Coronavirus parent SEND survey — August 2020
Parents of children with SEND should be given more time to choose whether or not to send their children back to school for the new academic year, according our research.
While the majority of parents of children with SEND (64%) are willing for their child to return to school in September (32% have yet to decide whilst 5% say they will not), many SEND children have health conditions that put them at a higher risk from Covid-19. Many also have additional support needs when attending school, often formalised in an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), but requirements for schools to provide were relaxed during the crisis. This move has disrupted children’s learning and left parents not knowing how and if necessary support will be provided once schools return.
Our findings show that 90% of parents would like the right to decide whether or not their child with SEND goes to school in the autumn term. This comes as the government in Westminster makes attendance compulsory with few exceptions from September.
Our findings also show that nearly two thirds (72%) of parents who said they would not, or did not know if they would send their child back to school at the start of the next academic year said their biggest concern was the risk of their child catching Covid-19. Half (50%) were worried that social distancing would be impossible for their child, and over a third (39%) were concerned that their child would struggle to understand and manage any change in teachers and/or class. Over a third (36%) were worried that their child will not get the same level of support that they had before.
There is less confidence (compared to other parents) in returning children to school with no social distancing measures in place. Only 27% said they would be happy for their children to return to school without any. 44% would not be happy and 29% are unsure.