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SEN | A week in Review 6th - 10th July 2020

Our Education Law Team take a look at the latest updates, guidance and education news...
  1. The government have updated their guidance in relation to the local lockdown in Leicester. Obviously this only applies to that local area but we think that it is important to understand how local lockdowns will work, as it appears that this is going to be the trend that the government will work towards if further outbreaks occur in the future. It is not out of the realm of possibility that any of us could face a local lockdown. In relation to schools, the government have simply reimposed the wider restrictions that we all went through before schools started welcoming children back – so for SEND purposes, that is children with an EHC Plan and who, after a risk assessment, it is determined are safer at school than at home. It remains to be seen how local lockdowns will interplay with the duties under s42 Children and Families Act 2014, which are currently downgraded. It is anticipated that the s42 duty will be reinstated on 1 August 2020 meaning that local authorities are under an absolute duty to secure the special educational provision in Section F of the Plan – how will this work if the local authority goes into a local lockdown?
  2. The government has also released a checklist for school leaders in relation to behaviour and attendance to support full opening in September. It can be found here: We are pleased to note that it acknowledges that children with SEND are going to need extra support and specifically suggests re-engagement over the summer. The guidance expects the school to work with the local authority and health authority to make sure appropriate support and plans are in place. You are well within your rights to ask for this over the summer.
  3. We have been preparing for our education webinar about Coronavirus and its impact on SEN which will be held on Thursday 16 July at 10.30 via Zoom. Registration is free, and you can sign up by emailing and registering your interest
  4. We have also this week been considering children returning back to school in September more generally. There are criminal sanctions if parents fail to return their children back to school. The government have confirmed that these will back in place in September. If your child has supporting medical evidence, they will not need to attend, but other than this there is no parental discretion. You will not be able to see how you feel and hold your child back if they would otherwise need to go to school. Whether criminal sanctions for failure to attend will actually be enforced is another matter, but the technical legal answer is that the sanctions will apply.

If you need further help or guidance on any of the above, contact our SEN Lawyers for free initial advice on 01926 354704 or email: 

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