How will changes to the law affect SEND provision in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales?
Statementing process - guidance in Northern Ireland
Temporary legislative changes have been made to allow flexibility in both the assessment process and delivery of SEN plans, again using a new ‘best endeavours’ duty to comply with the original duty.
- Notice - Coronavirus Act 2020 Temporary Modification of Education Duties (No.5) Notice (Northern Ireland) 2020
Additional Support Plans – guidance in Scotland
The Coronavirus Act 2020, gave official powers to Scottish Government to close schools and nurseries – ‘educational closure directions’. While these are in place, the legal duty that local authorities provide additional support for pupils is effectively suspended.
Scottish guidance sets out that decisions about ongoing care for children with additional support needs should be made on an individual basis at a local level.
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): nursing and community health staff guidance
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): school and early learning closures - guidance about key workers and vulnerable children
- Coronavirus and additional support for learning
Statementing process – guidance in Wales
The Welsh Government is considering if it needs to take action under the Coronavirus Act 2020 in relation to the SEN provision by local authorities.
Welsh guidance currently suggests local authorities should continue to provide services wherever possible using a practical and flexible approach, including remote options where possible.