The government has said that all children who can safely be cared for at home, should stay at home, to limit the spread of the virus. However, children whose parents are key workers and those classed as “vulnerable” may be eligible to attend school, nursery or college.
Vulnerable children include those who have a social worker, and those with Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans. Children who fall into these categories should only attend a setting if this is absolutely necessary.
Settings have carried out risk assessments of all children and young people with EHC plans. If a risk assessment has shown that a child cannot safely be cared for at home, they should have been offered a place. This does not have to be at the setting they normally attend, and is for childcare rather than education. Parents are under no obligation to take up this offer, and they won’t be fined for non-attendance if they don’t.
For children who do not have an EHC plan, settings have discretion to undertake a risk assessment and offer support if that is needed.
If you feel that you need further support or that your child needs to return to school, please contact your child’s school who will be able to review their risk assessment with you.
You can also apply for emergency childcare on the Sheffield City Council website.
Sheffield City Council has asked schools to contact parents of children with an EHC plan at least once a week, and those who have a child at SEN Support (including those with a MyPlan) at least once a fortnight. However, many families will need more contact than this, and schools are advised to keep talking with families to work out the best approach.