Shropshire Council

Guidance and documents

Government Guidance & Information 

10 September 2020 - The DfE updated Further education (FE) autumn term guidance.  The guidance sets out what further education (FE) providers need to know for the autumn term so that students of all ages can benefit from their education and training in full.

8 September 2020 - The DfE updated Guidance for full opening: special schools and other specialist settings.  What all special schools and other specialist settings will need to do during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak from the start of the autumn term to support the return of children and young people with special education needs and disability (SEND).

1 September 2020 - The DfE updated the guidance for parents and carers on what they need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The update provides information on school admission appeals, entry tests for selective schools, and exams and assessments in the autumn term.  They have also provided further information on the use of face coverings in schools and links to online resources that are available to help parents, carers and children with their mental health and wellbeing.

26 August 2020 - The DfE updated Changes to the law on education, health and care needs assessments and plans due to coronavirus.  The minor update is to reflect that the Regulations that were made to provide additional flexibility to the Local Authority over the statutory timescales for various EHC needs assessment and plan processes will expire on 25 September 2020.  The normal statutory timescales will apply from this date.  

11 August 2020 - The DfE published Transport to school and other places of education: Autumn term 2020.  Part A provides guidance for local authorities on managing the capacity of, and demand for, public transport, and increasing capacity of both public and dedicated home to school or college services, so that children can travel safely to and from school or college.  Part B provides guidance about the provision of dedicated home to school or college transport in the autumn term.

31 July 2020 - The DfE announced that the notice modifying the duty on local authorities to secure or arrange the special educational and health care provision specified in children and young people’s EHC plans has now expired.  They published a minor update to Changes to the law on education, health and are needs assessments and plans due to coronavirus.  

21 July 2020 - Joint open ministerial letter from Vicky Ford MP, Parliamentary-Under Secretary of State for Children and Families, and Helen Whately MP, minister of State for Care, to children and young people, their families and those who support them.

The letter provides an update on the actions that need to be taken to ensure that all pupils return to their schools from September, and responds to some of the concerns and questions that have been raised.

15 July 2020 - The DfE updated Guidance for further education and skills providers.  There is a new section added regarded supported internships.  Where the core aim of a student’s supported internship has not been met due to the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19), students will be able to complete their internship in the next academic year.

10 July 2020 - The DfE updated What parents and carers need to know about schools, colleges and other education settings during the coronavirus outbreak.  This guidance sets out some of the changes and protective measures the government is asking schools and colleges to put in place and what parents, carers, children and young people will need to do to help ensure schools and colleges are as safe as possible for everyone.

06 July 2020 - The DfE updated Coronavirus (COVID-19): Guidance for people receiving direct payments.  Advice for people who buy care and support through a direct payment, as well as local authorities, clinical commissioning groups and those who provide care and support.

02 July 2020 - The DfE published Guidance for full opening - schools.  It is planned that all pupils, in all year groups, will return to school full-time from the beginning of the autumn term.  This guidance is intended to support schools, both mainstream and alternative provision, to prepare for this. It covers expectations for children with special educational needs and disability (SEND), including those with education, health and care plans, in mainstream schools.

29 June 2020 - The DfE updated Changes to the law on education, health and care needs assessments and plans due to coronavirus. The Secretary of State has issued a notice to extend the temporary changes to the law on what provision has to be made currently for those with Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans. The temporary changes to the law have been in force since 1 May and are now extended to 31 July. Once the notice expires, the Secretary of State can issue a further notice for a period of up to a month if it would be appropriate and proportionate to do so in the context of coronavirus. 

25 June 2020 - The DfE published Covid Summer Food fund. Guidance for schools and local authorities on providing vouchers to support pupils eligible for free school meals over the summer holiday period during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

23 June 2020 - The DfE have updated Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (COVI-19) outbreak.  This includes updating the guidance to reflect that early years providers are now able to open for all children, an update on funding and flexibility for parents, further details on managing school pick-ups and drop-offs and new information on childminder agencies and carrying out quality assurance visits. 

18 June 2020 - The DfE updated Supporting children and young people with complex special educational needs and disability (SEND).  The update includes a new section with information for settings on the of re-admission of pupils who are clinically extremely vulnerable or with education, health and care (EHC) plans. 

18 June 2020 - The DfE announced that they are extending the national trial to extend the powers of the SEND Tribunal to hear appeals, and make non-binding decisions about, health and social care aspects of Education, Health and Care plans.  The trial was due to end on 31 August 2020. However, given the understandable pressures local areas and families are under as a result of coronavirus, the Government believes it is not the right time to introduce any changes to this policy so it has been extended until 31 August 2021.  A copy of that letter is available here: Minister Ford's Letter

16 June 2020 - The Dfe updated Safe working in education, childcare and children's social care settings, including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).  The update reflects recent changes on eligibility/access to testing and clarifies PPE requirements for first aid and complex care.

2 June 2020 - The DfE updated What parents and carers need to know about schools, colleges and other education settings during the coronavirus outbreak.  This guidance is for parents and carers about changes to schools and educational settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

1 June 2020 - The DfE updated Coronavirus (COVID-10): Implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings.  Guidance for education and childcare settings on how to implement protective measures.

30 May 2020 - Minister Ford's SEN open letter. Update to all children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), their parents/carers and families, and others who support them.

29 May 2020 - The secretary of state issued a notice to extend the temporary changes to the law on what provision has to be made currently for those with education, health and care (EHC) plans. The temporary changes to the law have been in force since 1 May and are now extended to 30 June. Once the notice expires, the secretary of state can issue a further notice for a period of up to a month if it would be appropriate and proportionate to do so in the context of coronavirus. The DfE have also updated Changes to the law on education, health and care needs assessments and plans due to coronavirus.

26 May 2020 - The DfE updated Supporting children and young people with SEND as schools and colleges prepare for wider openingGuidance for special schools, specialist colleges, local authorities and any other settings managing children and young people with complex special educational needs and disability (SEND).

24 May 2020 - The DfE published Preparing for the wider opening of schools from 1 June. A planning guide for early years providers, in England, to help prepare them to open their settings for all children from 1 June 2020.

19 May 2020 - The government today announced that the Family Fund will receive funding of £37.3m in 2020-21. This includes £10m which has been allocated to help families in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.  The Family Fund provides grants to families on low incomes who have disabilities or severe medical conditions.

15 May 2020 - The DfE updated Supporting vulnerable children and young people during hte coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Guidance for education settings and local authorities about children supported through social care, with EHC plans or identified as vulnerable by their school, college, early years provider or local authority.

14 May 2020 - The DfE published Safe working in education, childcare and children’s social care. Guidance about preventing and controlling infection, including the use of PPE in education, childcare and children’s social care settings during the coronavirus outbreak.  

14 May 2020 - The DfE updated Critical workers who can access schools or educational settings. List of critical workers (key workers) who can send their children to school or other educational settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

12 May 2020 - The DfE updated Actions for education and childcare settings to prepare for wider opening from 1 June 2020. Next steps for the phased wider opening of educational and childcare settings.

12 May 2020 - The DfE updated Coronavirus (COVID-19): implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings. Guidance for education and childcare settings on how to implement protective measures.

11 May 2020 - The DfE published Opening schools and educational settings to more pupils from 1 June: guidance for parents and carers.  Information for parents and carers in the form of a Q&A to help prepare for the wider opening of nurseries, schools and colleges from 1 June.

30 April 2020 - The DfE published Changes to the law on education, health and care needs assessments and plans due to coronavirus. Guidance on temporary changes to education, health and care legislation during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Shropshire Council's response to the temporary changes in legislation. This guidance is only applicable to 31 May 2020 and will be reviewed before 1 June 2020.

19 April 2020 - The DfE published Help children with SEND continue their education during coronaviris (COVID-19). Advice for parents and carers looking after children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

19 April 2020 - The DfE published Conducting a SEND risk assessment during the coronavirus outbreak which contains guidance for special schools, specialist colleges, local authorities and any other settings managing children and young people with complex special educational needs and disability (SEND).

10 April 2020 - The DfE published Covid-19 adoption support fund scheme to help vulnerable families. Up to £8m in funding for adoptive families to meet needs arising from coronavirus outbreak.

22 March 2020 - The DfE published Guidance for education settings and local authorities about children supported through social care, with EHC plans or identified as vulnerable by their school, college, early years provider or local authority. This is to support vulnerable children and young people during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.