New National restrictions introduced to control the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19)
The government has introduced new restrictions in Schools some of which are specific to children with special needs, disability and other health issues stating that 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.
The guidance goes on to state that schools and colleges should continue to take steps to ensure vulnerable children and young people who can’t attend their school or college are able to access their remote education. Contact should be maintained to ensure they are doing so. Vulnerable children include those with an education, health and care (EHC) plan, children with a social worker and children who are ‘otherwise vulnerable’.
You can find more help and information on issues surrounding COVID-19 in schools from the Council for Disabled Children (CDC) which has launched two new email inboxes aimed to answer questions, collate resources and share information on COVID-19 and the impact on children and young people with SEND and disabilities.
You can find information on the new service here
COVID-19 reported in all of Northern Ireland’s special schools
The BBC reports that, according to the latest information published by the Public Health Agency (PHA), all of the 39 special schools in Northern Ireland have at least one reported case of COVID-19.
A total of 126 COVID-19 cases have been reported to the PHA, and of those three quarters were among staff.
Six special schools had clusters of more than five cases.
Read more on this story here