BTEC’s due to take place in January were still allowed to go ahead but at the setting’s discretion.
Do I have to send my child back to school?
From the 8th March 2021, attendance at school became mandatory again with the legal duty for parents to send their child to school (where they are of compulsory school age)
A small number of children may have symptoms; have a positive test result; be self-isolating; or are at high-risk (extremely clinically vulnerable) due to a medical condition and have been advised by their clinical specialist or their GP they should not attend.
If your child is not able to attend because they are following specialist medical or public health advice you will not be penalised.
If you have any questions or concerns about your child or young person returning to on-site education talk to school in the first instance.
What if there are further waves?
The government has asked local authorities to develop a plan to manage any local rise in numbers infected. Suffolk have developed a local outbreak plan for further waves – page 29 gives an overview of schools and settings.
A third modification noticeto extend the relaxation of this duty until 31st July 2020. No further notice has been issued and all duties now revert to current law.
The Special Educational Needs and Disability (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020temporarily amends some Regulations that specify legal timescales applying to local authorities and health providers, mainly around timescales relating to EHC needs assessments and plans. This can only be used in circumstances relating to ‘ to the transmission or incidence of coronavirus.’ These Regulations only apply from 1 stMay to 25 September 2020.
The Department for Education expects Local authorities, health services and the other bodies involved in the processes relating to EHC needs assessments and plans to communicate regularly with the families of those children and young people with EHC plans, who are being assessed for plans or who apply for an EHC needs assessment.
Where circumstances relating to the incidence or transmission of coronavirus prevents provision being made or a timescale relating to an EHC plan or needs assessment, they need to let you know:
what provision will be made for your child or young person and the reason for any difference from the special educational and health provision specified in the EHC plan
what decision or process has been delayed relating to your EHC needs assessment/plan
Temporarily changed to
Providing Special, Educational Provision and health provision in a plan
If a school or college named is currently closed they must add the child to the school roll and treat them in the same way as other pupils or students on roll
While settings may remain closed to pupils or students, they are expected to make arrangements that enable them to continue to respond to ‘consultations’ about a future place (where the local authority sends them a draft EHC plan for their response)
If you have an appeal in progress, the current position is that this will still go ahead but will most likely be held remotely. Many appeals over recent months have been heard using telephone or video links.
If you wish to delay your appeal due to the pandemic, perhaps you are finding it difficult to gather evidence for example, you could request a postponement by using the ‘ request for changes’ form.
You can still make a new appeal. The SEND Tribunal service have said they will be prioritising ‘phase-transfer’ appeals. A ‘phase transfer’ is when a child or young person is due to move up to the next phase of their education in September (primary to secondary, secondary to post-16 etc).
‘Covibook‘ – an interactive resource designed to support and reassure children aged 7 and under, designed to help children explain and draw the emotions that they might be experiencing during the pandemic:
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