Special Educational Needs: Coronavirus

Department for Education written question – answered on 27th April 2020.

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Photo of Layla Moran Layla Moran Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Education)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the data entitled Coronavirus (COVID-19): attendance in education and early years settings published by his Department on 21 April 2020, what proportion of the children classified as vulnerable were (a) classified as children in need and (b) hold an Education, Health and Care plan.

Photo of Vicky Ford Vicky Ford The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

24,000 of the children in attendance on Friday 17 April were classed by schools as vulnerable. Of these, around 6,000 had an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan, and 14,000 were children in need (reported by schools as having a social worker). The remainder were unknown, where schools either did not provide this information or the children were classed vulnerable for other reasons. This data corresponds with the last day of the Easter break in most parts of the country.

The department is working with educational settings and local authorities to improve our understanding of the total number of vulnerable children for whom continued attendance at educational establishments would be beneficial and appropriate. This is in recognition of the fact that attendance may not be appropriate for some children, including because of health considerations and risks, and that many children with EHC plans may be able to have their needs met in the home environment. Full guidance on the definition of vulnerable children and options for continued attendance can be found at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-vulnerable-children-and-young-people/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-vulnerable-children-and-young-people.

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