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Advice for parents and carers looking after children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)

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Updated 16th July 

From the beginning of the autumn term, the DfE will expect all pupils, in all year groups, to return to school full-time.  

Government feels it is vital for all children to return to school for their educational progress, for their wellbeing and for their wider development. 

For more information go to the Government website (opens in a new tab)  

Information on what parents and carers need to know about the opening of schools is available here (opens in a new tab) 

Coronavirus and the latest indicators for the UK economy and society: 25 June 2020

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The latest Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN) (collected 18 to 21 June 2020) collated by the office for National statistics (ONS) showed 44% of working adults in Great Britain had travelled to work in the past seven days, an increase from 41% the previous week, following a shift from remote working to travelling to work.

This supplements the latest Business Impact of Coronavirus Survey (BICS), which showed 2% of the UK workforce in businesses continuing to trade had returned from remote working in the past two weeks; 7% of the total workforce had also returned from furlough.

Between 12 June and 19 June 2020, the volume of job adverts in catering and hospitality increased from around 20% to 27% of its 2019 average; education also saw a large increase.

For the full report go to the ONS website (opens in a new tab)

Opening certain businesses and venues in England from 4 July (test and trace)

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Published 23rd June 

The opening up of the economy following the COVID-19 outbreak is being supported by NHS Test and Trace.

You should assist this service by keeping a temporary record of your customers and visitors for 21 days, in a way that is manageable for your business, and assist NHS Test and Trace with requests for that data if needed. This could help contain clusters or outbreaks.

Many businesses that take bookings already have systems for recording their customers and visitors – including restaurants, hotels, and hair salons. If you do not already do this, you should do so to help fight the virus.

Government will work with industry and relevant bodies to design this system in line with data protection legislation, and set out details shortly. 

For more information go to the Government website (opens in a new tab) 

1.1 million more people face poverty at end of 2020 as a result of coronavirus pandemic

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The economic fallout of the pandemic could leave 1.1 million more people below the pre-Covid poverty line at year end, including a further 200,000 children, according to analysis released on 4th June by The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) think tank.

Without urgent action to protect families from the financial hardship caused by the pandemic, this would bring the total number of children living in poverty in the UK to 4.5 million, an increase of almost 5 per cent, IPPR says.

The IPPR analysis provides the first projection of the poverty impact of the crisis since the pandemic began. It draws on Bank of England estimates showing that unemployment is likely to reach just under 10 per cent in the final quarter of this year (Q4).

It finds that the number of children newly pushed into poverty since before the pandemic is likely to be 300,000 at the end of this year. This number is partially offset by the 100,000 children likely to have moved out of poverty, due to emergency reforms to the Universal Credit system introduced in March.

You can read the full report from The Institute for Public Policy Research here (opens in a new tab)

Health and wellbeing of disabled children at risk during pandemic

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New findings from a major survey conducted by Family Fund have highlighted the impact of Coronavirus on families raising disabled or seriously ill children, as emergency funding is announced by the Department for Education.

Family Fund conducted two surveys on 27 March and 30 April, to track the continuing impact of lockdown, finding:

94% of families said the health and wellbeing of their disabled or seriously ill children had been negatively affected, an increase from 89% in first few weeks of the lockdown.

89% said their disabled or seriously ill children’s behaviour and emotions were being negatively affected and 82% reported a negative effect on their mental health.

65% said their access to formal support services for their child, such as physiotherapy and mental health services, has declined since the Coronavirus outbreak.

30% struggled to afford food and a quarter of parent carers (24%) admit to missing meals in the last two weeks, with nearly three quarters of families now having no savings to fall back on.

The biggest concerns for families are around educating and entertaining their disabled or seriously ill children at home (74%) and their children’s health and wellbeing (71%).

You can read or download the findings here (opens in a new tab)

Fully funded short courses for businesses and individuals

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Employers and individuals can sign up to gain new skills and a recognised qualification with Total People’s FREE short courses.

Total People is offering a wide range of online short courses, including CPD Certified and Level 2 courses, the equivalent to a high grade GCSE, for adult learners that cover a broad range of subjects in Management, Digital and Health and Social Care.

Qualifications include:

  • Level 2 in Equality and Diversity
  • Level 2 covering the Principles of Team Leading
  • Level 2 IT User Skills
  • Mental Health Awareness
  • Dementia Care
  • Autism Awareness

Courses are available to employees looking to upskill, people who have been furloughed, and businesses looking to access Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for existing or furloughed employees. Individuals currently unemployed or who have recently been made redundant are also eligible to apply.

All courses are available to start immediately and delivered online through distance learning, which means individuals can study online at home, supported by a dedicated learning advisor.

These courses are delivered with funding partners including Skills Support for the Workforce – part of the Growth Company, Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the European Social Fund.

For more information go to Total People (opens in a new tab)

Legal aid changes for online immigration appeals “will do irreparable harm”

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The Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association (ILPA) says that adjustments to legal aid rates will deter lawyers from taking on the most complex cases and push already cash-strapped legal aid firms out of business.

The Civil Legal Aid (Remuneration) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020, (opens in a new tab) published on 18th May, sets a new legal aid fee for appeals lodged online through the “core case data” platform, or CCD. The President of the First-tier Tribunal, Michael Clements, wants most appeals to be filed via CCD during the pandemic.

The standard fixed fee for a case lodged through CCD will now be £627 for an asylum case, or £527 for a non-asylum case. The Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association (ILPA) says that this has major implications for cases that settle before a full hearing — which CCD is specifically designed to encourage.

Lawyers can, roughly speaking, charge a more commercially viable hourly rate once their work on a case exceeds three times the value of the fixed fee. At the moment, the fixed fee is £227, so only £681 worth of work is required before hourly rates can be claimed. With a higher fixed fee, hourly rates can’t be charged until much more work has gone into the case — £1,881 for an asylum case (i.e. three times the new standard fee of £627).

You can read the full statement from the ILPA here (opens in a new tab)

GambleAware: UK gambling addiction much worse than thought

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The first ever Treatment Needs and Gap Analysis report has found that one in two problem gamblers in Great Britain have not accessed any treatment or support, while 17% of those gamblers experiencing any level of harm report having used some type of treatment or support in the past 12 months.

The report highlights a number of barriers to accessing treatment and support, such as a lack of awareness of available services, social stigma (27% of problem gamblers were likely to experience stigma or shame), or reluctance to admit gambling problems, with nearly one in five (17%) problem gamblers saying that their gambling was not harmful.

The report also found that women, BAME communities and individuals from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, may not be having their treatment and support needs adequately met, and recommends the provision of more flexible options.

You can read the full press release here as an online pdf (opens in a new tab)

You can read the report here (opens in a new tab)

State of the Sector 2020

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Charities plan to deliver more services, increase funding for research and build partnerships with others, research by New Philanthropy Capital (NPC) has found.

NPC’s second State of the Sector report was published on 18th May, and it warns that before the Covid-19 crisis took hold charities were already struggling.  The report identifies nine activity areas, such as service delivery and building partnerships, where charities expect to increase activity, with no area where they expect to reduce activity.  However, the report notes that income is not expected to increase in line with this, and says: “This suggests that, even before coronavirus, charities were spreading themselves ever thinner across a broadening number of working areas.

  • Some of the findings:
  • More than half of charities spoken to held a public sector contract. 59% of these are subsiding their public sector contract(s) with income from other areas such as public fundraising.
  • 95% of respondents this year agreed that the use of data and evidence were important to them achieving their mission.
  • It found that charities were doing more of everything they asked about in 2017 and planned to do more in future. This came despite overall funding for the sector remaining relatively static, which suggests that charities were already spread thinly before the crisis.

You can read the report here   (opens in a new tab)

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