Coronavirus: Information and advice for parents / carers of children with SEND
This page is being regularly updated with the latest information and advice for parents and carers of children and young people with special educational needs or a disability (SEND) during the pandemic.
Returning to school
Your child may have returned to school, or you may be preparing for your child to return to school. We understand that you may feel anxious about this – please be assured that we are working closely with schools across Birmingham to help make the transition as smooth as possible.
Our aim is for all schools to have conversations with parents of children with an EHC plan around their child returning to school and for families to be involved in the risk assessment process. We are meeting weekly with all schools across Birmingham to check this is being carried out. If you have any queries or concerns, contact the Parent Link Contact Line on 0121 303 8461.
Home to school transport
We are talking to families to make arrangements for their child’s transport as they return to school.
Health and safety is, of course, a priority. We are limiting the number of pupils on each vehicle and providing additional vehicles and guides when needed in order to observe social distancing guidelines. We are also providing PPE equipment on all vehicles and every vehicle is subject to an enhanced cleaning regime after each journey.
As an alternative during the summer term, we are asking parents if they would prefer to drive their child to school and receive a fuel allowance to cover the costs. If you are interested in this option, please call Travel Assist.
Please note that there is now one single number for Travel Assist – 0121 303 4955. We have also extended our opening times so please call from 7am to 5:30pm Monday to Friday with any queries about your child’s transport.
Children with an Education Health and Care (EHC) Plan attending school
Since 15 June, the advice from the government has been that children and young people with EHC Plans should begin a phased and safe return to school, across all year groups. This includes children attending mainstream settings, special settings, alternative provision (AP) settings and those receiving education on hospital sites.
We recognise that particular care is needed to plan for the return of children and young people with EHCPs. Up-to-date risk assessments should inform the way a school or setting supports your child as he/she returns. You will be involved in decisions about your child and young people over 16 will be contacted and involved.
If you haven’t had a risk assessment, contact the Parent Link Contact Line on 0121 303 8461.
Education Health and Care Plans
We're working hard to keep the Education Health and Care process moving and we are continuing to review this. Assessments for an EHC plan currently involve telephone and video calls as we are unable to do our work face-to-face. Our decision-making groups have also moved to online meetings.
We’re here to help
There’s still lots of help available to you from our different teams.
You can find details of how you can get in touch with our support services on our Contact Us page. Whether you need some advice or support for your child, tips on managing educational activities or routines or just a friendly chat, our teams are here for you.
Read our Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve also put together some top tips for you and your family.
You can find more useful websites and links.
Visit our Birmingham Children’s Partnership resources web pages for information on local support, including COVID-19 early help, resilience funding and community grants.
Keep in touch
For wider information about coronavirus, read Birmingham City Council’s daily update on the city’s response to Coronavirus.
You can also follow us on Twitter: @A2Education