Restoring Disabled People’s Rights: Coronavirus ‘Protect Everyone’ Bill

ALLFIE’s March 2021 Covid-19 campaign briefing covers: ALLFIE’s response to the UK Government’s recovery ‘roadmap’; the ‘Protect Everyone’ Bill; Plus, a call to action – please write to your MP ahead of the Bill debate.

“The Government’s response to the pandemic has left some people behind. It’s time for a fresh approach, one that prioritises support and human rights, so that everyone is protected during this public health emergency” Liberty UK

Welcome to ALLFIE’s March Covid-19 campaign briefing, covering:

  1. The Coronavirus Rights and Support (‘Protect Everyone’) Bill
  2. What ALLFIE is doing
  3. What you can do: Write to your MP

1. The Coronavirus Rights and Support (‘Protect Everyone’) Bill

The Coronavirus (Rights And Support) Bill – better known as the ‘Protect Everyone’ Bill – is a joint response from Liberty and Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) including ALLFIE, calling for the removal of Children and Families and Care Act’s easements under the Coronavirus Act.

On 25th March the Government is debating ‘the bill’.

“When this pandemic hit, we needed a Government response that we could be confident would protect us. But we got the Coronavirus Act.

Instead of hope and support, the Government has watered down our rights, plunged millions into extended lockdowns with confusing communications and prioritised punishment over support – hitting already marginalised communities hardest.

The Government’s pandemic response both oversteps the mark and under-delivers for those who need support most.

When the Coronavirus Act is up for renewal in the coming weeks, MPs must vote against this harmful approach. This will trigger a three-week window to create its replacement. That work is already done.

We’ve teamed up with expert charities, NGOs and lawyers to present a positive alternative: The Protect Everyone Bill.

The Government has said it wants to ‘build back better’. The Protect Everyone Bill is how we do so.” Liberty ‘Protect Everyone’ briefing 25 February

For more information:


The Coronavirus Act 2020 was passed in Parliament in March 2020. This emergency legislation provided the UK Government with powers to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. ALLFIE reported throughout 2020 and 2021 how this has eroded Disabled people’s rights, including for education, health and care.

ALLFIE’s lockdown inclusive education survey highlighted how many Disabled pupils and students have had no education for over a year, or remain without the necessary support within mainstream educational settings – with severe and long lasting impact upon their lives. The important data and findings gathered from this survey enabled ALLFIE to make numerous submissions to Parliamentary committees and inquiries, including:

  1. Women and Equalities Committee Inquiry: Unequal impact? Coronavirus, disability and access to services
  2. Joint Committee on Human Rights Inquiry: The Government’s Response to COVID-19: Human Rights Implications
  3. Education Committee Inquiry: Impact of COVID-19 on Education and Children’s Services
  4. SEND All Party Parliamentary Group on Covid-19 Inquiry

2. What ALLFIE is doing

As we move into the recovery phase of the Covid-19 pandemic and the UK Government’s ‘roadmap’ out, ALLFIE is working with Liberty, and Deaf and Disabled People’s Organisations (DDPOs) including Inclusion London, to demand  the removal of easements to the Children and Families Act and Care Act.

Work with Liberty

ALLFIE has been working with Liberty to demand  the removal of easements to the Children and Families Act and Care Act. This includes contributing to the Coronavirus Rights and Support ‘Protect Everyone’ Bill – a rights-respecting legislative response to the coronavirus pandemic. It repeals the powers contained in the Coronavirus Act 2020 which put civil liberties at risk, and establishes measures which provide people with the protections they need in a public health crisis.

For more information:

Work with DDPOs

ALLFIE has produced this joint Deaf and Disabled People’s Organisations (DDPOs) briefing with Inclusion London and Disability Rights UK, calling for the Government to Restore the Rights of Disabled People:

Restore the Rights of Disabled People: Coronavirus Act 1 Year Review

3. What you can do: Write to your MP

Write to your MP/Minister ahead of the debate on 25th March (suggested wording below):

Find your MP using Liberty’s useful tool: Liberty Human Rights

Mr Gavin Williamson MP
Secretary of State for Education
Sanctuary Buildings
Great Smith Street,
London SW1P 3BT

Date: (add)

Dear Mr Williamson

I am writing to ask that you remove the easements allowing local authorities to depart from their duties to arrange the special education needs and disabilities (SEND) provision necessary for Disabled children and young people in schools and colleges, as contained within the Coronavirus Act 2020 under Schedule 17 covering the relevant sections of the Children and Families Act 2014.

I also want to ask you to expand the Right for Remote education guidance to include minimum and universal standards of accessible and inclusive remote education for Disabled children and young people.

The on-going evidence is that neither local authorities nor schools are consistently complying with their duties to arrange provision for Disabled children within either school or home settings.


I am not alone in asking this of you. The Disabled Children’s Partnership have identified that just under half of families reported that their children with education, health and care plans have been without some or any SEND provisions whilst attending school during lockdown.[i]

ALLFIE have also experienced various difficulties in supporting Disabled children and young peoples’ right to access inclusive remote education. According to the Nuffield Foundation, 30% of families have limited IT access, and many pupils have struggled to engage with online learning due to their needs.[ii]

As the country moves out of the pandemic and into the recovery phase, it is vital that Disabled children and young people do not face continued disruption and further educational disadvantages.

I am thus looking forward to hearing from you about removing the education easements and developing inclusive remote education statutory guidance.

Yours sincerely

(add name)

[i] Disabled Children’s Partnership. (2020). The return to school for disabled children during lockdown. Retrieved from

[ii] Amy Skipp, Vicky Hopwood & Rob Webster. (2021). Special education during lockdown: providers’ and parents’ experiences. Retrieved from