Special Educational Needs: Coronavirus

Department for Education written question – answered on 18th May 2020.

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Photo of Rehman Chishti Rehman Chishti Conservative, Gillingham and Rainham

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what additional support he is allocating to schools catering for children with special educational needs during the covid-19 outbreak.

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

Schools will continue to receive their core funding allocations, as determined by the local authority for maintained schools and through the general annual grant for academies, for the 2020-2021 financial year – April 2020 to March 2021 for maintained schools and until August 2021 for academies and non-maintained special schools. This will happen regardless of any periods of partial or complete closure and will ensure schools can continue to pay staff and meet other regular financial commitments, as we move through these extraordinary times.

The department is providing additional funding for all schools, including special schools and alternative provision, to support them with unavoidable, additional costs associated with the COVID-19 outbreak. Guidance on this funding is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-schools.

As well as giving schools additional funding, we are providing them with a range of support, including guidance on supporting those with special educational needs.

Our guidance on supporting vulnerable children and young people during the COVID-19 outbreak sets out the different groups of vulnerable children who can attend educational settings. The guidance is available here:

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.

Our guidance on special educational needs and disabilities risk assessment builds on the guidance above. It explains the practicalities for local authorities and other providers in undertaking risk assessments for vulnerable children and young people with education, health and care (EHC) plans, in light of school closures. The guidance is available here:

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

Our guidance on EHC needs assessments and plans explains the temporary changes to some aspects of the law. The guidance is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/changes-to-the-law-on-education-health-and-care-needs-assessments-and-plans-due-to-coronavirus/education-health-and-care-needs-assessments-and-plans-guidance-on-temporary-legislative-changes-relating-to-coronavirus-covid-19.

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

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