Coronavirus: information and updates

School closures, coronavirus and EHCPs

Some children are still able to go to school if they meet certain criteria.

Your child may get a place at a different school, and schools may run differently during coronavirus.

It's not compulsory to send your child back to school, and deciding if you should can be difficult. Before you decide, you could:

  • speak with your child's school to ask what safety measures they're putting in place
  • contact your special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO) to ask about ways to make it easier for your child to go back to school
  • find out if there's a safe way for your child to get to school
  • talk to your child's doctor

Some children have school places

Some schools and nurseries are staying open with fewer staff for children that meet certain criteria.

You do not have to send your child to school, even if you have a school place. What's right for you will depend on your circumstances and what your child needs.

Education health and care plans (EHCP)

If your child has an EHCP, they will get a school place if your local authority decides they would either be:

  • as safe at school than they would be at home
  • safer at school than at home

If your child's school is closed, you would be offered a place at another school.

Attendance of children and young people who have an EHCP (GOV.UK)

Your child might not get all of the support in their EHCP, but this is meant to be temporary.

Children with social workers

This includes any child that:

  • has a child in need plan
  • has a child protection plan
  • is a looked after child

Attendance of children and young people who have a social worker (GOV.UK)

'Vulnerable' children

Children that the government says are 'vulnerable' should have a school place. This includes children that go to a Pupil Referral Unit or alternative provision.

Attendance of vulnerable children and young people (GOV.UK)

Parents who are 'critical workers'

Critical workers are people who work in:

  • health and social care
  • education and childcare

It also includes people who work in essential public services like:

  • the justice system
  • religious staff
  • frontline charity workers
  • funeral care

Check if you're a critical worker (GOV.UK)

Assessments for EHCPs

Your local authority may say that they are not doing EHC needs assessments. Local authorities still need to consider your application, but some deadlines have been relaxed. Apply to your local authority for an assessment.

SEND tribunals and appeals are continuing by post and by phone.

SEN support and EHCPs

Last reviewed by Scope on: 29/05/2020

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