News Update – November 2020

Welcome to the November SEND News Update. I have included some more general educational updates as well as those for SEND as they may impact on you and your setting.

REMINDER: The virtual SEND Conference will take place on 27th November. You can be part of the conference on the day, or watch the sessions later on when you have time. The videos are always available. This year there are 20 sessions all focused on Supporting the EHCP Process. At a cost of £60 this is a really cost-effective way to access high quality CPD at a time that is convenient to you.

Safeguarding and remote education during coronavirus (COVID-19) – Updated 6th October

This guidance is to help schools understand how to follow safeguarding procedures when planning remote education strategies and teaching remotely during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The page has been updated with reference to local restrictions and links to new resources.

Ofsted publishes first report on schools returning – Blog – 6th October

Ofsted has published its first report looking at how schools are managing pupils’ return to education under the current COVID-19 guidelines.

Early years foundation stage statutory framework (EYFS) – Updated 7th October

The DfE have released the early years foundation stage: coronavirus disapplications. Providers will need to work to re-instate the safeguarding and welfare requirements in full by 26th November 2020.

State of the nation 2020: children and young people’s wellbeing – 10th October

This report collates published evidence on the wellbeing in children and young people over the period of March to August 2020

Remote education webinars – Updated 13th October

The DfE is offering several school-led webinars on remote education to help share good practice. This is to support schools that are looking for help to improve the quality of their remote provision in line with the expectations set out in the guidance for full opening.

This update version has added links to primary and secondary webinars for school leaders and teachers. Unfortunately, nothing for special schools! 

The Guidance for the full opening – schools – Updated 22nd October

The guidance for the full opening – schools has been updated with a number of amendments. All of the sections below have been updated:

  • Prevention (Section 1: System of controls)
  • Other considerations (Section 1: System of controls)
  • Response to any infection (Section 1: System of controls)
  • Pupils travelling from abroad (Section 2)
  • Attendance (Section 2)
  • Workforce (Section 2)
  • Safeguarding (Section 2)
  • School uniform (Section 2)
  • Wraparound provision and extra-curricular activity (Section 2)
  • Behaviour expectations (Section 3)
  • Hospital schools (Section 3)
  • Contingency planning for outbreaks (Section 5)

A comprehensive summary of the key changes can be found on the NAHT website –

PE and sport premium for primary schools – Updated 23rd October & 30th October

This guidance on how much PE and sport premium funding schools receive and advice on how it should be spent has been updated with an added link to details for the 2020 to 2021 academic year, including conditions of grant. This document was further updated sections relating to coronavirus (COVID-19), accountability and how to use funding on 30th October.

Remember: Developing a young person’s physical and mental health will support everything they do in school. This funding should be used to develop or add to the PE, physical activity and sport that your school provides and build capacity and capability within the school to ensure that improvements made now will benefit pupils joining the school in future years

Safe working in education, childcare and children’s social care – Updated 22nd October

This document containing information about preventing and controlling infection, including the use of PPE, in education, childcare and children’s social care settings during the coronavirus outbreak has been updated with information about how to report confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the section on engaging with the NHS test and trace process.

All you need to know about home-schooling and elective home education (EHE) – Blog Post – 20th October

Example lessons for remote teaching – 26th October

This guidance contains lesson plans shared by schools to help teachers adapt their practice for remote education following the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Remote education webinars – Updated 26th October

This guidance outlines how to access school-led webinars on remote education to help share good practice. New webinars for teachers have been added.

Lockdown research emphasises importance of early years settings for disadvantaged children – Blog Post – 29th October

A study by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), has shown that babies and toddlers from lower socio-economic backgrounds have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic due to having less access to books and outdoor space during lockdown.

Ofsted inspections illustrate high proportion of good or outstanding schools – Blog Post – 30th October

Ofsted have published an update on school inspections from 1 September 2019 to 31 August 2020. The full report can be found here:

Why we are keeping education settings open – Blog Post – 4th November

From Thursday 5 November, the country entered a second month-long national period of restrictions, during which time non-essential shops, hospitality settings and more are closed. This time, however, all education settings remain open. This blog outlines why all schools will remain open.

Ofsted: coronavirus (COVID-19) rolling update – Updated 3rd November

During the national lockdown starting on 5 November Ofsted will carry out our work remotely where they can, only going on site where it is necessary to do so, or in response to urgent concerns.

Their programme of autumn visits to schools and colleges will take place remotely from Thursday 5 November. They will continue to carry regulatory work in early years and social care to respond to safeguarding concerns or breakdown in leadership.

Local area SEND visits are paused.

National Tutoring Service – Updated 2nd November

On Monday 2nd November the National Tutoring Programme announced 32 Tuition Partners who will be able to provide tutors for your school. These have been heavily subsidised by the Government.

A press release about this can be found here:

There are a number of Tuition Partners who are able to offer tutoring for children and young people with SEND. The full list of the 32 providers can be found in this Schools Week article.

To find out more about these Partners and what they can offer children and young people in your area visit:

Education and childcare settings: New National Restrictions from 5 November 2020 – 4th October

This guidance explains how New National Restrictions to control the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) impact education, childcare and children’s social care settings.

The section on schools includes the following:

  • Schools continue to remain open for all children and young people as they have since the start of the autumn term for the duration of the national restrictions.
  • The risk to children themselves of becoming severely ill from coronavirus (COVID-19) is very low and there are negative health impacts of being out of school.
  • Schools should continue to undertake risk assessments and implement the system of controls.
  • Music, dance and drama can be undertaken in school so long as safety precautions are undertaken.
  • In schools where pupils in year 7 and above are educated, face coverings should be worn by adults and pupils when moving around the premises, outside of classrooms, such as in corridors and communal areas where social distancing cannot easily be maintained. The exemption for certain children and adults still applies.
  • Those children whose doctors have confirmed they are still clinically extremely vulnerable are advised not to attend education whilst the national restrictions are in place. Schools will need to make appropriate arrangements to enable them to continue their education at home.
  • Children who live with someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable, but who are not clinically extremely vulnerable themselves, should still attend education.
  • Those individuals who are clinically extremely vulnerable are advised to work from home and not to go into work.
  • Outdoor sports should be prioritised where possible, and large indoor spaces used where it is not, maximising natural ventilation flows (through opening windows and doors or using air conditioning systems wherever possible), distancing between pupils and paying scrupulous attention to cleaning and hygiene

What the new national restrictions mean for education settings – Blog Post – 5th November

Schools and colleges

  • Schools remain open for all children and young people as they have since the start of the autumn term
  • On 2 July guidance was published to support schools to welcome back all children from the start of the autumn term. Schools should continue to refer to this guidance. The measures set out in the guidance provide a framework for school leaders to put in place proportionate protective measures for pupils and staff. If schools follow the guidance and maximise control measures, they can be confident they are managing risk effectively
  • Face coverings should be worn by students and staff in secondary schools and further education colleges in communal spaces, outside of classrooms, where social distancing cannot be maintained
  • The guidance is clear that primary school children do not need to wear face coverings, and older children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities may be exempt from wearing them, depending on their need
  • No one should be excluded from education for not having a face covering.
  • Primary schools continue to have discretion to recommend staff and visitors wear face coverings in communal spaces where social distancing cannot be maintained, but this is not a requirement and it is for individual schools to make these decisions locally.
  • Face coverings should also be worn by pupils in year 7 and above when travelling on dedicated school transport to secondary school or college
  • Further education colleges can remain open and apprenticeship providers should continue to follow the guidance for providing apprenticeships during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Face coverings should now be used outside of classrooms where social distancing is not possible

Early Years Settings

  • Nurseries and childminders remain open and parents of under-5s can continue to use these settings as normal
  • Parents are also able to form a childcare bubble with another household for the purposes of informal childcare, where the child is 13 or under
  • In early years settings, adults should now wear face coverings in communal areas where social distancing with other adults cannot be maintained. This does not apply to classrooms or areas where staff routinely interact with children
  • Out-of-school activities (including wraparound care) may continue to operate if their primary purpose is providing registered childcare, or where they are offering other childcare activities, where this is reasonably necessary to enable parents to work or search for work or undertake training or education

 SEND Futures value for money feasibility study – DfE – Research – 5th November

A study assessing the feasibility of undertaking a future value for money study of SEND provision in England.

This study is designed to assist the Department for Education to conduct a value for money analysis of different setting types for children and young people with EHC plans in England.

The findings confirm that a cost effectiveness analysis of special educational needs and disability (SEND) provision is feasible in the near term.

Ofsted reports on the effects of lockdown – Blog Post – 10th November

The second report from Ofsted, based on their recent “visits” to schools, highlights some of the impacts of the pandemic on schools and pupils, and therefore the importance of schools staying open during the current period of restrictions and beyond.

The full report can be found here:

New National Restrictions: Advice and guidance for children and young people with SEND from the Minster for Children and Families

Vicky Ford, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families, has written an open letter to children and young people with SEND, their families, carers and all those who support them. In line with previous open letters written since the first lockdown it provides updated advice and guidance with regards to the current lockdown.

You can find a copy of the letter on the nasen website:


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