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Pupils: Down's Syndrome

Question for Department for Education

UIN 11653, tabled on 7 June 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to enable pupils with Down's syndrome who turned 18 during the covid-19 outbreak and were required to shield while schools were open to (a) catch up on and (b) extend their studies for another year if required.

Answered on

15 June 2021

On 2 June 2021, we announced the next step in the government’s plans to support children and young people to make up for the impact of lost time in education as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The 16-19 tuition fund will continue to support students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and 19-24 year olds with an education, health and care plan (EHCP) through the provision of one to one and small group tuition. Providers may choose to use this funding to support eligible learners with SEND to catch up on vocational and academic skills, and skills and learning that are important for their preparation for adulthood, subject to them meeting the eligibility for the fund. Further details on arrangements for the tuition fund in the 2021/22 academic year will be announced in due course.

In addition, we announced the government will give providers of 16-19 education the option to offer students in year 13 or equivalent the opportunity to repeat up to one more year if they have been particularly severely affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

For learners with an EHCP, where arrangements can already continue up to age 25 for those young people who need to take longer to complete their education or training, the option to repeat a year should be considered as part of the local authority’s annual review of the EHCP. However, there is no guarantee or expectation that all young people with special educational needs should stay in education until they are 25. This would not be in the best interests of many young people, who will want to complete their education and progress into adult life and work. Further details on the option for year 13 students to repeat learning will be announced in due course.