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DFE guidance update. The wider opening of schools for SEND pupils.

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DFE SEND update

Date 27th May 2020

As educational settings across the UK prepare for the return of pupils in Reception, year 1 and year 6 from 1st June, the Department for Education (DFE) has updated the guidance on 'Supporting children and young people with SEND as schools and colleges prepare for wider opening'.  

From 1st June, special schools and hospital schools are being asked to work towards a phased return of pupils but without a focus on specific year groups, in order to cater for as many pupils as it is safe to do so. The DFE states that Pupils’ risk assessments should be used to inform decisions.

The aim is for pupils with SEND in mainstream and Alternative Provision settings who have not been attending, and are in eligible year groups, to experience the same return to their settings as their peers, informed by their individual circumstances and risk assessments.

The update also features ‘Questions and Answers’ regarding the wider opening of schools.

The DFE states:  

  • Children and young people with EHC plans who are already attending their education setting, because they have been risk assessed as safe or safer in school/college, should continue to attend after 1 June, whatever year group they are in.
  • Settings and local authorities should keep risk assessments up to date, to ensure they are able to offer places to pupils and students, whatever year group they are in, where appropriate.
  • Children and young people who are clinically extremely vulnerable and shielding, or who live in a household with somebody this applies to, will not be expected to attend in person.

You can read the guidance from the Department for Education in full here.


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