What is coronavirus?
Where can I go for advice?
What are the new stay at home rules?
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Monday 23rd March that there would be new restrictions implemented. People will be allowed to leave home only for the following reasons:
- shopping for necessities, as infrequently as possible;
- one form of exercise a day, such as running or cycling, alone or with household members;
- for medical or care needs, for example to help a vulnerable person;
- travelling to and from work, but only if you cannot work from home.
Meeting friends, shopping for anything beyond essentials, and gathering in crowds are now banned.
Why am I not going to school?
The vast majority of schools have been closed to limit and delay the spread of coronavirus.
Do I still have to go into school if I am classed as vulnerable or if I have a key worker parent?
Schools are still open to children who are classed as vulnerable and children who have key worker parent/s. It is not compulsory that children who fall into either of these categories have to attend school – the government do recommend that children should remain at home if at all possible. However, parents may have no other option but to send their child to school.
Do I have to study at home if I am not going to school?
It is still expected that children will receive education at home whilst they are not going to school. The child’s school and the local council should be able to provide online learning resources which will help parents in delivering education at home.
Children and young people with an EHC Plan
The government are asking local authorities to work with educational providers, families and the child or young person to carry out a risk assessment to judge whether the child or young person’s needs cannot be met safely at home.
Where the risk assessment determines a child or young person with an EHC plan will be as safe or safer at an educational setting, it may be more appropriate for them to attend the educational setting.
Many children and young people who have an EHC plan can remain safely at home. Where the risk assessment determines a child or young person with an EHC plan will be safer at home, it may be more appropriate for them to stay at home. Responsibility for commissioning any at-home provision lies with the local authority responsible for maintaining the EHC plan, though it may be possible for some of the provision to be provided by the school or college even in a home setting.
Children and young people who have a social worker
Children and young people assessed as being in need under section 17 of the Children Act 1989, including children who have a child in need plan, a child protection plan or who are a looked-after child.
These children and young people are encouraged to attend provision, unless their social worker decides that they are at less risk at home or in their placement, for example, due to underlying health conditions.
I have parents that live in separate homes. Can I still have contact with both parents under the new stay at home rules?
The guidance is clear that children can move between their parents’ homes under the new stay at home rules. The decision whether a child is to move between parental homes is for the child’s parents to make after a sensible assessment of the circumstances, including the child’s present health, the risk of infection and the presence of any recognised vulnerable individuals in one household or the other.
One of my parents is refusing to allow me to have contact with my other parent. What can I do?
Decisions should be made which are in the best interests of the child and this includes the child’s health. The circumstances may be such that it is not possible to have direct contact with one parent if to do so would not comply with public health guidance. However, alternative arrangements can be made which could include the child having remote contact via telephone call, Facetime or Skype.