Lack of Consistency about Educational Support after Covid-19
As we begin to see some schools opening up for some year groups, our Education Law Solicitors have seen growing concerns from parents who want to make sure that their children are getting the support they need. Especially from parents who have children with SEND or EHCPs in place.
Last month the UK Government made temporary changes to SEND law in response to the outbreak of Covid-19, which have made it even more difficult to make sure that your child with SEN gets the right provision both at home and now in schools.
As the largest team of Education Law specialists in the UK, we’ve been helping parents and children across England and Wales secure the right provisions in these uncertain times when they have needed us to.
What is most concerning for the families we are working with currently is the lack of consistency and clear plans for the future.
Parents understand that there may be a lack of certainty around exactly when education will return to normal but feel there has been a distinct lack of clear direction by the Government leading to significant inconsistencies in the way in which individual schools and Local Authorities are dealing with things.
As the rules around schools have continued to change, our Education Solicitors have been working hard to tailor their legal advice and service to suit each child’s individual circumstances.
We have been helping parents who aren’t happy with the remote provision they have been offered, and some parents who have children with EHCPs who aren’t receiving any provision at all.
Despite changes to SEND law, Local Authorities must show that they have used ‘reasonable endeavours’ to secure or arrange the provision. Our Education Law Solicitors can help you if you feel that your Local Authority has not thoroughly considered alternative ways to secure and arrange provision for your child.
In cases where provision has been provided, some parents and children are still struggling with lack of equipment to work online. For example, in some situations, therapists or teachers can video link to family homes but parents haven’t been given the equipment for them to do this.
Some households do not have any appropriate devices to enable them to do this, and in others there are multiple children trying to share the same device. We are urging Local Authorities that it’s important to think creatively to make sure that children are getting the equipment they need.
We have also seen rising concerns that there will be a lack of places in schools for children of key workers, and especially now that some shops and hospitality services begin to open. Parents who work in these services will soon be struggling to juggle childcare, home education, and work outside the home.
We are seeing consistently that children and parents have found themselves in places of uncertainty, which can be difficult for many children to adapt to and places parents in a position where they are unable to plan.
We can also help where there is a need to plan for transition back to school for those who need to be carefully prepared for change, such as those with autism and related needs. As we understand that this may be a challenging time for you
But all families require some guidance on what is expected of them and for their children so that they are able to try and balance competing priorities of childcare, work and education.
If you’re concerned about the changes and uncertainty around your child’s education, talk to one of our Education Law Solicitors today.
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Simpson Millar Solicitors are a national law firm with over 500 staff and offices in Billingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Catterick, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester.