Special Educational Needs coronavirus guidance

Information, resources and guidance relating to coronavirus for families with children and young people with special educational needs (SEN).

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

We have created an FAQs document to answer questions from parents on education, health and social care for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities during the Coronavirus outbreak.

Resources for parents and carers

Independent Provider of Special Education Advice (IPSEA) have produced FAQs on how the COVID-19 measures will affect children and young people with special educational needs.

SEN schooling at home

There are home education resources on the GOV.UK website for children with additional needs:

The National Oak Academy is an online school with lessons and resources for parents and teachers. There are specialist lessons available, and weekly assemblies. Find out more information on The National Oak Academy website.

StarLine is an online resource with home learning advice. They also provide weekly live conversations with guest education and parenting experts on Youtube. More information is available on the StarLine website.

We have put together resources to help support families at this time:

Resources for children and young people

What is Coronavirus Covid-19?

  • File Download - Coronavirus - a book for children (PDF 7MB)Coronavirus - a book for children (PDF 7MB)
    Axel Scheffler has illustrated a digital book for primary school age children, free for anyone to read on screen or print out, about the coronavirus and the measures taken to control it. The book answers key questions in simple language appropriate for 5 to 9 year olds, such as what is the coronavirus and how do you catch it?

News and current affairs

  • The Week Junior
    A subscription printed newspaper for children and young people between 8 and 14
  • BBC Newsround
    The BBC current affairs programme for children and young people

Yoga

There are lots of yoga practices for children and young people. We have a few local ones on the Local Offer and there are many online classes and groups you can join:

  • Yogapebbles website
    Lisa offers local classes for children with special educational needs and is offering online classes for regulars.
  • KarmaKids - Facebook
    Heather is a local yoga teacher for children and has a Facebook page for updates on her Zoom classes during the virus outbreak.

Meditation

Anxiety

  • Young Minds
    The Young Minds website has tips, advice and guidance on where young people can get mental health support.  

Local council services for children with special educational needs and disabilities

The EHC team are doing their best to make every reasonable endeavour to support children and young people with SEND in our communities, and to protect from coronavirus.  

They continue to work to statutory time frames. You can find out more information on the EHC webpage.

​Short breaks

Action for Children are commissioned to provide a short break service for children in Northamptonshire. Youth clubs and holiday clubs have been suspended for the foreseeable future.

Action for Children are running virtual groups and this gives a chance for young people to see their friends. Activity packs have been sent out and staff are contacting those families who need continued support. Various activities are happening virtually such as cooking, help with activities and more.

You can contact them by emailing Northants.Disability@actionforchildren.org.uk

Residential breaks

Children assessed as needing residential breaks may continue to receive this support. Referrals to the Disabled Children's Service can be made through the MASH.

​The IASS team continue to offer support to parents and families through their helpline, but are not able to offer face to face support at the current time.

You contact them by emailing contact@iassnorthants.co.uk 

Leave your name, number and a message and one of their caseworkers will contact you.

Find out more information on the IASS website.

​Northamptonshire libraries are not open to the public, but some are offering their usual activities online, such as Rhyme-time and craft sessions for children.

Library members can still access a range of e-books, e-audiobooks, e-newspapers and e-magazines from home through the library online.

​The Local Offer team continue to update information on their website and are active on social media, sharing resources and information for families and professionals.

Please let us know if there is any information you need or would like us to share. 

Email: Localoffer@childrenfirstnorthamptonshire.co.uk

​Northamptonshire Sport are dedicated to supporting children and young people throughout the county with their sport and exercise programme.

The School Sports Development Officers are sharing ideas of activities. You can follow them on Twitter.

Northamptonshire Sport provide ideas for suitable activities for children and young people with disabilities, visit the Northamptonshire Sport website for more information.

​The Specialist Support Services are currently unable to offer face to face support, but are continuing to support children and young people and their families and those who work with them. Find out more information by visiting the Specialist Support Services webpage.

Workshops have been suspended for the time being. All delegates booked onto courses should have been notified of arrangements.

Contact the service by emailing sss@childrenfirstnorthamptonshire.co.uk

​The SIS team continue to support children and young people with a hearing or visual impairment (and those with both). During this time the Sensory Impairment Service (SIS)  are able to offer support by phone or email.

In line with the latest government policy the Sensory Impairment Service are not offering face to face teaching or other input, but continue to provide the service as effectively as possible. You can find out more information by visiting the Sensory Impairment Service webpage.

If you would like a consultation with a Qualified Teacher of the Vision Impaired (QTVI) or a Qualified Teacher of the Deaf (QTOD), please either email the specialist teacher who is currently supporting your child or email SIS@childrenfirstnorthamptonshire.co.uk

New referrals will continue and follow up contact will be made by phone.

​Northamptonshire Highways continue to operate a home to school transport service to support key worker families and vulnerable children and adults. Demand for this service is being reviewed daily with schools and transport operators.

The priority is to keep all users and staff safe and healthy and they continue to take advice from the Government regarding the legal duty to deliver appropriate transport, whilst taking into account the incident or transmission of coronavirus.

They continue to provide home to school transport where required, please contact them if your circumstances need to change.

The statutory process of 'home to school' transport lies with the Travel Team and detailed advice should be taken from them. You can find out more information by visiting the school travel assistance webpage.

Travel arrangements will be agreed for pupils with a newly issued education, health and care (EHC) plan via the Travel Co-ordination Unit(TCU).

You can find about more information about the TCU and apply for travel assistance on the special educational needs travel assistance webpage.

Year 7 - Applications for travel assistance for the next academic year starting in September 2020.

If your child will be transferring to secondary school in September 2020, and you think you may be eligible for travel assistance you will need to apply online before 31 May 2020 to allow time for consideration and planning.

Any current travel arrangements for students transitioning from primary school to secondary school (academic year 6 to year 7) but remaining at the same school, will not automatically be renewed. In this situation, a new application form must be submitted to the TCU for consideration.

Children's health care arrangements

There are no routine outpatient appointments being held at Northampton and Kettering General Hospitals while social distancing and the lockdown continues.

Consultations and contacts are being made remotely, by video or phone conversations wherever possible.

Community Paediatricians

A small number of urgent face-to-face appointments are being offered when absolutely necessary according to clinical need, after telephone triage, and with PPE in place. Other routine appointments are being offered over the phone.

ADHD and ASD services

Final diagnostic appointments continue to be offered, primarily by phone. Medication review appointments also continue by phone. School observations are currently not able to be undertaken therefore this stage of the diagnostic pathway is currently on hold.

They are currently exploring if there are any reasonable alternative processes that could be undertaken whilst lockdown remains in place. They have expanded their professionals consultation line to include parents, for cases when urgent advice is needed.

Council for Disabled Children

The Council for Disabled Children (CDC) is the umbrella body for the disabled children's sector in England.

It brings together over 200 voluntary and community organisations (and an active network of practitioners) to champion the rights of children and young people aged 0 to 25 with SEND.

They provide a range of useful information including:

  • official government advice
  • resources from DCP organisations
  • resources relating to particular conditions
  • regional specific resources
  • helplines and other sources of advice and guidance

Visit their website to find out more:

You can ask the Council for Disabled Children questions by emailing CDCquestions@ncb.org.uk.

They provide the opportunity to ask questions about how Coronavirus will impact on children and young people with SEND.

The Disabled Children's Partnership are providing a range of support and information.