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Coronavirus (Covid-19) advice, guidance and resources

This page of the Local Offer website has been created to provide information and helpful resources to support SEND families through the current Covid-19 ( Coronavirus) outbreak.

Portsmouth City Council’s Inclusion service is working hard to ensure children and young people with special educational needs are at the centre of all planning during these challenging times. Please keep checking this page for updates and news.

Key principles

  • All children and young people are now able to return to education settings. Click here to read the latest information on opening schools and education settings.
  • Parents should also do everything they can to stay alert to the Coronavirus and ensure children are mixing socially in a way that minimises the risks of spreading the virus. They should observe the same social distancing principles as adults.
  • Make sure you also check with your education setting’s website to keep updated with any changes.

Education from September 2020- Welcome Back!

Useful resources, information and websites to help you support your child or young person to return to education outside of their home.

Supporting your child's return to an education setting

Covid-19 Government Guidance

Click here to read the latest Government Guidance - Including information on education and vulnerable children & young people.

Coronavirus Government Guidance

Well-being and Family life

Information and resources to help manage mental health, well being and find support that can be accessed from home during the Coronavirus outbreak.

Well-being and Family Life during Covid-19

EHC Assessment and Planning information

Information on the Education Health and Care needs assessment and planning during the Covid-19 outbreak.

EHC Assessments and Plans during the Covid-19 outbreak

Covid-19 Local Service updates

Information on changes to Local SEND related services during the Covid-19 update.

Portsmouth Local Offer SEND Service Updates
Portsmouth City Council logo

PCC General Covid-19 Information

Portsmouth City Council have developed a coronavirus page on their main website. This page contains information for everyone and not just those with SEND. It is updated daily

PCC Covid-19 page
PPV Logo

Portsmouth Parent Voice

Portsmouth Parent Voice are still operating through the Corona Virus outbreak. They are working outside of the office but are able to communicate through email and social media. They have a closed Facebook group where you can talk directly to parent carers and PPV staff from home.

PPV Covid-19 page

IPSEA - Coronavirus updates and information

IPSEA have put together a list of FAQs on the how the COVID-19 measures will affect children and young people with special educational needs (“SEN”). Visit their site for more informtion.

IPSEA coronavirus updates

Portsmouth SENDIASS

Portsmouth SEND Information Advice and Support Service is still open and offering telephone support to parent carers.

Portsmouth SENDIASS Website

Frequently asked questions

My child has an Education Health and Care Plan, what will happen to them during the Corona pandemic?

Schools, colleges, other training providers and local authorities will need to consider the needs of all children and young people with an EHC plan, alongside the views of their parents, and make a risk assessment for each child or young person.

They will need to consider a number of different risks to each individual, including:

  • the potential health risks to the individual from COVID-19, bearing in mind any underlying health condition. This must be on an individual basis with advice from an appropriate health professional where required
  • the risk to the individual if some or all elements of their EHC plan cannot be delivered at all, and the risk if they cannot be delivered in the normal manner or in the usual setting
  • the ability of the individual’s parents or home to ensure their health and care needs can be met safely
    the potential impact to the individual’s well-being of changes to routine or the way in which provision is delivered

We expect most children will fall into the following categories:

  1. Children and young people who would be at significant risk if their education, health and care provision and placement did not continue, namely those who could not safely be supported at home. This may include those with profound and multiple learning difficulties, and those receiving significant levels of personal care support. Local authorities will need to work with the individual’s educational setting – especially residential special schools and colleges – as well as local health partners, to ensure they are able to remain open wherever possible. This may mean deploying staff from other schools, to keep staffing ratios safe.
  2. Children and young people whose needs can be met at home, namely those who are not receiving personal care from their educational setting, or whose limited need for personal care can be met in their family home.

As part of the government’s emergency powers, the government will modify the statutory duties on local authorities to maintain the precise provision in EHC plans and will expect educational settings and local authorities to use their reasonable endeavours to support these children and their families.

Where a local authority is unable to put in place stated provision, they will need to use their reasonable endeavors to do this, but won’t be penalised for failing to meet the existing duty in the 2014 Act.

Click here to read the full government guidance

I am a critical worker or have a vulnerable child but I don’t want to send my child in to school or childcare, do I have to?

Many parents working in these critical sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home. Every child who can be safely cared for at home should be.

This is an offer to parents and carers and there is no requirement for parents and carers to send their children to school if they do not need or wish to do so.

For vulnerable children, your child’s social worker will work with you to assess the best option for your child.

Where can I get information on financial support during the Corona pandemic?

The outbreak of coronavirus (Covid-19) is a huge time of financial uncertainty for many families. The government have put in place some emergency measures to support families during these times. This includes the new  ‘Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’, a new type of financial support to help employers carry on paying their workers and changes to universal credit amounts.

Portsmouth City Council have a designated page for financial support in relation to coronavirus. Click here to visit the page.

To read the full government guide on support for those affected by coronavirus click here 

Contact – an organisation for families with disabled children have also created a family guide on coronavirus & welfare and benefits. Click here to visit their page.

Where can I get further information and support as a parent carer?

Portsmouth Parent Voice have set up a group on Facebook to link in with parents at this difficult time.

You can also check the information on the Portsmouth City Council main website Coronvirus page.

We will soon be adding updates from services who make up the Portsmouth Local Offer so please keep checking back on this page.

Contact – an organisation supporting disabled children and families have created a very informative page for families. You can find out more by clicking here.

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Contact the Portsmouth Send Local Offer to gain help, get more information or to leave feedback about the website.

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