We wanted to take this opportunity to update on two Covid related issues have been raised to the NNPCF over recent few weeks that we have escalated to the Department for Education
We have been contacted by many parents who have been very worried about children and young people who are coming up to important transitions. Because of the disruption of the last year, many CYP have not been able to undertake or complete the programme of work that was planned in order to prepare them for an important transition. This could be a transition between key stages, schools or educational settings, leaving education or even coming up to the age of 26 when an EHCP will cease.
We are concerned that if CYP are not properly prepared for a change (especially those with SEND) they are at increased risk of not transitioning successfully -this may manifest itself in many forms such as academic failure, anxiety and mental health concerns or an inability to make the steps to independence that are required (e.g. getting public transport to college).
We have asked the DfE to ensure that the right measures are put in place for these young people. These measures should be discussed and coproduced with the CYP and their parent carers and may include things such as:
· Use of DfE catch up funding to provide additional educational or wrap around support
· Closer working between the sending setting and the receiving setting (e.g. a very closely co-ordinated and graduated transition)
· Delayed starts to allow CYP to develop the necessary skills and knowledge
· Repeating years
We have heard very mixed reports of the status of annual reviews over the last few months. Some areas have fed back that they have been progressing as normal, just remotely. Others have told us that the quality and frequency of annual reviews has fallen significantly with many families reporting delays or annual reviews not happening at all. We have raised this with the Department for Education and have asked them to monitor the progress and quality of
annual reviews. We will also be asking Ofsted to look at annual reviews as a part of their local area visits when they resume over the coming months.
As most children have returned to school, we continue to monitor the feedback from parent carer forums on how this is going for SEND families. We will update further on this over the coming days.