Guidance

Changes to the law on education, health and care needs assessments and plans due to coronavirus (COVID-19)

Guidance on temporary changes to special educational needs and disability legislation during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

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This guidance is for:

  • families and parent carer forums
  • SEND Information, Advice and Support Services
  • local authorities (both their SEND and social care services, at a strategic and operational level)
  • health commissioning bodies such as Clinical Commissioning Groups (at both strategic and operational level)
  • early years providers, schools, colleges and other education settings
  • mediation advisers
  • others who contribute advice and information to education, health and care (EHC) needs assessments, such as:
    • educational psychologists
    • other health care professionals

It should be read alongside the Special educational needs and disability code of practice: 0 to 25 years.

The code of practice does not reflect the temporary changes to the law described in this guidance.

We have also published related Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for schools and other educational settings which you may find useful.

Published 30 April 2020
Last updated 26 August 2020 + show all updates
  1. Updated guidance to show that the Amendment Regulations will expire on 25 September 2020.

  2. Updated to reflect the expiry of the notice modifying section 42 of the Children and Families Act on 31 July.

  3. Guidance updated to reflect announcement on 2 July that, unless the evidence changes, we will not be issuing further national notices to modify section 42 of the Children and Families Act 2014.

  4. Guidance updated to reflect the issue by the Secretary of State of a further notice, relating to the month of July 2020.

  5. Updated guidance with additional or amended material, including as to: cases in progress on 1 May 2020; annual reviews for those with EHC plans changing phase of education; actions following a tribunal ruling; and unchanged duties in relation to social care provision in plans. Also improvement to the format of the tables in Annex A and a minor change to footnote 1.

  6. First published.