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Coronavirus: guidance for special schools and SENCOs
Here's a round-up of the latest advice and official guidance on supporting pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) during coronavirus.
- Reflect the Department for Education's (DfE's) updated guidance on assessing whether pupils with education, health and care (EHC) plans are safer in school or at home
- Include the National Education Union's (NEU's) preparation checklist for special schools and our advice on supporting pupils' transition back to school
Review your risk assessments
You should update your risk assessments for pupils with EHC plans to reflect any changes in circumstances since lockdown began, whether your pupils are in school or at home.
This is important so that:
- These pupils can be brought back into face-to-face education when it’s right for them
- If attendance is not appropriate, these pupils can receive appropriate ongoing support at home
- You can plan for and best support these pupils when they do return to school
When reviewing individual risk assessments, take into account whether parents/carers have the support needed to care for the pupil at home over a long period.
You'll need to consider:
- Whether the parents/carers have access to:
- Respite care (short breaks)
- Support from extended family members
- The health risks to the parent/carer providing full-time care for a child with complex needs
Take a look at the DfE's list of things to consider when updating risk assessments for pupils with SEND (under 'Questions and answers').
Example risk assessment templates:
- Essex County Council - under 'Safeguarding and SEN', you'll find templates for 'simple situations' and 'complex situations'
- Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea - go to 'Information for SENCOs and school staff' and see the section on 'Template risk assessments'
- Ealing Grid for Learning - you'll find risk assessment guidance and a template
- Nasen - you can access completed sample risk assessments and a template
Special schools: preparation checklist
The NEU has worked with GMB, Unite and Unison to create a checklist for special schools to help union representatives scrutinise plans for the wider opening of their school.
You can download it from the bottom of this page.
Support pupils' transition back to school
Get guidance in our article on how to support pupils with SEND to transition back to school and adjust to new routines.
Share the 'Back to School' resources from The Salvesen Mindroom Centre with parents and carers to help ease this transition for pupils with learning difficulties.
Remote learning resources for pupils with SEND
The DfE has:
- A list of online resources for parents and teachers
- Guidance to help pupils with SEND learn from home
Guidance on qualifications
Read this article for an overview of Ofqual's proposed approach to awarding BTECs and other vocational and technical qualifications this summer.
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Safeguarding Training Centre's eLearning courses are fully up-to-date and compliant with all relevant statutory documents and are accessible from a desktop, laptop or mobile device.
Evidence-led training courses that make it easy to upskill staff, anytime, anywhere.
CPD Toolkit is the most effective way to virtually deliver evidence-led training and support the professional development of your staff. Downloadable courses and online 5-minute summaries provide flexibility for training, whether staff are participating as skeleton staff in-school, via video call or individually at their own pace.
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