Special Schools: Covid-19

Education – in the House of Commons on 12th October 2020.

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Photo of Sir David Amess Sir David Amess Conservative, Southend West

What steps his Department is taking to support special schools during the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Gavin Williamson Gavin Williamson The Secretary of State for Education

We have published specific guidance to support the full opening of special schools. Recognising the additional challenges that they face, we have announced a package of support worth £1 billion, which includes a £650 million catch-up premium with additional weighting for specialist settings. We are also increasing the high needs funding by an additional £1.5 billion over this year and next.

Photo of Sir David Amess Sir David Amess Conservative, Southend West

I visited the excellent Fairways Primary School in my constituency this morning. I have also been contacted by two special schools, Estuary High School, which is having difficulty in getting tests for their students in their residential homes, and Kingsdown School, which is very worried about the new guidance issued on 28 August in terms of social distancing. Will my right hon. Friend look at those two points for me, please?

Photo of Gavin Williamson Gavin Williamson The Secretary of State for Education

All schools are issued with sets of testing kit, and they have the ability to order more via the NHS portal. I would be very happy to look at the two points highlighted by my hon. Friend.