In this section, we will explain how coronavirus might affect your child’s learning support plan, including information about co-ordinated support plans (CSPs).
Your child’s teachers should plan to help them meet your child’s individual needs. If your child has a written plan, their teachers should review and update it, with your and your child’s input, and use it as the basis for planning, delivering and reviewing the support your child needs with their learning moving forwards.
If your child does not have a written plan, but you think they may need one, you should ask to discuss this with your child’s class teacher, or the person responsible for additional support for learning at the school or nursery.
You can find out much more in our factsheet on Planning your child’s support.
The law on co-ordinated support plans (CSPs) is not currently affected by coronavirus. This means that you have all the same rights as usual, including to ask for your child to be assessed for a CSP, or for a review of an existing CSP. It also means that local authorities have the same duties as usual, including to prepare CSPs for pupils who meet the criteria, review CSPs at least annually, and provide the support that is detailed in a pupil’s CSP.
Your and your child’s rights are explained in detail in our Co-ordinated support plans factsheet.
Disagreements about CSPs can be taken to the Additional Support Needs Tribunal. You can still take cases to the tribunal at the moment, but there are some changes to how the process will work because of coronavirus. See our page ‘Changes to the Additional Support Needs Tribunal’ for more information.
The law and related guidance on CSPs say that if there are significant changes to a child or young person’s circumstances, their CSP can be reviewed earlier than at the usual annual review. This still applies, so if you feel things have changed a lot for your child, you can request that their CSP is reviewed.
It is likely that the CSP review process will look different to usual, as it will probably need to happen via video or telephone call rather than in person. You and your child still have the right to have your views listened to and taken into account during the review.
If your child’s CSP is already due for a review, for example if the process should have started during lockdown, it is likely that this will have been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
If you are concerned about the length of time a review is taking, contact the CSP co-ordinator (who should be named on the plan) and ask them what date they are aiming to have the review completed by.
If you are not satisfied with the response from the CSP coordinator, there are further steps you can take, including contacting your local authority’s additional support for learning contact to discuss your concerns. If you have already tried this, you could request mediation or get in touch with Let’s Talk ASN for advice and support in resolving the situation, which could include going to the Additional Support Needs Tribunal.
Because there are some restrictions and changes in place due to coronavirus, it might be that some of the support set out in your child’s CSP cannot be provided in the same way at the moment. What support your child should and should not still be receiving will depend on the type of support your child normally gets, and what is reasonable and possible in the current situation.
Your child still has a right to the support they need to fully benefit from their education. As a CSP is a legal document, it is important that the plan reflects the current situation and the support your child needs right now. It might be helpful to ask for a review of your child’s CSP to make sure their needs are still being met while professionals follow the latest coronavirus guidance.
In the meantime, if you feel your child needs more support than they are getting, you can contact the school or nursery, or the CSP co-ordinator (who should be named on your child’s CSP) to discuss your concerns.
If you are still worried about your child’s support after speaking to the school or CSP coordinator, there are further steps you can take.
You can contact your local authority’s additional support for learning contact to discuss your concerns. If you have already tried this, you could request mediation with the local authority or school to try and help you agree how your child’s CSP and supports can be adapted in the current circumstances. You could also get in touch with Let’s Talk ASN for advice and support in resolving the situation, which could include going to the Additional Support Needs Tribunal.