Coronavirus may have had an impact on where your child attends school, which could be unsettling and worrying both for you and your child.
This section contains answers to some of the questions that you may have about your child’s school placement, if this has been impacted by the coronavirus. If you have a question that we have not answered, please get in touch with our helpline.
If you have appealed a placing request decision, you may still be waiting to find out which school your child will be attending in the future. This may be because of the delays in the appeals processes caused by coronavirus.
This is a very difficult situation for you and your child and one that you should discuss with the local authority. You can ask how the local authority plan to educate and support your child until the final decision is made.
For example, your child may need to, at least in the meantime, attend their catchment school or the school they are currently enrolled in until you know whether they will be moving to your requested school. Or the local authority might agree to continue to offer your child support to learn at home in the meantime, similar to while the schools were closed during the lockdown.
If you have not already heard from the local authority about your child’s school placement, you should contact them as soon as possible. You can find the contact details for your local authority by clicking on the Local Authority contact details link below.
Some children with additional support needs may have a split placement, where they attend different settings on different days – for example, spending three days a week in their local mainstream school, and two days a week in a special school, unit or base where they can receive more specialised support.
The guidance for schools reopening states that your child’s school placement will depend on their individual circumstances. Local authorities and schools need to do risk assessments for pupils who normally have a split placement, to help them decide if it will be safe for your child and others to continue to attend more than one setting.
The schools will need to consider whether other measures could be put in place to lessen the risks of spreading coronavirus caused by your child moving between different settings and groups of children and staff. For example, it may be possible to temporarily offer your child extra support in one setting to help them stay in one consistent group and school.
It is important to remember that your child still has a right to receive an education and to get the support they need to benefit from their learning. So, if a split placement is the only way for them to receive this, the guidance does allow for split placements if they are necessary and if other measures and adaptions can be put in place to reduce the risks relating to coronavirus.
For example, if your child usually attends a special school two half days a week, they may condense these times to one full day so your child is not moving between different settings and groups of people within a single day.
If you are worried about the decision that has been made about your child’s school placement, you should speak to their schools about this. You can also contact our helpline for further advice.