Specialist SEN Solicitor
Hope that you have had a good week and have settled into a routine of sorts.
Routine and consistency is always the key to everything, but the trick is to create positive habits and try and avoid developing negative habits - easy to say, but very hard to do sometimes!
I am going to try and keep this update a little lighter this week, but I do want to try and bring your attention to a few things in case you need them.
I hope that this helps again.
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The first thing that I want to draw your attention to today is the fact that my friends at IPSEA (Independent Providers of Special Education Advice) last week updated their information page on their website about how the COVID-19 measures will affect children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities, to deal with all the latest Government guidance.
Rather than me telling you what it says, you can read it for yourself here:
'IPSEA update on COVID-19 and SEN provision'.
IPSEA have also added to their templates page, a model letter for making a complaint when a school is not using their best endeavours and/or refusing attendance for a vulnerable child during the National Lockdown, which you can find here: 'Model letters'
This next section will not apply to everyone, so please feel free to skip it if it means nothing to you.
Again, I received another email from the Special Education Needs Division at the Department for Education (DfE), which this time stated:
We would like to draw your attention to a new PPE Portal for Special Schools and Specialist post-16 institutions, and to the joint DfE/Ofqual consultations on the arrangements for awarding grades for GCSE, AS, A levels, and for vocational and technical qualifications this summer (deadline 11.45pm on 29 January).
On 19 January Special Schools and Special Post-16 Institutions (SPIs) across England received an email invitation to register with the Department of Health and Social Care’s (DHSC’s) PPE Portal. Using the PPE Portal Special Schools and SPIs can place a weekly order of PPE (free of charge) to meet their Coronavirus (COVID-19) PPE needs. Residential Special Schools and Residential Post-16 Institutions will have already received an email invitation in August 2020.
This source of PPE (via the PPE portal) is solely for Coronavirus (COVID-19) requirements as outlined in the our guidance: Safe working in education, childcare and children’s social care settings, including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), and should not be repurposed for any other use. As per this guidance, Coronavirus (COVID-19) PPE requirements are limited to PPE use in the following scenarios:
(i)when dealing with a child or individual who is symptomatic (and a distance of two metres cannot be maintained), and
(ii)when performing aerosol generating procedures (AGPs).
DHSC advise that schools are still required to supply their own PPE (from their usual supply channels) for any other purpose.
Special schools and special post-16 institutions should have received the email invitation from: firstname.lastname@example.org. It has been sent to the email address which your setting has registered with the Get Information About Schools database. This is the only email address which is eligible to register. Please ensure that you have checked your junk folder. If you have not received the email invitation, please contact the Customer Service team at 0800 876 6802 who will be able to help support you in registering with the portal. Please wait until close of play on Wednesday, 27 January before enquiring about not receiving an email invitation. To confirm the eligibility of the setting you will need to provide the setting’s URN (you can check the URN at https://get-information-schools.service.gov.uk/)."
It also stated:
"Consultation on arrangements for awarding grades in summer 2021
Last Friday, the Department for Education and Ofqual launched joint consultations on arrangements for awarding grades for GCSE, AS and A levels this summer and on awarding arrangements for a range of vocational and technical qualifications. We are interested in your views on the consultation proposals, in particular, the equality impact assessment of the proposals.
The deadline for responses to both consultations 11:45pm on 29 January 2021."
Finally, there was some news of interest, as follows:
- 'School attendance in England higher than first lockdown'
- 'One in four UK young people have felt 'unable to cope' in pandemic'.
- 'Covid: Gavin Williamson hopes England's schools will reopen by Easter'
Where can I find further information?
Again, aside from clicking on the relevant links for more information, I would also remind you of the very useful resources and information provided on the following websites:
- Council for Disabled Children
- Special Needs Jungle
I would also highlight again the fact that you can now get digital copies of the magazines: SEN Magazine and Autism Eye which are both very helpful to any parents or professionals involved with children/young people with SEN.
Keep safe until next week.
With best wishes
P.S I understand that there are a number of educational or other useful resources now on the web, so I would be very grateful if you could let me know of any that you find that other people may find useful, so that I can direct people to it.