Peterborough City Council and Cambridgeshire County Council, in response to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government direction, have launched a COVID-19 coordination hub to provide targeted support for those most at risk during the Coronavirus outbreak.
The hub has a specific focus on providing access to food, medicines and other supplies, as well as co-ordinating adequate staff and resource capacity to meet demand in critical service areas, such as the NHS and social care. www.peterborough.gov.uk/coordinationhub
Temporary changes to legislation around Education, Health and Care Plans. Read more on the Newsflash below.
LATEST COVID-19 UPDATE 26 May 2020
The Department for Education on 26 May published some updated SEND guidance around supporting children and young people with SEND as schools and colleges prepare for wider opening. Read the guidelines here.
Temporary changes to legislation around Education, Health and Care Plans
The government has announced temporary changes to the law on Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessments and plans. This is to give local authorities, health commissioning bodies, education settings and others who contribute to these processes more flexibility in responding to the demands placed on them by Coronavirus.
The Secretary of State for Education issued a notice under the Coronavirus Act 2020 to modify section 42 of the Children and Families Act 2014 - duty to secure special educational provision and health care provision in accordance with EHC plan. The modification to Section 42 means that: the duty on local authorities or health commissioning bodies to secure or arrange the provision is temporarily modified to: a duty to use ‘reasonable endeavours’ to do so.
There will also be changes in the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Regulations, temporarily amending the statutory timescales for various EHC needs assessment and plan processes. The Special Educational Needs and Disability (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 (the ‘Amendment Regulations’) temporarily amends four sets of Regulations that specify timescales that apply to local authorities, health commissioning bodies and others: mainly for various processes relating to EHC needs assessments and plans.
Minister Ford, Parliamentary-Under Secretary of State for Children and Families, and Minister Whately, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Care, wrote a joint ministerial letter to children and young people with SEND and their parents and carers.
Minister Ford and Minister Whately note:
‘We know that as parents and others involved in the care of this vulnerable group, your primary concern is their health and wellbeing. As the Ministers for SEND and Care, we share those concerns and want to reassure you that these changes are temporary and all other requirements of the EHC process remain unchanged.’
The link to the changes in Government Guidance can be found here.
Access the Modification Notice; EHC plans legislation charges here.
In addition to the ministerial letter and government guidance a presentation from the government is available here.
Secretary of State for Education's Letter to Schools This is a letter from the Secretary of State thanking schools for their work in the current crisis.
See other government COVID-19 guidance for post 16 and colleges here
SEN and Inclusion Services COVID-19 Support
For lots more information please go to our dedicated webpage:
Council for Disabled Children (CDC) COVID-19 Support and Guidance
The situation with COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is rapidly changing. We are following government advice on how to stay healthy and safe during this time. We have gathered a list of resources and guidance about coronavirus to share with parent carers, children & young people and education, health and social care practitioners. This page will be kept under review and new resources added to the categories as they become available. We hope that you find this information useful.
New Email inbox to answer your questions
The Council for Disabled Children (CDC), following the Minister’s request, has launched a new email inbox aimed to answer questions, collate resources and share information on Coronavirus and the impact on children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). It is designed to be used by professionals, practitioners, parent carers and families of children and young people with SEND.
The new ‘CDC questions’ inbox email address is: CDCquestions@ncb.org.uk,
Further to the recent launch of their CDC Questions email please click on the link to download the latest in the series of weekly CDC FAQs:
Click here to view the Frequently asked questions - Issue 2
British Sign Language - Coronavirus Updates
SignHealth is committed to making sure coronavirus information is available in British Sign Language.
Their content is updated daily.
Court and Tribunal Information
COVID-19 Update – Court and Tribunal Users
(This article published 17/03/2020)
The Ministry of Justice have published high-level advice regarding coronavirus on gov.uk, which can be found here.
This page provides advice and guidance for all court and tribunal users during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and will be updated when new advice is available.
If there are wider changes to the operational running of the courts this will be communicated in the first instance through their digital channels:
The Tribunal are increasing the use of phone, video and other technology to continue as many hearings as possible remotely throughout the COVID-19 outbreak.
Guidance has now been published to support those who have been asked to join a hearing by telephone or video using BT MeetMe, Skype for Business or Cloud Video Platform (CVP) during the coronavirus outbreak.
This guidance can be found here.
Family Voice Peterborough
Family Voice are running a helpline daily (Monday to Friday) from 12 noon to 3pm, for any parent carers who need advice or signposting, or simply someone to talk to about what they are going through.
You can call on 07780 586 475
You can also email for advice and signposting on:
Here is a poster which you can download detailing this information.
The Goldhay Centre, although closed to the public, is now being run as an emergency hub to provide support to Peterborough residents. Parent/carers can email Family Voice if they need help getting basic food supplies and will be provided with parcels of support. You can find out more on the Family Voice Fare Share poster.
Things to do at home
This pdf document that you can download here, has been produced by one of Family Voice trustees in her role of family support worker for Barnardo’s.
Easy Read documents
British Broadcasting Corporation - BBC
Learning Disability England
We are using these pages to share information and resources about the virus and what you can to do to stay safe and well, and how people are staying connected and finding solutions.
The work we are doing is to support self advocates, family members, direct support staff and organisations with dealing with Coronavirus and the changes that means.
Be aware of Coronavirus email scams
Security experts say a spike in email scams linked to coronavirus is the worst they have seen in years.
Cyber-criminals are targeting individuals as well as industries, including aerospace, transport, manufacturing, hospitality, healthcare and insurance.
Phishing emails written in English, French, Italian, Japanese, and Turkish languages have been found.
The BBC has tracked five of the campaigns. You can look at the BBC article by following this link
Resources for Parents/Carers/Children and Young People
These resources are taken from a wide range of external sources that parents/ carers/ children and young people may find helpful.
Talking about Coronavirus
Things to do at home during social distancing
In this useful document you can find lots of resources for parent carers and children.
NSPCC Peterborough Newsletter
The NSPCC Peterborough Service Centre are producing regular newsletters and you can read some of them here:
Coronavirus - a book for children
Axel Scheffler (the Gruffalo illustrator) has illustrated a digital book for primary school age children, free for anyone to read on screen or print out, about the coronavirus and the measures taken to control it. Published by Nosy Crow, and written by staff within the company, the book has had expert input: Professor Graham Medley of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine acted as a consultant, and the company also had advice from two head teachers and a child psychologist.
The book answers key questions in simple language appropriate for 5 to 9 year olds:
You can download a copy of the book here
Peterborough Regional College has released their latest updated information for September 2020 applicants and those considering studying with the college. Access the guide here.
Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust
- Temporary pausing of paediatric occupational therapy, physiotherapy and speech and language therapy services
Healthy Child Programme
Our Healthy Child Programme (including school nursing and health visiting) is still active providing essential services. If you need help or advice on your child's development or care:
Call us on 0300 029 50 50
Text us on 07520 649 887
Monday to Friday 9:30 am to 4:30 pm
Are you struggling with anxiety about COVID-19, relationship problems or healthy eating?
Are you a young person from Cambridgeshire or Peterborough aged 11-19 who is struggling with anxiety about COVID-19, relationship problems or healthy eating or have a friend who does? Our free and confidential text messaging service can help. All you need to do is to text 07480 635 443 to get the support you need.
Highlights from the Hub newsletters
Mental Health Advice
The Coronavirus pandemic means that life is changing for all of us for a while.
Organisations across the county and Peterborough have joined forces to launch a wellbeing campaign to help people during the coronavius outbreak.
"Now We're Talking" encourages people to get help if they are struggling with their mental health. The campaign highlights and directs people to the increased support available including:
Lifeline Plus - a mental health and wellbeing helpline for people aged 18 and over living in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough is available Monday-Friday between 9am-2pm via freephone 0808 808 2121.
Lifecraft - who support those in mental distress are operate a helpline between 2pm-11pm and can be reached using the same freephone number as Lifeline on 0808 808 2121.
Qwell - offers online wellbeing support, including educational and self help articles and peer to peer forums. For more information see their website
Keep Your Head- this website brings together all the mental health support available across the county. www.keep-your-head.com/now.
The nhs.uk website suggests 10 ways you can help improve your mental health and wellbeing if you are worried or anxious about the coronavirus. Find further information here.