Special Educational Needs: Coronavirus

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

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Photo of Lord Addington Lord Addington Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic related school closures and social distancing measures on those with identified special educational needs but who do not have an Education Health and Care Plans.

Photo of Lord Addington Lord Addington Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the provision of support to children with dyslexia, autism and other neuro diverse conditions who are undergoing education at home.

Photo of Lord Addington Lord Addington Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty's Government what advice and guidance they have provided to parents of children who do not qualify for school attendance and who have dyslexia, autism and other neuro diverse conditions about how to support those children successfully at home; whether such guidance is published; and if so, where.

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

We have published guidance on supporting vulnerable children and young people at this time:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-vulnerable-children-and-young-people.

We have also published guidance on how risk assessments should be carried out for children with Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-send-risk-assessment-guidance.

This guidance sets out the practicalities for local authorities and other providers in undertaking risk assessments for vulnerable children and young people with EHC plans, in light of school and college closures. Schools remain open to the vulnerable, and children in care and local authority Virtual School Heads are actively tailoring their expert offer of advice and support to the current circumstances. This includes the provision of additional resources such as online learning – in addition to our offer of laptops and tablets – and support for carers where children are unable to attend school. We are asking local authorities to work with educational providers, families and the child or young person to carry out a risk assessment to judge whether the child or young person’s needs cannot be met safely at home. Where the risk assessment determines a child or young person with an EHC plan will be as safe or safer at an educational setting, it may be more appropriate for them to attend the educational setting.

These are rapidly developing circumstances; we continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

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