Schools: Coronavirus

Department for Education written question – answered on 7th April 2020.

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Photo of Lord Watson of Invergowrie Lord Watson of Invergowrie Shadow Spokesperson (Education)

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that schools and education authorities can fulfill their duties under the Equality Act 2010 to provide reasonable adjustments and auxiliary aids for pupils with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo of Baroness Berridge Baroness Berridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade) (Minister for Women), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The duties under the Equality Act 2010 on local authorities, schools and other education settings are unchanged.

The welfare of children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities is a high priority for the department, especially during this period of uncertainty. We are working closely with colleagues across government to ensure that appropriate arrangements, and support, are in place for all of the department’s sectors – from early years and childcare to schools and children’s social care, and for vulnerable groups including children with special educational needs.

Many children and young people with disabilities will fall under the definition of “vulnerable children” when it comes to the response to the COVID-19 outbreak, for example because they have special educational needs or they are receiving support from social care. The government has published questions and answers about the provisions being made for vulnerable children and young people, which can be found at the link below: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-vulnerable-children-and-young-people.

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