From the Guardian
Pupils at special schools in England have been “forgotten about” in the rush to restart full-time education, with 20,000 children with special needs unlikely to return to school because of safety concerns, according to a study.
Parents of children with special educational needs and disabilities (Send) said they were concerned about sending their children back to school in September because their children were medically vulnerable or because their child’s needs mean they cannot adhere to social distancing and safe practice.
Headteachers at more than 200 schools and colleges in England told researchers the government’s guidance had been unclear and showed a lack of understanding of how special schools work, the types of pupils they support, and how much they rely on other key services including healthcare and local charities.
Amy Skipp, the director of ASK Research, who led the project, said: “Heads and parents told us repeatedly how they felt forgotten about. Messages from government and the issued guidance have been so confused for children with special needs who faced an impossible situation over the last few months.”
Skipp said those children would often not be able to access the support they needed despite schools reopening.
“Parents should not be being asked to choose between their child’s health and their education,” Skipp said.