After the frenetic end to last week, we have had a couple of quiet days guidance-wise. We hope that you are managing to juggle all the competing demands on you and are staying sane in an increasingly crazy world. It has been great to see so many of our members on twitter, sharing how they are keeping going or keeping links to learners whilst closed.
Last night, the Government issued new guidance on ’Social distancing’ in education and childcare settings. It’s available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-social-distancing-in-education-and-childcare-settings?utm_source=380d162d-e45d-4e57-b5f6-95cfafce29a9&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate
We’d suggest that you have a cup of tea (or something stronger) close to you when you read it! It is clearly not aimed at specialist settings and I know this will be a source of frustration. The SEND team at DfE has picked up on this and I have already been consulted this morning on draft additional guidance for ‘vulnerable’ children and young people. This will help to some extent but we are still having to really push to get understanding that you can’t run a safe service whilst maintaining distance from children and young people!
Later today, I will be joining Natspec, nasen and Special Schools Voice on a call with the Children’s Minister, Vicky Ford. We have all been asked to flag urgent issues and it’s great to see that access to PPE and testing for schools are high on everyone’s list. In advance of the meeting, it would be useful for me to get some snapshots of what life is like for you so if you have time to drop me a line about whether you are open or closed and how you are coping to firstname.lastname@example.org I’d be very happy to hear from you.
We’ll update as soon as we have more information. In the meantime, the NASS team are all at our desks and working so do stay in touch via email and phone.
With our best wishes to you all
Claire, Karen, Kate and Jenny