ALLFIE Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update July
Our July Coronavirus (COVID-19) update covers: important changes to the Children and Families Act 2014; Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessments and plans; Schools Admissions Code consultation.
Welcome to ALLFIE’s July Coronavirus (COVID-19) law and policy update, covering:
- Important changes to the Children and Families Act 2014
- EHC needs assessments and plans: Government guidance on temporary legislative changes relating to coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Schools Admissions Code: Consultation
Important Changes to Children and Families Act 2014
On 2 July, the Secretary of State announced that the Children and Families Act s(42) easement will be removed from the end of July. Following this Local Authorities will be under an absolute duty, rather than use their reasonable endeavours, to secure the SEND provision for disabled children and young people’s Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans.
The lifting of the 20-week limit for the completion of EHC assessments and plans, to allow greater flexibility, will continue to be in place until 25th September. The Secretary of State for Education will review this easement in September.
The Secretary of State for Education has announced that schools will reopen for all pupils from September. Bubbles containing limited class sizes of 15 pupils to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 will be removed from the beginning of the school’s autumn term. Instead, the bubbles will expand to cover whole classes so that every child is able to return to school.
For more information about the Government’s plans to reopen schools read their July press release: Schools and colleges to reopen in full in September
EHC needs assessments and plans: Government guidance on temporary legislative changes relating to coronavirus (COVID-19)
For more information about changes to the law on education, health and care needs assessment and plans due to Coronavirus, you can read the Government’s July updated guidance:
Education Health and Care needs assessments and plans: Guidance on temporary legislative changes relating to coronavirus covid-19
Further Government guidance relating to Coronavirus (COVID-19) and education:
Guidance for schools: Guidance for schools: coronavirus (COVID-19)
Guidance on schools reopening: Full opening: special schools and other specialist settings
Guidance for higher education reopening: Higher education: reopening buildings and campuses
Changes to the Schools Admissions Code: Consultation
The revised code seeks to clarify and improve the school admissions process where children are admitted to school in-year, so outside of the normal admissions round. The revised code will also provide additional information and details that will support admission authorities in discharging their duties effectively.
These changes are primarily intended to support the most vulnerable children. We are not seeking views on the wider changes to the admissions system and other elements of the code at this stage.
The consultation will run until 16 October 2020. Find out more here: Government consultation: Changes to the School Admissions Code.
ALLFIE Campaigns and Policy Coordinator