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05.10.2020 | By Teresa Quail

Coronavirus – information for professionals from NDCS – updated 5th October

Posted in News

NDCS has updated its coronavirus blogs in light of yesterday’s DfE announcement on remote teaching.

For professionals:

https://www.ndcs.org.uk/blog/education-for-deaf-children-coronavirus-info-for-professionals/

(main change is to the section on Remote teaching, further down the page)

The main change is to draw attention to the fact that a Temporary Continuity Direction has been issued and that schools, from the 22nd October, will have a legal duty to provide remote teaching where pupils are self-isolating and/or if there is local or national lockdown. The Direction will be in force until the end of the school year, unless revoked.

We’ve also taken reiterated some of our messages around the need for school to consider the needs of deaf pupils in any contingency planning they are doing for any remote teaching or live streaming of lessons, and to reiterate existing legal duties around reasonable adjustments being made to support deaf young people.

I’ve copied a bit more detail below on the Direction in case this is of wider interest:

The Direction does not apply to post-16 education (including sixth forms).

  • The Direction applies to pupils outside of England where they happen to be educated in schools in England.
  • In theory, DfE can issue an injunction against a school that fails to do this – but DfE are clear this would be a last resort.
  • There is no caveat or exemption within the Direction around children with SEND that we can see – and so the duty to provide remote teaching applies equally to deaf children

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/remote-education-temporary-continuity-direction-explanatory-note

Alongside the Direction, some new information/content has been published on remote education, including updated guidance around expectationshttps://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools#res

A key section in this guidance on SEND and remote teaching has been copied below:

Special educational needs

For pupils with SEND, their teachers are best-placed to know how the pupil’s needs can be most effectively met to ensure they continue to make progress even if they are not able to be in school due to self-isolating. The requirement for schools to use their best endeavours to secure the special educational provision called for by the pupils’ special educational needs remains in place.

 

Schools should work collaboratively with families, putting in place reasonable adjustments as necessary, so that pupils with SEND can successfully access remote education alongside their peers.

 Where a pupil has provision specified within their EHC plan, it remains the duty of the local authority and any health bodies to secure or arrange the delivery of this in the setting that the plan names. However, there may be times when it becomes very difficult to do so, for example, if they are self-isolating. In this situation, decisions on how provision can be delivered should be informed by relevant considerations including, for example, the types of services that the pupil can access remotely, for example, online teaching and remote sessions with different types of therapists. These decisions should be considered on a case by case basis, avoiding a one size fits all approach.