This page answers some of the most common queries you may have about the reintegration of schools and settings following the coronavirus crisis. If you have further questions, contact the SEN Enquiries team.
Vicky Ford, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families, to children and young people with special educational needs, their families and carers and those who work to support them. This has advice and guidance on issues like:
- risk assessments
- face coverings
- specialist and visiting practitioners
- mental health and wellbeing
You can download it here.
Key contacts and resources
|Special Educational Needs (SEN) team||Email email@example.com. If you would like to speak to a member of the SEN Service please leave your name, the matter you wish to discuss and your contact details. If your child has an Education Health and Care (EHC) Co-ordinator please contact your EHC Co-ordinator by email and/or phone.|
|Single Point of Contact (SPOC)||firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone : 020 8255 2888
|Children with Disabilities team||Telephone: 020 8726 61974|
|Educational Psychology Service (EPS)||Email: email@example.com
|School transport||Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone: Jackie Wright on 07742 405439
|Government guidance||Department for Education: Supporting children and young people with SEND as schools prepare for wider opening|
|Emotional wellbeing and mental health||Croydon Council website: Mental health support
Croydon Talking Therapies (IAPT)
|What support will be available to help children and young people reintegrate into settings?||
The Early Years Inclusion and Intervention team are working closely with nursery settings to plan provision and provide support. They are also able to deliver virtual training and have developed a bank of resources that nurseries can access.
School staff are being supported to deliver a curriculum which offers a nurturing approach that rebuilds safety, security and relationships in school following recent events.
There is guidance available for parents to support their children:
Schools will be able to contact the Link Advisors, Educational Psychology Service (Eps) and Inclusion Advisor for support.
Key Points for Headteachers /Principals to consider in providing emotional support to pupils/students will be sent to all schools as part of a support package.
|My son has regressed since his setting closed. How will he be able to fit back into the school he is in?||
School staff are preparing to bring pupils back into school in a supportive way which builds confidence rather than identifies problems. They will work with their pupils to restore confidence in learning rather than test for regression.
School SENCOs and Inclusion Leads can contact the EP Service /SEND Inclusion Advisor for advice. The current needs of the children and young people will inform planning and support. Parents can also contact the EP Service for further information.
Talk to your school staff to find out what they are planning.
|What does reintegration look like for children and young people with SEND?||
There may be a requirement for a phased return and for nurseries to make reasonable adjustments.
SENCOs /inclusion Leads have completed detailed Risk Assessments for all pupils/students with EHCPs and those with complex needs. Parents would have been consulted and involved in this process and, as a result, be aware of the planning and provision available for their child.
School staff are being asked to review their risk assessments and consult with parents regarding the individual needs of their child with special educational needs and disabilities. This discussion will help you to see what is individually planned.
The Designated Clinical Officer is supporting service reviews of Risk Assessments and enabling "keeping in touch" meetings to support the process.
|How will children and young people be helped with the trauma they have experienced during this time?||
The Early Years team have over the last year been working closely with nursery settings to understand and support social, emotional mental health in early years. This offer of support will be available to all private, voluntary and independent nursery schools along with direct contact with one of the team.
Schools will be planning for a transition period and curriculum to enable pupils/ students to settle back into school. A support pack and list of key points to consider when providing for the emotional support for pupils/students has been distributed.
School staff are being supported to help their pupils to manage any difficulties they may have including trauma, bereavement and loss. An example of this is guidance issued to schools on supporting pupils who have experienced frightening events: How schools support pupils to cope with frightening experiences.
There is also guidance for parents:
The EP Service has provided a range of resources that can offer support. They include leaflets for parents and children as well as PowerPoints and Social Story templates about returning to school. Visit the Octavo website.
|How will children and young people be helped to manage their anxiety?||
It is important for nursery settings to ensure that the environment provides consistency and familiarity whilst managing the changes that will need to be made to meet the health and safety requirements. We are working with settings to plan the provision whilst carrying out risk assessments to manage any changes that may cause the children anxiety.
Schools will provide opportunities for pupils/students to talk about their experiences with known adults –Schools can contact the EP Service and SEND Link and Inclusion Advisor as well as information from the Anna Freud Centre.
School staff are being supported to recognise and help their pupils to overcome feelings of anxiety. There is guidance to support parents with this:
Visit the council webpage for further links to mental health support and advice.
|What support is there to help young people struggling with social media during lockdown?||Schools will follow their internet policies and staff will be available through tutor /circle time /individually to talk through any issues that may have arisen.|
|How will personal care be managed under the new guidelines?||The Early Years team have developed an opening checklist which will help nursery settings to plan re opening and ongoing provision. Within this there is a focus on children with SEND and the additional considerations to support children who will need an enhanced level of support.|
|What kind of one-to-one support can a child expect under social distancing guidelines?||For children with additional needs and where funding is in place nursery settings will need to ensure that the staffing ratios take account of any additional support a child may need. Any additional support requirements can be discussed with the team on a case by case basis.|
|What kind of support can parents and carers expect from schools?||Schools have a range of support available for parents/carers. School staff have been working hard to keep in contact with parents and carers, to provide information, home learning and advice. This will continue but do contact your child’s school for more specific advice and support.|
|Where can parents and carers go for additional support and advice?||There is a bank of resources on the local offer for children in the early years. Parents can also access support through their child’s nursery setting.
Educational Psychology Service
Parent Advice Line
Octavo Partnership’s Educational Psychology Service (EPS) is providing a telephone advice line for any parent or carer of children who feel they would benefit from a consultation with a psychologist to support them with any concerns for them or their families during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Please email: email@example.com providing the following information:
If you would like to access mental health support around lower level anxiety, depression or worry, please contact the Croydon IAPT team.
The council website also contains links to general health and wellbeing advice.
|When will conversations about reintegration start with families?||Nursery settings are currently reviewing the situation and whether it will be viable for them to open. This includes discussions with parents to assess demand.|
|Are teachers, school and settings-based staff and support staff (like transport) being tested for COVID-19?||
All education and childcare workers including support and teaching staff are considered essential workers and can arrange for a test via the following routes.
Apply for a coronavirus test if you are an essential worker
You should be able to choose between a drive-through appointment and home test kit.
The employer referral portal allows employers to refer essential workers who are self-isolating either because they or member(s) of their household have coronavirus symptoms, for testing.
If referred through this portal, essential workers will receive a text message with a unique invitation code to book a test for themselves (if symptomatic) or their symptomatic household member(s) at a regional testing site.
Travel and Transport staff are informed not go to work if they develop COVID19 symptoms. They are advised to follow the rules to self-isolate with other members of their household and order a test to find out if they have coronavirus.
|What are the implications for school transport and the need for social distancing?||
Croydon Transport Services have been planning for the return of children, young people and adults. We will do everything in our power to minimise the risks for children, young people and adults travelling to and from school/college but, due to the very nature of travelling in vehicles, we cannot guarantee a COVID free environment and we cannot always offer strict social distancing.
For this reason and in line with government advice, where possible all parents/carers will be encouraged to take their children to and from school either by walking or in their own vehicle. A personal budget will be available for eligible children to support the cost of this.
We do recognise that some families will still require access to traditional transport, for example a taxi or mini bus provision. Towards the end of April we received advice from Public Health around the requirement of PPE for staff who are providing transport for pupils and students with special needs and/or disabilities and on 12 May 2020 further government guidance was issued around transporting children with special needs to and from school.
We are following this guidance to ensure that all measures are in place to minimise risk and also to determine whether we can safely transport children to and from school.
In addition, we are working closely with our own Public Health Department to ensure that we have and apply the most up to date guidance. Public Health Croydon have produced up to date guidance for contractors (27/05/2020).
We have asked schools to confirm which children/young people who will potentially be returning in June and where possible we are contacting all the families on an individual basis to discuss travel arrangements.
If you have any queries relating to transport please contact: