Special Educational Needs: Coronavirus

Department for Education written question – answered on 11th June 2020.

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Photo of Chi Onwurah Chi Onwurah Shadow Minister (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance his Department has provided to SEND schools on transportation for pupils during the covid-19 outbreak that complies with social distancing guidelines; and what additional support is available to those pupils.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

Local authorities have a statutory duty to provide free home to school transport for eligible pupils. The aim of the duty is to ensure that no child is prevented from attending school because they cannot walk there, whether that is because of distance, the safety of the route, or their special educational needs or disability.

Given the variety of vehicles used to deliver school transport, decisions about appropriate protective measures should be taken locally by local authorities and their transport operators following a risk assessment.

The Department for Transport has published safer transport guidance for transport operators, available at:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-transport-guidance-for-operators.

They have also published guidance for the public on safer travel during the COVID-19 outbreak to which parents may wish to refer:

www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers.

The Department for Education’s guidance on implementing protective measures in schools and nurseries includes advice on transport arrangements: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-protective-measures-in-education-and-childcare-settings/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-protective-measures-in-education-and-childcare-settings#when-open.

We have also published guidance on supporting children and young people with special education needs and disability (SEND) as schools and colleges prepare for wider opening: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-send-risk-assessment-guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-send-risk-assessment-guidance.

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