North Herts Primary Support Service

From April 2016 Letchworth, Baldock and Royston (the Tri Partnership) have, as a Commissioning Group: ‘Commissioned NHESC to provide appropriate outreach support on behalf of the learners using High Needs Block funding’

The North Herts Education Support Centre (NHESC) provides Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) support, via the North Herts Primary Support Service (NHPSS), for all High Needs pupils in the Letchworth, Baldock and Royston partnership areas.

The baseline outcomes are that pupils worked with by the NHPSS will

  • make positive progress and achievement 
  • engage in Learning as a result of the work done with their social, emotional and mental health difficulties allowing them to access a full curriculum by helping to remove their barriers to learning.

The NHPSS will also meet all statutory and other responsibilities relating to excluded pupils on behalf of Herts County Council (HCC).

The NHPSS team is located on the NHESC Briar Patch Site

Address: Valley House, Briar Patch Lane, Letchworth, Hertfordshire SG63LY

Contact number: 07795841915

Jon Hansford: 07717534613

Robyn McFayden: 07876788760

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ;

Individual work with children is accessed through referral to the NHPSS service via the NHESC’s website http://www.northhertsesc.herts.sch.uk/

In order to assess whether a pupil’s needs meet the High Needs Criteria for support we use assessment data sheets which were designed by Dawn in 2008 and which luckily fall in line with the HCC Behaviour Strategy 2015 – 2018 which designates:

Tier 1 – Behaviour Management within Schools
Tier 2 – Outreach
Tier 3 – Intensified Outreach
Tier 4 – In-reach
Tier 5 – Change of Provision

As a service we can therefore offer:

Tier 1 – All school based support and interventions in place and school to engage parents. NHPSS will provide advice to check that essential aspects of the schools structure/ ethos are in place to ensure good behaviour management.

Tier 2 – NHPSS staff will actively observe and provide advice, structure and support plans for individual pupils with in schools. They will support staff teams working with the identified pupil. NHPSS will also monitor pupil’s progress following their high needs support.

Tier 3 – early Intervention, via weekly sessions to provide support in areas such as low self-esteem, social skills or appropriately managing emotions; where a pupil’s assessment shows that they just meet the High Needs criteria. Including support mentioned in Tier 1&2.

Tier 4 – intensified support time both within the classroom and out of the classroom; there may be a period of time where all the support is out of the classroom and the pupil is then supported in a programme of reintegration into their classroom

Tier 5 – to support where a pupil:


1. has a Managed Move to another mainstream school
2. remains on roll at their school but are supported at another (host) school from within the partnership area to avoid a Permanent Exclusion (APEx)
3. is permanently excluded and is educated (supported) at another (host) school from within the partnership area from Day 6 whilst another school setting/provision is secured for the pupil by the Integration Officer /SEN (dependent upon EHCP status); the support work would continue with their integration into their new setting (unless it was a special provision)

As well as support for pupils we can also offer schools:

1. Training - for example workshops for SEMH and Herts Steps (only in liaison with Adam Hayes – County Lead)
2. Advice – for example to staff groups, parents/carers, individual staff
3. Support - with for example Education Health Care Plans (EHCPs), Exceptional Needs Funding (ENF) applications, referrals to other agencies {including Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), Child Development Clinic (CDC) and Communication Disorder Assessment Clinic (CDAC)} and Individual Risk Management Plans
4. Attendance at for example Team Around a Family (TAFs), Family First Assessments (FFAs), CAMHS/CDC/CDAC appointments, Cluster meetings, Professionals’ meetings

The NHPSS Team:

Jon Hansford, NHPSS Joint Lead

Jon has been working in schools with children with SEMH for over 35 years and has been working for the NHESC for nearly 16 years; he has worked in many roles in other settings, including as Head of English, SENDCo, and as both a Deputy Head and a Head Teacher (even for a time in Africa) and his wealth of experiences mean he is able to provide appropriately flexible support to pupils, parents and school staff; Jon is able to offer INSET both tailor made to a school’s needs or to a whole group from various schools.

Robyn McFayden, NHPSS Joint Lead

Robyn has extensive experience working with SEND children in her capacity as a member of the NHPSS team, when working in an SLD school and in her role working for 5 years (privately) as a carer for a young man with severe (non-verbal) autism and ADHD. Robyn is also very experienced at working with parents and at supporting school staff and is skilled both with providing realistic advice and producing amazing resources for them to use. Robyn is also able to offer INSET both tailor made to a school’s needs or to a whole group from various schools.

Claire Ames, NHPSS Administrator

Claire has been with the centre for nearly 3 years and supports the team as the NHPSS Administrator – without her amazing ability to speedily complete so many of the support workers’ necessary administrative tasks they would not be able to spend such a high percentage of their working week in schools supporting primary pupils to engage in their own learning. She is also always willing to go the extra mile to ensure the team is able to work in an organised, yet still fun, environment; Claire helps to keep the team’s spirits high and she always has a smile on her face.

Sylvia Ahmet, Behaviour Support Worker

Sylvia has worked for the NHESC for 14 years; during this time she has received training from ARC on Developmental Trauma and Attachment and has gained Diploma qualifications in: Child Psychology Level Three and Counselling Children and Adolescents Level Four. Sylvia has worked with many children with challenging behaviour and their families and over the years has also developed amazing links with CAMHS, CDC and CDAC - she has been able, for a number of children, to get a diagnosis that has meant the child’s needs were finally able to be appropriately met.

Lisa Brathwaite, (p/t) Behaviour Support Worker (Working Mondays, Wednesday & Thursdays)

Lisa has worked in education for the nearly 4 years and has been with the NHPSS team for the past two. She is currently studying for, and has nearly completed, a degree in counselling. She believes that a caring, honest and calm approach gives the children she works with the best chance to raise their self-esteem and thereby reach their maximum potential.

Gill Morris, (p/t) Behaviour Support Worker (Working Tuesdays, Wednesday & Thursday)

Gill has worked with the NHPSS team for nearly 4 years after being a police officer for 12 years. She has two young children which has helped her understand and develop a strong relationship with primary school aged children. She works closely with school SENDCos and Head teachers to ensure that all the children she supports get the best possible outcomes.

Fiona Romain, Behaviour Support Worker

Fiona recently joined the NHPSS team having worked in schools for the past 5 years, working specifically with children displaying challenging behaviour. She is very calm and caring which helps enable children to build trust and therefore supports them to achieve their potential. Fiona has recently gained her Diploma in Child Counselling.

Asia Hussain, (p/t) Behaviour Support Worker (Currently on Maternity leave)

Asia is an energetic, passionate and patient individual who has been with the NHPSS team for nearly three years, supporting pupils with SEMH pupils across various schools. She can effectively support pupils to achieve, using a range of engaging methods and excellent communication skills, as well as working in partnership with schools, parents and the community to enable every pupil to fulfil his or her potential.

Alison Barden, Behaviour Support Worker

Ali has worked in education for the past 10 years; supporting pupils with various learning difficulties and SEMH needs. She is passionate about helping young people to achieve to the best of their ability and believes a supporting, caring approach can help pupils succeed. Ali considers it important to work closely with young people encouraging self-belief and confidence, which can allow them to enjoy and acknowledge their own achievements.

Rachel Hilditch, (p/t) Behaviour Support Worker (Mondays, Tuesdays & Wednesdays)

For the last 8 years Rachel has worked in education in a pastoral capacity with pupils with SEMH and SEN needs. Previously she was a learning mentor and in class support at North Herts College; on the Future Choice and Future Focus course. She also has worked in the construction industry and continues to do so alongside her commitment to the NHPSS. She believes enthusiastically in the need to develop the whole child.

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