VIEW, together with RNIB and other partners and practitioners, are collating responses from across the sector on protocols, guidance, risk assessments around the safe return to the school premises.
RNIB and VIEW Back to School Guidance
This briefing focuses on support for children with VI in mainstream schools. However, many of the principles and suggestions may also be helpful in other types of education settings.
This document has been produced alongside: VIEW – Considerations for students with vision impairment returning to school after the lockdown (Word, 61KB), (June 2020) and Habilitation VI UK – Coronavirus (COVID-19): Habilitation & Mobility Risk Assessment Guidance (May 2020) which provide further detail.
Guidance from across the sector (VI)
We are creating a repository of documents for sharing with services and staff around the UK. These have been kindly shared by colleagues across the sector, with the intention that they are used in consultation with your own health and safety advisors/officers when considering approaches for safe return to school premises. VIEW does not accept any responsibility for the way in which these guidelines are interpreted or implemented on the ground.
- New guidance launched for HE providers – Covid-19 specific guidance for Higher Education Providers from Thomas Pocklington Trust (TPT), Guide Dogs and LOOK UK
- Tolerating Face Masks – Information from CVI Scotland on supporting children with a vision impairment to tolerate wearing masks and/or face coverings.
- New College Worcester – Guidance for students who have a vision impairment as they return to school (Word, 455KB)
- Habilitation VI UK – Coronavirus (COVID-19): Habilitation & Mobility Risk Assessment Guidance (endorsed by Habilitation VI UK)
- Sheffield City Council – Vision Support Service
- Southend-on-Sea VI Outreach Service – Considerations when working with pupils with visual impairment (VI)
- Moor End Academy
- How to support learners with VI to understand the 2 metre social distancing recommendation – adapted for learners with vision impairment by Stephanie Phillips QTVI. (Original source Phoenix Learning and Care – Speech and Language Therapy Team)
- Lancashire County Council
- How can SENCOs respond to the COVID lockdown and transition back to school? – Nasen webinar recording
Call out for contributions
If you have developed policies or procedures that you would give permission to be published here, or signposted to elsewhere, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
General resources (not VI specific)
- Birmingham Communication and Autism team – youtube video – tips on how to support children coping with anxiety on returning to school
Department for Education guidance
The Department for Education wants to build temporary educational psychologist capacity in England to support schools and colleges returning in September.
- Updated: 26 August 2020 Guidance on temporary changes to special educational needs and disability legislation during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Changes to the law on education, health and care needs assessments and plans due to coronavirus (COVID-19)
- 2 July – Guidance for full opening: special schools and other specialist settings: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-for-full-opening-special-schools-and-other-specialist-settings
- SEND Newsflash – 2 June 2020 – Coronavirus (COVID-19): implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings – guidance for education and childcare settings on how to implement protective measures
- Actions for education and childcare settings to prepare for wider opening from 1 June 2020 – Updated 1 June 2020 to reflect the announcements made on 24 May 2020.
- Updated guidance for settings managing children and young people with SEND – supporting those with EHC Plans. Published 19 April 2020. Last updated 26 May 2020.
- Conducting a SEND risk assessment during the coronavirus outbreak – Updated 26 May 2020.
- Preventing and controlling infection, including the use of PPE in education, childcare and children’s social care settings during the coronavirus outbreak – Published 14 May 2020.
- Back to school plans from September: coronavirus Changes to learning and teaching in schools from September
- Operational guidance for schools and settings from the autumn term How schools and other providers can make their sites safe for staff and learners.
- Guidance for independent boarding and residential special schools in Wales: coronavirusGuidance for independent schools in Wales with boarding or residential provision.
- Guidance on learning in schools and settings from the autumn term This guidance provides advice on learning and teaching that schools and settings may wish to provide from the autumn term.
- Guidance for supporting vulnerable and disadvantaged learners This guidance provides advice and sets expectations relating to support for vulnerable and disadvantaged learners for a range of scenarios.
- “Check in, Catch Up, Prepare for summer and September” – all schools in Wales to enter next phase
- Our latest understanding of COVID-19 with respect to children and education – Welsh Government
Scotland and Northern Ireland
Education settings will remain closed for the foreseeable future – except for children of key workers and children who are the most vulnerable.
More information is available on the UK Government websites:
- Northern Ireland – plus guidance on vulnerable children
- Scotland and for local arrangements see your local authority.
Other useful resources
- British Psychological Society Guidance to support education professionals to meet the psychological needs of children as they plan for their return to school during the Coronavirus crisis.