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Ministerial letter about support for children with SEND in school

Thursday 3rd September 2020

Vicky Ford MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families, has written a ministerial letter about supporting children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities as they return to school.

The letter recognises that this is a particular anxious and challenging time for many parent carers and children and at the same time thanks the professionals working in schools and colleges for the preparations they've made to make sure all children get back into the classroom.

Importantly the letter also highlights that the behavioural policies and disciplinary powers, including exclusions, that schools currently have in place remain. Permanent exclusions should only be used as a last resort and must be lawful, reasonable and fair. And off rolling - the unlawful practice of removing a pupil from the school roll without using a permanent exclusion, when the removal is primarily in the best interests of the school, rather than the best interests of the pupil - remains unacceptable. This includes pressuring parents to remove their child from the school roll to home educate.

The letter also gives further information about risk assessments, face coverings, specialist visiting practitioners, mental health and wellbeing, aerosol generating procedures and support in hospital schools.

Read the letter in full.

Visit our back to school information, support and advice.

Take a look at some of the questions you asked our parent advisers last week at our special back to school Facebook Q&A session and rewatch our webinars.

And don't forget

Our helpine team are here to answer any concerns you have about your child's education or any other worries you may have about raising a child with additional needs. You can call us on 0808 808 3555 (Monday-Friday, 9.30am-5pm).

You can also ask a question via Facebook or Twitter, publically or via private message, or use our live chat  - look for the chat icon at the bottom right of your screen.

Related information

1-1 listening ear service

Our 1-1 listening ear service provides free 1-1 support for parents via a telephone appointment with one our family support advisers, at a time that suits you. We can help with emotional support, strategies for reducing your child's anxiety and challenging behaviour or help you with structuring the day. Visit EventBrite for upcoming timeslots

Virtual parent workshops

Our popular free workshops programme is now online. Topics include: Encouraging Positive Behaviour, Wellbeing for you, and Managing your child's sleep. Visit our family workshops page for upcoming dates.