Coronavirus (COVID-19) SEND Local Offer
This page provides SEND specific information in relation to Coronavirus (COVID-19).
It doesn’t replace the latest general information and guidance about Coronavirus in Worcestershire, which can be found on our dedicated web page.
Parents and carers what you need to know about the return to schools
From 8 March pupils will return to face-to-face education in school and further education. The Government have published a blog to inform parents and carers about what to expect.
Open letter from Vicky Ford, the Parliamentary Undersecretary of State for Children and Families
In January, Vicky Ford, wrote an open letter to all children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), their parents/carers and families, and others who support them. It provides guidance and advice on a range of things following the introduction of the third national lockdown at the beginning of the year. Website: Council for Disabled Children website: Vicky Ford Open letter (opens in a new window)
Government announcement on the closure of education settings and summer 2021 exams
On Wednesday 6 January, Gavin Williamson, Secretary of State for Education in England, made a statement to Parliament on the closure of education settings during national lockdown. In his statement he confirmed that GCSEs and A and AS Level exams will not go ahead this summer and will put their trust in teachers rather than algorithms with detailed guidance to follow. Also issued on the 8 January was a press release from the Education Secretary which outlines plans to support young people. You can read both here:
Vulnerable children and the children of critical workers who can attend school and college
On Tuesday 5 January, the Government announced that, during the period of national lockdown, schools and colleges should only allow vulnerable children and the children of critical workers to attend.
All children who meet the definition of ‘vulnerable learners’ provided by the DfE and those who are children of critical workers should be able to attend school during the period of national lockdown. This includes those children and young people who have an education, health and care (EHC) plan.
Children with at least one parent or carer who is listed as a critical worker are eligible for a school place. It is not necessary for both parents to be critical workers.
The critical worker list has also been updated to include new workforces whose work is critical following the end of the EU transition period.
Vulnerable children and young people include those who:
- are assessed as being in need under section 17 of the Children Act 1989, including children and young people who have a child in need plan, a child protection plan or who are a looked-after child
- have an education, health and care (EHC) plan
- have been identified as otherwise vulnerable by educational providers or local authorities* (including children’s social care services), and who could therefore benefit from continued full-time attendance, this might include:
- children and young people on the edge of receiving support from children’s social care services or in the process of being referred to children’s services
- adopted children or children on a special guardianship order
- those at risk of becoming NEET (‘not in employment, education or training’)
- those living in temporary accommodation
- those who are young carers
- those who may have difficulty engaging with remote education at home (for example due to a lack of devices or quiet space to study)
- care leavers
- others at the provider and local authority’s discretion including pupils and students who need to attend to receive support or manage risks to their mental health
*In Worcestershire we are including pupils who attend school-based language unit provision as vulnerable learners and therefore they should be able to attend school.
Note: We have used information and advice from Government and other trusted sources. These pages are being regularly updated, added to and revised.