Disability and Special Educational Needs: Coronavirus

Department for Education written question – answered on 15th June 2020.

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Photo of Lord Lingfield Lord Lingfield Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government how they have been monitoring the effectiveness of measures set out in the guidance on helping children with special educational needs and disabilities to continue their education 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 government is committed to supporting local authorities and their partners to ensure children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) continue their education during the COVID-19 outbreak.

We have published a range of guidance for education settings, local authorities, health commissioning bodies and families, and are monitoring the effectiveness of measures through:

  • carrying out briefings with all local authorities through regional events, setting out the government expectations regarding meeting the needs of children and young people with SEND (these briefings were also attended by a number of parent and carer representatives and health bodies);
  • undertaking structured conversations with SEND leaders in all local authorities to probe the detail of their response to the measures in the guidance;
  • drawing on wider feedback from our team of professional SEND advisers, delivery support partners and a range of stakeholders, including representative bodies for local authorities and parents of children with SEND, and several specialist SEND organisations; and
  • through Regional Education and Children’s Teams, the department is bringing together up-to-date intelligence to provide ongoing support to local authorities to deliver their responsibilities, working with Ofsted to bring all support into one coherent offer to best support them in their response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

We will continue to work with education settings, local authorities, health commissioning bodies and a range of stakeholders to keep the effectiveness of measures in our guidance under close review.

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