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Special Educational Needs: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL8897, tabled on 7 October 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that pupils with special educational needs can attend school while restrictions are in place to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

Answered on

20 October 2020

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, we have prioritised children and young people who are the most vulnerable and schools have remained open for them. This has included those with an education, health and care plan where it was safe for them to attend. We know that children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and their families have been disproportionately impacted and that there are both educational and wellbeing benefits of being in school. We also now have evidence that in general the risk to children is very low.

Therefore, we are clear that all children and young people with education, health and care plans should continue to have access to onsite education in the event that local restrictions are applied. This is made clear in the recently published ‘Contain’ framework. We will continue to work with the sector to ensure that children and young people with SEND are supported to attend school and college. The framework is available here:

Where a pupil is not attending school as they are complying with clinical or public health advice, we expect settings to offer them access to remote education so they can continue their learning and development. We have set this duty out in the recently published Remote Education Temporary Continuity Direction, which is available here: