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Special Educational Needs: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Education

UIN 53571, tabled on 2 June 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what (a) financial support and (b) guidance he has issued to (i) educational providers and (ii) others on the safe return of SEND pupils to school.

Answered on

10 June 2020

The department is providing financial support through providing additional funding to schools, on top of existing budgets, to cover unavoidable costs incurred due to the COVID-19 outbreak that cannot be met from their existing resources. This would include any costs incurred supporting the safe return of pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) to school. Details of this can be found in the ‘School funding: exceptional costs associated with COVID-19 for the period March to July 2020’ guidance, which is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-schools/school-funding-exceptional-costs-associated-with-coronavirus-covid-19-for-the-period-march-to-july-2020.

On the 26 May 2020, the department published its ‘Supporting children and young people with SEND [special educational needs and disabilities] as schools and colleges prepare for wider opening’ guidance, which was written with help from SEND sector organisations. It outlines pragmatic approaches that local authorities, educational settings, and parents or carers may wish to take to support children and young people with SEND as schools and colleges prepare for wider opening. 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.

This guidance builds upon the department’s wider guidance for ‘Safe working in education, childcare and children’s social care settings’, ‘Implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings’, and ‘Opening schools and educational settings to more pupils from 1 June 2020’.

This was supplemented by an open letter from myself to children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities, their parents, carers and families, and others who support them, about the wider opening of schools, colleges and other educational settings from 1 June 2020.