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Welcome to the Covid-19 SEND page for people who are working in Education, Health and Social Care in Portsmouth City.

NEWSFLASH FROM THE DFE ( Department for Education) Special Educational Needs and Disability Division – February 2021

Dear colleagues,

It has been a busy week, and there is a lot to take in! We thought it would be helpful to draw together the various announcements and publications into one bumper newsflash for ease of reference:

Also on Monday:

Testing in specialist settings

We have worked hard to give specialist settings additional flexibility on testing as attendance increases. For specialist settings this means:

  • On site testing can continue in larger numbers in specialist settings if that is the most appropriate way of testing being accessed. We have built into funding that, should they choose to, SEND settings can maintain a full scale on-site ATS at their school.
  • If students are unable to test on site, but could be tested at home by a suitably competent adult, settings can provide home testing kits to them from the outset (without the pupil being tested at an ATS first), where this is appropriate for the pupil/student.
  • We are continuing to work proactively on other approaches to testing for children and young people who are unable to tolerate a throat or nasal swab.

A step-by-step guide to testing and frequently asked questions are available on the schools google drive. We will be publishing updated guidance on testing in specialist settings in the next week, the guidance will be published at

Many thanks

Special Educational Needs and Disability Division

Click here to read the Feb 2021 SEND stakeholder catch_up briefing Feb 2021

Click here to read the letter to schools leaders from the secretary of states Feb 21

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