Hertford and all surrounding villages).

Families First is the name for early help in Hertfordshire. It is a way of getting extra support for your family to help you manage problems early on.   Families First is available to all Hertfordshire families with children under 18 (25 if they have a learning need or disability).

Useful guide to SEND jargon.