The questions below have been highlighted as frequently asked question by families who have a child/young person with special, education needs and disabilities throughout the coronavirus crisis. Just click in to the relevant drop down sections.
If you would like to ask a question please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your question. Answers to questions can be found below and when required we will be updating as and when new guidance and information is available.
Q. I have safeguarding concerns about a child, who should I contact?
A. It is important that if you have any safeguarding concerns that you immediately contact the Multi-agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) on 0300 500 80 80 If you require an urgent response outside of working hours (08:30-17:00), contact the Emergency Duty Team (EDT) on 0300 456 4546.
In an emergency please call 999. To report a crime please call 101.
Q. What support can I expect from Nottinghamshire County Council at this time?
A. Nottinghamshire County Council has co-ordinated a Coronavirus Community Response Hub to support the vulnerable residents of the County. If you are currently receiving support from Adult Social Care, Children's Social Care or have a disability or mobility issues and are requiring support during the coronavirus outbreak then you can contact the council via the online form or contact the Customer Services Team on 0300 500 80 80.
Q. What support can I expect from my local District Council?
A. District councils are offering community support which is being co-ordinated as part of the larger Nottinghamshire County Council Community Response Hub. Information on local support for each district can be found in the links below and includes information on local services, financial and community support.
Q. Will my child have to wear a face mask when they return to school?
A. In England, secondary schools will have the ''discretion'' to require face coverings in communal areas, where social distancing is not possible.
However, they will be mandatory for schools in parts of England that are under a local lockdown or facing extra government restrictions.
The new guidance extends to further education colleges but not to primary schools.
There is no requirement for pupils of any age to wear face coverings in classrooms during lessons, because the government says they could "inhibit learning".
Q. I’m worried we will be asked to provide some education or learning for our children whilst they are off school due to periods of self-isolation but I know my child will struggle to engage at home?
A. Schools will have prepared resources to send home for children and young people ready for periods of self-isolation. Clearly, this may be much harder for some children with learning difficulties or additional needs. It’s important to take into consideration the whole families wellbeing and provide what you feel is suitable and achievable in relation to your own personal circumstances.
Information about home learning for families who have children/young people with SEND can be found here: SEND Resources
Q. My child is not re-engaging in education since Covid-19, where can I access support?
A. The Local Authority will continue to support schools to ensure that they work together with parents/carers and the professionals involved with children and young people who are not able to access their education their education provision on site due to social, emotional, mental health needs.
Initial guidance and support can be sought from the Health-Related Education Team whilst longer term plans are put in place by the school.
Q. What is happening with annual reviews now children and young people have returned to education?
A. At present annual reviews are being organised by schools and educational settings. Sometimes these are in schools but some are also continuing via telephone and videos. Whilst schools and educational settings are doing all they can to ensure Annual Reviews go ahead there may be times when due to Covid 19 issues these may need to be re-arranged. This will be between the educational setting and family to discuss and agree on any change of date. Once the meeting has been held the paperwork is sent to the ICDS Assessment Team for us to complete any agreed amendments.
Annual review amendments are being completed and issued via secure mail to parents, carers and young people where appropriate. When an Annual Review has been held and the paperwork has been sent to the Local Authority, one of the ICDS Assessment team may make a personal telephone call to parents/carers to alert them that an amended plan is being sent and this will also offer parents/ young people an opportunity to raise any concerns they may have at this time.
Q. Are SEND tribunals still going ahead?
A. Tribunals are still going ahead via telephone and video. We shall be updating families if this changes in line with advice from the government. If families should require any further information please contact the ICDS Assessment Team via:
Telephone 0115 804 1275 or Email:
Newark, Sherwood & Bassetlaw areas: icdsehcBandNSlocality@nottscc.gov.uk
Mansfield and Ashfield areas: icdsehcMandAlocality@nottscc.gov.uk
Broxtowe, Gedling and Rushcliffe areas: icdsehcBGRlocality@nottscc.gov.uk
Q. I’m worried about how my child’s education setting will care for my child who has special educational needs and does not understand why they must stay apart or may ignore distancing guidelines?
A. Young children and children with special educational needs may not be able to understand the need for social distancing and may also seek close interaction with their peers or adults to provide reassurance at a period of disruption to their routines.
All education, childcare and children’s social care settings will have undertaken risk assessments around managing groups of children within the setting. This should include limiting the number of children in each group to provide more space in each classroom or learning area.
As far as possible, small groups of children should be supported by consistent staffing, and groups should remain as consistent as possible throughout Covid-19.
Q. My child receives respiratory support in school, are schools still going to be offer this support?
A respiratory support, can also be referred to as an Aerosol Generating procedure (AGP) a medical procedure that releases airborne particles (aerosols) from the respiratory tract, when suctioning is or mechanical ventilators are required. The droplets produce have the ability to transmit viruses.
The list of AGP below, has been shortened to evidence those procedures that may take place in schools and social care settings
- respiratory tract suctioning
- manual ventilation and mechanical venitalators
- cough assist devices
- tracheostomy procedures; tube changes
- upper ENT airway procedures that involve (deep) suctioning
- non-invasive ventilation (NIV); Bi-level Positive Airway Pressure Ventilation (BiPAP) and Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Ventilation (CPAP)
- induction of sputum using nebulised saline
- high flow nasal oxygen (HFNO)
If your child or young person requires any of the AGP’s listed above, please be advised that Nottinghamshire County Council Public Health team and Health service providers have worked collaboratively to ensure that education settings and children’s social care settings have access to resources, support and local guidance, to enable their best endeavors to ensure a safe return, for children and young people and members of staff.
Please liaise with your education or children’s social care setting to ensure that the necessary guidance, risk assessments and support has been considered in the planning of your child or young person returning to their setting
Q. Should my child be going to their hospital appointment?
A. Frontline services have mostly returned to normal service delivery; community paediatricians; risks assessments are being undertaken to ensure that it is appropriate to continue to access as previously done so before. You will be contacted by the services to advise of any alternative arrangements that have been put in place or receive information in the post on what will be required from you and your child, when you attend your appointments. If you have not received any correspondence telephone call to the secretary or team the appointment is with (detailed on the appointment letter) will advise you of proposed action to be taken.
Q. My child's medication is proving very difficult to get hold of and I have a limited amount left. Who should I contact?
A. There have been no changes to the availability and delivery of medications in respects to the COVID 19 national guidance, all normal process remains to be functional.
Requests for repeat prescriptions should always be made, in advance of the prescription running out and are to be obtained via normal routes e.g. from your GP or Community Paediatricians.
If you have knowledge there is a reduced availability of the medication required, please contact the professional who would normally issue that prescription; GP or Community Paediatricians, for advice ,support or consideration of an alternative medication to meet needs.
If you have a Community Nurse that supports and manages the needs of your child/young person, seek advice and support from that team with any queries or concerns relating to meeting health needs
Alternatively; telephone calls to other local pharmacies, may be able to advise if medication is available or not or make recommendations of action to be taken.
Please be mindful, during the COVID 19 crisis, that social distancing guidance remains to be implemented when accessing local pharmacies, opening hours have changed please check them before attending local stores. Please follow the guidance in place at the pharmacy stores, ensuring standing 2m (6ft) apart whilst queuing and follow the one in one out system implemented to maintain safety for yourself and others.
If you require other items other than medication e.g. equipment there is a link that has been provided to support parents to request deliveries or essential supplies – it does state for GP to register but it has been advised this is not required: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable
Q. I need to access Mental Health Support for my child as they are unable to cope with the anxiety of Covid-19. Who can I speak to?
A. Families are still able to access their Healthy Families Teams via telephone for advice and support. They are not currently doing face to face visits, but their advice line is manned. Contact detail can be found here.
CAMHS (child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) are still able to receive referrals and GP’s are available for advice and support albeit virtual or over telephone. For contact details of your local GP services please click on the following link: Find a GP
Other contacts for mental health support can be found on the Local Offer here. You can also access a list of organisations who provide mental health support for children and young people by clicking on this link and the drop down section called 'mental health support for children and young people'.
Q. I am very concerned that if my child needed to go into hospital, he wouldn't cope without me and others wouldn't understand his needs, he can't advocate for himself, and he would have a severe meltdown. What can be done?
A. Children and young people can find going to hospital a daunting experience and create anxieties for all involved, parent/carers included. Staying in hospital can be frightening, particularly for children. They're suddenly in a very different place, surrounded by people they don't know. This is partly to do with treatment that they may be receiving, but also because the hospital is a new and strange environment, full of new sights, smells, noises and people.
Healthcare workers and hospital staff within children services have knowledge and awareness of assessing and meeting the needs of their patients. Please be advised that guidance has been circulated to ensure that healthcare professionals are able to continue to offer support in ensuring understanding to meet the needs of CYP with mental health, learning disabilities and autism, during this difficult time.
You can usually stay with your child in hospital, this arrangement has not changed, therefore ask staff to arrange an extra bed or mattress for you. However, to support and manage the COVID 19 guidance issued by the government and NHS England, locally, adjustments have been made to support adherence to the social distancing requirements and to keep you and your child/young person safe;
One parent/carer is permitted to stay with the child and /or young person, at their bedside, parents have been asked that they wear masks when away from the bedside and follow the national NHS guidance to reduce the risks of spreading infections. It has also been requested that change over for parent/carer should take place outside of the hospital e.g. if one parent wishes to swap places with the other that this is done outside the hospital building. One parent can stay overnight and be available to care for their child, you should advise nursing staff so that they are able to make arrangements for you.
There are no visiting times available for any other members of extended family or friends whilst the social distancing and lockdown is in place.
Q. Should my child’s Carer be keeping the social distancing 2 metre rule?
A. Wherever possible yes, but this depends on the support being offered. If you receive Personal Assistant support in the home, it is easier to maintain the 2m rule, with appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in place. Personal intimate care clearly puts the worker and young person within the 2m rule, however in these cases enhanced PPE is used to protect the worker and the young person. As long as we can protect both the young person and the worker, we will deliver care where it is assessed as being essential.
There is government guidance available to support care workers who offer care in the family home, the guidance can be found here
Q. I am being offered a Speech and Language appointment by Skype how can this work?
A. The Speech and Language Therapy Service are adapting the way they work in order to still support children and young people who currently require this service, how they operate the service is being developed day by day. Speech and language therapists will be contacting families to inform them of the changes to the service.
In the future to ensure a continuation of this service, you may be offered a virtual face to face meeting. This will be dependent on how urgent the need is and on the child/young person’s abilities and needs. Direction and support regarding how a virtual meeting will work will be offered by your speech and language therapist.
To ensure that any virtual meetings have been purposeful, when the lockdown is over therapists will plan to make contact with families that has only had a telephone-delivered programme and review how things are going to decide, with the family, what next steps are required.
If you have any further queries you should contact your speech and language therapist or their team directly.
NHS England and Improvements have issued guidance for health service providers to follow, this currently states that no face to face delivery of cares should be undertaken unless absolutely essential; SLT support for eating and drinking. NHS England have also advised, all NHS employees to wear PPE at all times, when providing cares. Delivery of SLT packages of care, can be difficulty to provide wearing this equipment and dependent on the need of your child. Therefore, a virtual contact to support, may be more appropriate, until further guidance issued by NHS England and Improvements
Q. Why are NHS professionals wearing PPE in education and school settings in the community, when education staff have not be informed to do so?
A. NHS England and Improvements have advised in their guidance to their employees that this is required when delivering cares. In education settings, therapists and nursing staff will be crossing numerous settings and numerous bubbles by wearing the enhanced PPE they are hoping to reduce any risk of spreading infections as they try to meet the needs of vulnerable children and young people and other colleagues.
Q. My children have only recently come off Child in Need Plans and this current Coronavirus situation has put our family in Crisis. What should I do?
A. If you feel further support is needed because your child/family is vulnerable or at risk due to the coronavirus situation and your child has recently come off a Child in Need Plan, you should contact the the Multi-agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) on 0300 500 80 80 If you require an urgent response outside of working hours (08:30-17:00), contact the Emergency Duty Team (EDT) on 0300 456 4546. In an emergency please call 999. To report a crime please call 101.
Q. Where can I access support about behaviour during isolation?
A. In the first instance, parents are advised to speak with their child’s school about the concerns which they have about their child’s behaviour. Schools in their turn have access to support through consultation with education support services. In some situations it may be appropriate for these support services to speak directly with the parent, and this is best organised through the school.
Other sources of behaviour support can be found under the 'behaviour support information' drop down by clicking on the following link: Coronavirus Resources
Q. I am a single parent, if I got sick with Coronavirus and needed treatment what would happen to my child with SEND?
A. Each case would be assessed individually to understand the family’s circumstances and be dependent on how severe the coronavirus symptoms are and how able the young person is and their age.
All potential support networks (wider family and friends) would be contacted to understand if they could offer support during this period. If no potential support was available or was unsuitable from family and friends, the Local Authority would explore with you what other support was available which in some circumstances might include a temporary placement.
If you are in this position, please contact your usual worker to discuss arrangements. If there is no current worker involvement please contact the Multi-agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) on 0300 500 80 80 If you require an urgent response outside of working hours (08:30-17:00), contact the Emergency Duty Team (EDT) on 0300 456 4546.
Q. Are short breaks still taking new applications at this time?
A. The ICDS Short Breaks Assessment and Review Team is continuing to assess and review any new and existing short break packages. However, there are new guidelines as to what provision can be put in place at this time more information can be found here under the 'Integrated Children's Disability Service (ICDS)' drop down.
Q. Short breaks have advised me to pay my PA regular hours but they don't work regular hours. What should I do?
A. Families who have a personal assistant will have already been contacted by the Commissioning Team, however if your PA doesn’t work regular hours then you do not need to make payment. If this is the case could you please contact the Commissioning Team on 0115 804 2677 or email email@example.com
Q. Can I still apply for benefits including Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Personal Independence Payments (PIP) and Employment Support Allowance (ESA)?
A. All services remain open and people are encouraged to make a claim if they believe they need support, or to update the department on a change of their circumstances. The DWP are still taking claims as usual so you can follow the customary routes to complete an application for DLA or PIP. From Tuesday 17 March face to face assessments have been cancelled, this is being kept under review.
Anyone who makes a new claim or is due an assessment will be contacted, if necessary, to discuss next steps, which could involve either telephone or paper-based assessments.
We will shortly be writing out to some PIP and DLA claimants asking them to complete paperwork to resume their reviews, reassessments and renewals. For PIP cases where paperwork has already been returned, claimants may be contacted by one of our Assessment Providers.
If you have already made a claim for Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Universal Credit but do not have a date for an assessment appointment. You will be contacted shortly by telephone or letter to let you know what will happen next.
More information can be found here: GOV.UK
Here are useful contacts specifically for families with children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. These organisations have produced frequently asked questions, which they are updating regularly and also have lots of other useful information and resources:
Just click on the links below, which will take you to their websites or use the contact details to get in touch:
The Government have produced a set of fequently asked questions relating to 'What you can and can't do' during the coronavirus outbreak. To access these FAQs please click on the following link: GOV.UK
NHS England have produced a Frequently Asked Questions document. You can find this by clicking on the link here: FAQs
The best way to contact is to email CDC@ncb.org.uk Alternatively, you can leave a voice message on 020 7843 6000.
The new 'CDC questions' inbox firstname.lastname@example.org provides the opportunity to ask questions about how coronavirus will impact on children and and young people with SEND as well as other questions relating to the impact on families. They will collate Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and share them with the Department for Education (DfE) and Ministers as appropriate in order to publish an FAQs newflash each Friday.
If you are a parent carer with a question about your individual circumstances you may be able to find an answer here:
Call their free helpline 0808 808 3555 or email: email@example.com
Office Number: 0330 995 0400 (please note this line is not an advice line) or email: firstname.lastname@example.org