The Department for Education have released their guidance to schools and colleges on supporting children and young people with SEND during the reopening of education settings.

The key elements of the guidance is around updating risk assessments and how the phased return to education settings will be managed.

  • Particular care will be needed in planning for and supporting children and young people with EHC plans to return to their schools and colleges. In the spirit of coproduction, educational settings should contact parents and involve them in decisions about their child who has an EHC plan.
  • Similarly, they should contact and involve young people over 16 who have EHC plans.
  • Schools and colleges will need to ensure that they have the staffing needed to support children and young people at safe ratios.
  • Local authorities will also need to reinstate safe home to school transport arrangements.

Differentiated Return to School

“We recognise that some children and young people with EHC plans will need careful preparation for their return, for example, social stories to help with the transition, or routes marked in Braille or with other meaningful symbols to support children and young people to follow protective measures that have been put in place. This could mean that, informed by risk assessments, the increase in attendance for some children and young people takes place over a longer period of time.”

Department for Education

Examples of flexible and differentiated approaches to encouraging CYP with SEND back into their education settings include:

  • part-time timetables and attendance rotas
  • blended onsite and home learning
  • phased returns for individuals or groups
  • children and young people being offered blocks of time on-site on a rotating basis

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