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Coronavirus and additional support for learning


What should happen with my child’s learning support plan?

Normally, your child’s school or nursery (on behalf of the local authority) 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.

During coronavirus, everyone should still be trying to plan support for children and young people with additional support needs.  However, they may take longer to do some things, and they may not be able to provide support to children in the same way as usual. For example, supports are likely to have changed if your child is shielding and not yet able to attend school in person.

If you are worried your child is not getting the support they need, you can speak to their school or nursery about this. Our factsheet on Working together with your child’s school has some helpful tips for working together with the school to get the right support in place for your child.

You can also find out more in our factsheet on Planning your child’s support.

If you have a question that we have not answered, please get in touch with our helpline. We will continue to keep this section updated.

If your child does not have a written plan, but you think they may need one, you can ask to discuss this with your child’s class teacher, or the person responsible for additional support for learning at the school or nursery. Our factsheet on ‘Working together with your child’s school’ has some helpful tips for working together with the school or nursery to get the right support in place for your child.

You can find out more about how schools can use different types of plans to support your child in our factsheet on ‘Planning your child’s support’.

During coronavirus, schools and nurseries should still be making sure that your child gets support based on their individual needs. However, the way they support your child may need to be different to what is written in your child’s support plan. For example, if your child’s support before coronavirus included working closely for prolonged periods of time with support staff, the school may try to meet your child’s support needs in a different way that reduces the risk of coronavirus spreading.

What support your child should and should not be receiving will depend on the type of support your child normally gets, and what is reasonable and possible in the current situation. For example, if your child needs to work closely with support staff for prolonged periods, some adaptions may be needed like asking your child and the supporting staff member to wear face coverings.

If you are worried your child is not getting the support they need, you can speak to their school or nursery about this. Our factsheet on ‘Working together with your child’s school’ has some helpful tips for working together with the school to get the right support in place for your child.

During coronavirus, your child’s school or nursery should still be trying to keep your child’s needs and supports under regular review. Your child’s support plan may be due for review, or their needs or supports may have changed significantly since the plan was last reviewed. For example, if your child’s support is being provided in a different way to take account of the safety measures now in schools.

If you are worried your child’s support plan needs reviewed and updated, you can speak to the school or nursery about this and ask for a review meeting to be arranged. It may take a bit longer than normal to arrange a review meeting, and the meeting may need to happen remotely by phone or video call. However, schools and nurseries should still be trying their best to keep your child’s plan up to date.

You still have the same rights as usual, including to ask for your child to be assessed for a Coordinated Support Plan (CSP), or to ask for a review of an existing CSP. Local authorities still have the same responsibilities as usual related to CSPs.

Your child should be receiving the support on their CSP, as this is a legal support plan. However, some supports may have changed since the plan was last reviewed to take account of the safety measures now in school and what is possible in the current situation. If you are worried your child is not getting the support they need, you can speak to their school about this, or the CSP co-ordinator who will be named on their plan.

If your child’s CSP was due to be reviewed, this may have been delayed during the lockdown but schools should be arranging review meetings again. If you haven’t heard from the school or CSP co-ordinator about a review, you can get in touch with them to request a review meeting. During coronavirus, meetings may need to happen in a slightly different way, like by phone or video call.

If you’re not able to resolve a disagreement about your child’s CSP (including a decision to not prepare a CSP for your child) you can take the disagreement to the Additional Support Needs Tribunal (called ‘making a reference’). For more advice about when you can do this, see our factsheet on co-ordinated support plans.


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