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Coronavirus (Covid-19) – Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Blackburn with Darwen Children’s & Adult’s Services are working together with Parents in Partnership (the parent/carers forum), to put helpful information for parents and carers of children and young people aged 0 – 25 with SEND in one place.  These FAQs will continue to be updated with responses to those questions that are regularly being asked by families. 

We know some parents may be feeling anxious about their children returning to school or college. If you have concerns about your child attending school or college, you should discuss these with their school or college. They should be able to explain ways they are changing things to reduce risks.

It is important to note that information and guidance relating to the coronavirus situation is continually being updated.  To view the most up-to-date local Council information please visit Blackburn with Darwen Council’s website at www.blackburn.gov.uk and for the most up-to-date national advice and guidance please visit www.gov.uk/coranavirus.  These FAQs do not replace national guidance.

On this page:

    

What happens if my child is in contact with someone who has tested positive?

Government guidance states children and young people aged under 18 years 6 months who usually attend an education or childcare setting and who have been identified as a close contact should continue to attend the setting as normal.  They do not need to wear a face covering within the setting, but it is expected and recommended that these are worn when travelling on public or dedicated transport.

Please see www.gov.uk for full information or see useful links below

 

Will EHCP reviews carry on on Zoom or Teams?

EHCP annual reviews continue to be carried out remotely. This will be reviewed in August/September.

        

  What is the Blackburn and Darwen Help Hub and how can I access support through it?

The Help Hub is a unique local partnership that was set up to support people during the Coronavirus crisis and it will continue to operate as lockdown restrictions ease or are changed.

The Hub was initially set up to help people in isolation to access food and essential supplies – as well as providing other support services.  As the immediate need for access to food subsides, the Council’s Help Hub continues to support local residents to move forward with their lives in other ways.  These include:

 

    • finance, benefits and debt management
    • mental health support
    • wellbeing and loneliness
    • learning, training and employment
    • getting online and using technology
    • access to food and essentials.

 

People can get in touch with the Help Hub by filling in the online form or by calling 01254 588111, lines are open 9am-5pm Monday to Friday.

      

  What to do if you are worried about a child?

The Children's Advice and Duty Service (CADS) provides a single point of contact for professionals and members of the public who want to seek support or raise concerns about a child. 

If you have any concerns about a child at risk of harm, abuse or neglect or if you need support, advice or guidance in relation to a child in your care, please contact the Children’s Advice and Duty Service where you will be able to speak to an experienced Social Worker.  They will listen, assess your concerns, and provide advice, support and guidance and, take appropriate action if a child is at risk. 

If you are unsure that it is a concern worth reporting, you can call the team and talk it through.  You can contact the team on 01254 666400.

   

  Are EHCP panels continuing during the coronavirus crisis?

Yes, the meeting schedule and deadlines remain the same; the dates are published on the Local Offer and are available to view. However, in order to conform with social distancing guidance the education, health and care panel meetings will be held virtually until further notice. All panel members are still able to contribute to the decision making process.

   

  What are the contact details for the direct payments team?

The general contact details are:

Email:  Direct.payments@blackburn.gov.uk

Telephone:  01254 585339

There are also three Direct Payment officers, representing different areas of the borough/ages:

 

  • Farzana Yousaf – covers the west area – farzana.yousaf@blackburn.gov.uk /  01254 585843
  • Katie Duxbury – covers North and East  - Katie.duxbury@blackburn.gov.uk / 01254 666216
  • Bev O’Hara – covers Darwen and Childrens  - Beverley.O'Hara@blackburn.gov.uk /  01254 585534

 What is a Covid Community Champion?

Champions are local people who want to support Blackburn with Darwen’s recovery from the Coronavirus pandemic. 

Champions receive the very latest information about Covid-19 from the Council. They then share this information with their networks - their friends, family, neighbours, colleagues and local community groups - helping local people to make sense of the latest guidance, and enabling them to make informed choices.

Champions also help us by sharing their ideas and local issues, so we can listen and respond, to help people stay well.

Champions help us to reach more local people with the latest facts about Covid-19, in particular those most at risk from the long-term impacts of the virus including:

  • people who don't have digital access
  • people with disabilities
  • people from diverse backgrounds

Anyone over the age of 18 who lives or works in Blackburn with Darwen can register

For more information please visit the page on the councils main website by using this link

 

 

Useful links

Government guidance for parents

A joint letter to parents of secondary school and college students in England on Covid-19 testing and vaccines from the Secretaries of State for Education and for Health and Social Care - GOV.UK

Coronavirus - how to stay safe and help prevent the spread - GOV.UK

COVID-19 vaccination: resources for children and young people - GOV.UK guidance

COVID-19 Vaccination: easy read resources for children and young people - GOV.UK guidance

Guidance for contacts of people with confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection who do not live with the person - GOV.UK

COVID-19 guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection - GOV.UK

COVID-19 rapid lateral flow home test kit instructions - guidance GOV.UK

Claiming financial support under the Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme - GOV.UK

Supporting your children's remote education during coronavirus (Covid-19) - GOV.UK guidance

What parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges - GOV.UK

COVID-19: guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable - GOV.UK

Guidance for parents and carers of children attending out-of-school settings during the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak - GOV.UK

Transport to schools and colleges during the COVID-19 pandemic - GOV.UK

 

Government guidance for schools

Actions for schools during the coronavirus outbreak - GOV.UK

Actions for FE colleges and providers during the coronavirus outbreak - guidance from GOV.UK

COVID-19 Vaccination: resources for schools - GOV.UK

Guidance for full opening: special schools and other specialist settings - GOV.UK

Higher education providers:coronavirus (Covid-19) - GOV.UK

Managing coronavirus (Covid-19) in education and childcare settings - GOV.UK

Safe working in education, childcare and children's social care settings, including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) - GOV.UK

Special schools and other specialist settings: coronavirus (Covid-19) - GOV.UK

Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak - GOV.UK

Coronavirus (COVID-19) local restrictions in education and childcare settings - GOV.UK

 

Useful websites for parents/carers and young people

BBC Teach website - free primary and secondary school teaching resources

Every Mind Matters - NHS UK

Mencap

Supporting children with SEND during coronavirus (Covid-19) - NSPCC advice to parents and carers

Covid-19 vaccination: your questions answered - Information from Contact

Lancashire & South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust (LSCFT) - Mental Health support resource

Council For Disabled Children - COVID-19 Support and Guidance

Council for Disabled Children - COVID-19 Family Support Hub

Contact - News and Media page