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 within the NHESC’s Bancroft site:

Address: The Old Magistrates Court, 29 Bancroft, Hitchin, Herts, SG5 1JW

Contact number: 01462 666833

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

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 states that:

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 – school uses strategies to support Positive Behaviour Management for pupils

Tier 2 – to observe, give advice, suggest strategies and support schools during the referral process; to monitor pupils’ progress following completion of their High Needs support

Tier 3 – early Intervention - where a pupil’s assessment shows that they just meet the High Needs criteria; this individualised programme of SEMH support is provided, via weekly sessions, in areas such as low self-esteem, social skills or appropriately managing emotions. Where a pupil’s needs are greater, or increases, the support time would be more/increase and the individualised programme would then include some support in the classroom as well as the deliverance of, out of class, the specific SEMH support

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 Workshop to Raise Awareness of Prevent (WRAP) , SEMH, 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), CAMHS/CDC/CDAC appointments, Cluster meetings, Professionals’ meetings

The NHPSS Team:

Dawn Dear, Manager

Dawn is the Assistant Head at the North Herts Education Support Centre where she has worked for 19 years; together with the Head, Julie Vernon-Hamilton, she set up the first Outreach support service for North Herts (Royston, Baldock, Letchworth and Hitchin) in September 1998. This service provided SEMH support to primary children with Dawn originally the only primary worker; the team has grown since then and now comprises 7 support workers. She is also the NHESC’s Autism Lead and WRAP (Prevent) trainer. Dawn is retiring at the end of the Summer Term 2018.

Claire Ames, Admin Assistant

Claire has been with the centre for nearly two years and supports the team as an Admin Assistant – 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.

Jon Hansford, Primary/Middle Co-ordinator

Jon has been working in schools with children with SEMH for over 35 years and has been working alongside Dawn 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 brilliant 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. Jon will become NHPSS Joint Lead in September 2018.

Robyn McFayden, Primary Co-ordinator

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. Robyn will become NHPSS Joint Lead in September 2018.

Sylvia Ahmet, Behaviour Support Worker

Sylvia has worked with Dawn at the NHESC for nearly 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, Behaviour Support Worker

Lisa has worked in education for the past 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

Gill has worked with the NHPSS team for nearly two 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.

Jackie Richardson, Behaviour Support Worker

Jackie has worked for the past year with the NHPSS team supporting children with SEMH in local primary schools. She has built her career around working with children, working as a primary school teacher and nursery teacher as well as, for a short time, becoming a childminder whilst her children were very young. This wealth of experience has enabled Jackie to make a positive contribution to the team.

Asia Hussain (p/t), Behaviour Support Worker

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.

Fiona Romain, Behaviour Support Worker

Fiona recently joined the NHPSS team having worked in behaviour 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.


We work with schools in the DSPL 1 area of North Herts, supporting SENCos, teachers and teaching assistants from mainstream primary
schools, from Reception to Year 6. We provide support and advice to identify and develop strategies and
resources for children with learning difficulties including autism and speech, language & communication needs.

We offer support with appropriate differentiation of learning activities & resources to ensure that children are included in the mainstream classroom.

We can also support with assessment for learning including “P” Scales.

We are able to support in the transition of a pupil from his or her primary school to secondary school.

For more information please download the flyer

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