‘Challenging’ lockdown for Peterborough parents of children with disabilities

Peterborough organisations say they are working tirelessly to make sure children with disabilities are receiving the best support during the current lockdown.
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Family Voice Peterborough, Pinpoint, Sendiass and Peterborough City Council have written jointly to parents and carers to make them aware of the current government guidance and the work being done with local schools during the “challenging” climate.

Parents and carers of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) have told Family Voice about a number of issues, including over school meals which they say do not meet their child’s needs.

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These issues have been raised with the local authority, and parents are being encouraged to have their say through Family Voice’s new lockdown survey which will help inform decision makers.

Family Voice PeterboroughFamily Voice Peterborough
Family Voice Peterborough

The joint letter states: “We have asked schools to work with parents/carers to identify the best way of meeting children and young people’s needs as best they can, whether this is face-to-face, remote learning or a blended offer.

“We have been working with schools to help them to think about how they might best support the most vulnerable within their communities. We have emphasised that decisions will need to be reviewed on a regular basis, as the national and local picture develops.

“Schools have been encouraged to communicate directly with families to identify any individual circumstances or needs that might have to be considered when making or reviewing an offer.

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“Schools have been asked to contact you in the first instance to agree any decision. Please do feel able to contact your school directly, if you have a concern or you have not yet heard from your school.”

According to the Government:

. All children with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) are eligible to attend school, as are children with additional needs, at the discretion of the headteacher.

. Children and young people deemed extremely vulnerable should not attend school and should remain at home as much as possible.

The letter states: “If your child is clinically extremely vulnerable please liaise with your school who will continue to support you.

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“If your situation changes or you have concerns about your child’s well-being then please contact your child’s school. Any queries regarding your child’s attendance should be raised with your school in the first instance.”

Family Voice Peterborough is a charity which helps to improve the lives of children and young people with disabilities or additional needs.

It has been offering continual support during the coronavirus pandemic, including food packages, wellbeing packs and signposting parents and carers to support which is available, as well as regularly sharing feedback with the local authority.

To answer questions in its latest survey, ‘Accessing educational settings during lockdown’, visit: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfh--RM4cp1kHdkB7kXmBwrYv8XQ6HeN_yo8JbZ1x_oi3puiA/viewform.

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Family Voice can be contacted by emailing [email protected], by calling 01733 685510, or through its Facebook page.

For more information, visit: http://www.familyvoice.org/.

The letter can be viewed in full at: https://www.familyvoice.org/sites/default/files/Letter-to-Parents-Jan-2021.pdf#overlay-context=content/files.