COVID-19 SEN Specialist Teaching
During the current Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak the Integrated SEND Service, Specialist Teachers continue to support schools, settings, pupils and their families in order to achieve the best outcomes possible. This has impacted everyone. SEND families have already seen many changes here in Bucks as a result including home schooling via online classes; Specialist teachers providing support to parents rather than teachers.
From 1st May, for at least one month, the Section 42 duty has been eased. This means that there is no absolute duty to provide the help in Section F. Instead Buckinghamshire Council and Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group must use ‘reasonable endeavours’ to provide the help.
‘Reasonable endeavours’ means they must do what they reasonably can to provide the help – it might not be possible to provide it exactly as written in Section F. For example, it may be that it is not possible to provide face to face one to one support for your child at the moment. If this is the case, your Specialist Teacher will work with you to find other ways of giving support to your child. This is likely to involve inventive and creative use of technology and staff resources.
We will continue to:
- Liaise with schools and settings regarding the needs of individual pupils;
- Provide advice and guidance on how to best meet the Special Educational Needs of individual pupils;
- Run advice sessions to enable schools to access advice and support on a range of issues;
- Provide statutory support for pupils with an EHCP – this support may be delivered within a setting or remotely depending on the needs of the individual case and social distancing guidelines issued by Government;
- Provide reports and attend annual review meetings – attendance is currently through remote link up following social distancing measures;
- Support the Local Authority during Tribunal Appeals, attending meetings, providing evidence and reports as requested;
- Support the statutory processes of EHCP needs assessments, as requested;
- Attend placement panels and read the associated paperwork;
- Receive new referrals and make contact to discuss individual needs;
- Provide and model strategies remotely to support school and parents in providing education at this time;
- Provide transition support for managing changes and in preparation for returning to school or a new setting once restrictions are lifted; this will include virtual packs
- Differentiate work set by schools for pupils working at home;
- Signpost to relevant resources and online learning tools;
- Provide e-mail advice and guidance for schools and parents;
- Liaise with other professionals as appropriate;
- Maintain a safeguarding duty to all vulnerable children and young people
- Maintain regular contact with families for pupils on our caseload and this may include virtual ‘Teams’ sessions to help the child or young person and their family manage under the current circumstances;
Additional services we may offer at this time include:
- Producing additional guidance and resources for schools;
- Our own safeguarding protocol for undertaking remote support;
- A ‘return to school’ strategy to help individual pupils and families prepare for the end of lockdown and return to normal schooling;
- Our training offer for schools and what this may include ‘virtually’ over the coming weeks;
- Our training offer and support packages for next academic year once we are out of ‘lockdown’;
We will work on producing additional guidance and resources for schools and will update regularly with answers to any Frequently Asked Questions we receive. We understand that these are unprecedented times for schools and we want to endeavour to do all we can to support schools effectively and safely.