Check out the latest information and advice on coronavirus (COVID-19).
Department for Education Coronavirus Helpline
Parent carers, staff and young people can contact the helpline between 8.00am to 6.00pm Monday to Friday:
We have a new webpage dedicated to the Coronavirus or COVID-19.
03/04/2020 - The National Deaf Children's Society new blog
This blog has been written for families with deaf children. It covers things that parents need to be aware of in the coming days and weeks, such as school closures, access to hearing aid repairs and batteries, and supporting deaf children during the spread of coronavirus. NDCS has also written one for deaf children.
03/04/2020 - Wellbeing booklet
The Derby County Community Trust has developed this booklet to improve your skills that will support you with your wellbeing.
02/04/2020 - Statutory timeframes for EHC assessments
We're working hard to keep the EHC plan process moving during the current COVID-19 outbreak. Assessments for an EHC plan may look different as it becomes more difficult to do our work face to face. We may need to do more by telephone or video calls where possible. Our decision-making panels have moved to online meetings. We'll continue to review this over the coming weeks and we will keep you updated.
27/03/2020 - Derby COVID Support Group
Some good news in these difficult times - Thanks to our brilliant colleagues across DCC, Derby Homes and other partners, we’ve now launched a community hub – the Derby COVID Support Group – that will support our most vulnerable residents during the coronavirus crisis. Read full details about accessing support and volunteering your help on the Newsroom.
27/03/2020 - Coronvirus guidance
27/03/2020 - Coronavirus e-news
Disability Rights UK has developed practical information for disabled people during this difficult time. They will keep this page up to date with information and links to government and institutional guidance.
26/03/2020 - Government WhatsApp
The UK Government has today launched a GOV.UK Coronavirus Information service on WhatsApp. To use the free GOV.UK Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp, simply add 07860 064422 in your phone contacts and then message the word ‘hi’ in a WhatsApp message to get started.
Use Code: WIDGIT30 to access ready-made materials for 30 days from Widgit Online.
25/03/2020 - Easy Read advice on Coronavirus
Public Health England is sharing this Easy Read advice on Coronavirus
24/03/2020 - Childcare for vulnerable children and children of critical workers
Childcare settings are now only open to the most vulnerable children and those whose parents' work is critical to the Coronavirus response. If this is you, search this special childcare directory.
24/03/2020 - Letter from Vicky Ford, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families
Here is an open letter to children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), their parents, families and others who support them from Vicky Ford, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families. The letter signposts key Covid-19 guidance published over the past week.
24/03/2020 - Support/ Helpline for Parents of school age children in Derby from the Specialist Teaching and Psychology Service (STePS)
The current situation is unprecedented. You may be feeling overwhelmed and anxious for your own family and personal safety whilst also caring for your children 24/7, supporting loved ones and trying to maintain your own mental health and wellbeing. We are all under a huge pressure to help out, support each other and do the right thing. So how can you protect your own mental health and wellbeing and be providing the support your children need? Here are 6 key themes:
All STePs staff are still currently working albeit remotely. If we can be of any help or support to you please do get in touch. You can contact us by phone or email. You can call us on 641400 or email us at email@example.com and we will try to identify the most appropriate person to help you.
Eleanor Moore – Specialist Teaching Service Manager and Senior Educational Psychologist
Richard Lakin – Principal Educational Psychologist
23/03/2020 - Update on school closures
You will have seen the announcements over the past few days about school closures for everyone except children of critical workers and vulnerable children, in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The government has now published questions and answers about these changes: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-vulnerable-children-and-young-people
The government has also published guidance on isolation and COVID-19 to support management of children and young people in residential educational settings, including boarding schools, residential special schools and specialist colleges and children’s homes: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-isolation-for-residential-educational-settings
We understand that these are uncertain times and that you will have a lot of questions and concerns. We encourage you to keep up-to-date by regularly checking the gov.uk webpages; this is where we will publish reliable updates and guidance. We will endeavour to signpost new or updated guidance via newsflash emails. If you need any further advice, you can speak to an adviser on the DfE Coronavirus helpline. The number is 0800 046 8687 – lines are open 8am-6pm Monday – Friday, and 10am-4pm on Saturday and Sunday.
The other most recent updates on the school closures announcements are:
23/03/2020 - Exams and grades
On Friday 20 March, the government released further information about the process for awarding grades to students who were expecting to sit GCSEs, AS and A levels this summer. The advice can be found using the link provided:
Ofqual response response to the Department for Education's statement on exam arrangements in 2020:
21/03/2020 - COVID-19 recources and guidance
The Council for Disabled Children has gathered a list of resources and guidance about coronavirus to share with parent carers, children & young people and education, health and social care practitioners.
20/03/2020 - Coronavirus UK: a practical guide if you’re disabled.
The outbreak of the Covid-19 (a coronavirus) in the UK means a rocky and uncertain time for many of us, particularly if you have a long-term health condition or disability. To ensure you have the right information to help stay healthy and happy, Disability Horizons has collated some practical advice.
19/03/2020 - Coronavirus and UK schools closures
The guidance by Division of Educational Psychology has been produced rapidly, in response to the UK Government announcement that from Friday 20 March, schools in the UK will close. This has good information and advice for schools and parents. We understand that this situation is likely to continue to develop as further details emerge.
19/03/2020 - Coronavirus - Helpful resources
16/03/2020 - Worried about Coronavirus?
Special Needs Jungle has some sound advice to calm Coronavirus anxiety in children and everyone else:
04/03/2020 - Department for Education Coronavirus helpline
A new helpline has been launched to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education. Staff, parents and young people can contact the helpline as follows:
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 8.00am to 6.00pm
Where to find the latest information
Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas:
03/03/2020 - Local Area SEND Insight Pack
Andy Smith, Director of People Services at Derby City Council and Dr Chris Clayton, Chief Executive Officer of NHS Derby and Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group:
"We are happy to announce that the Derby City Council and Derby and NHS Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (DDCCG) Local Area SEND Insight Pack is now available to view."
We welcome the recommendations and key findings outlined in this very helpful Public Health document as we improve SEND provision for our children and young people in Derby.
28/02/2020 - New SEND directories
Parents and carers requested that the directories contain SEND only services so we have created brand new directories not including universal services. You can find these directories within any of the topic areas such as education, health and wellbeing and preparing for adulthood.
27/02/2020 - Worried about Cororvirus?
The government is closely monitoring the spread of the Coronavirus and is taking action at home and abroad. The overall risk of Coronavirus to the UK remains moderate. However we understand that people may be concerned so please see the lates updates here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-information-for-the-public
26/02/2020 - Mum's pride at son's Down's syndrome book
Marian Tinnelly hopes a new book she has written with her nine-year-old son, Connor, and his dad, Fred Rodriguez, could change how people see those living with Down's syndrome. Together, the family wrote I Am Connor about Connor's experiences.
19/02/2020 - The Big Pedal 2020
Join the The Big Pedal 2020 walking and scooting challenge. It inspires hundreds of thousands of pupils, staff and parents to choose human power for their journey to school. This is the 10th anniversary of the challenge and Cycle Derby and Derby County Community Trust have teamed up with European Mountain Bike Champion, Danny Butler in a bid to get all 64 primary and junior Derby schools to take part, and make Derby the most active city in the country.
SEND Pupils can use a wheelchair or scoot to school or pupils who are unable to scoot/cycle to school may use school/static/adapted bikes and count journeys made at school, e.g. during school break times, in the playground. The Big Pedal will take place Wednesday 22 April - Tuesday 5 May 2020.
17/02/2020 - The READY Study
The READY Study or “Recording Emerging Adulthood in Deaf Youth” study wants to find out more about what modern life is like for 16-23 year old deaf people as they enter adulthood. Find out more and watch signed videos.
13/02/2020 - The Accessibility Summit
Naidex 2020 will host the Accessibility Summit! The summit is a complete exploration of the digital and physical accessibility environment, and promises to feature revolutionary seminars and pioneering suppliers that will demonstrate and examine the very latest technologies, ideas and adaptations created to promote and enhance ease, comfort, style and ultimately independence.
30/01/2020 - Coproduction Workshop
On Wednesday 29 January, the Local Offer team attended a Coproduction Workshop whereby we extended our knowledge of working processes. Building on the coproduction values of mutual respect, honesty and positivity, we learnt the importance of co-delivery and of being a critical friend.
28/01/2020 - Hiki disabled dating app: first ever for people with Autism.
Hiki (pronounced “hee-KEY”), is the first-ever dating and friendship app for people with Autism. The mobile app provides a safe space for people with Autism to celebrate their uniqueness and embrace who they are. It is a place where being different is destigmatised, and where friendships, love, and a sense of community can flourish. Founder Jamil Karriem tells all.
Contact is helping the NHS test an early intervention course for parents with pre-school children with learning disabilities; supporting parents to manage their child's behaviour. More than 190 parents have already joined the study, and there are still some places left. Are you interested in helping?
17/01/2020 -The perfect fitting shoes for your child!
Contact understands many disabled children may have different feet sizes depending on their conditions. This is why Fledglings has made it easier for you and your child to find a pair which fit perfectly! Our entire range of Memo Children Footwear is available for customisable shoe size combinations. Just leave a note at checkout about which size for left and right feet you require.
14/01/2019 - Disability Horizons opens new online shop
Disability Horizons, the online lifestyle magazine for disabled people, has launched its own disability living shop, selling what it describes as “a curated range of disability products from trusted suppliers.”
The online Disability Horizons Shop features products that have each been selected via a combination of recommendations from its community of readers and through the magazine’s years of experience in the sector, according to the publication.
09/01/2020 - Local Offer Steering Group
To support the co-production of the Local Offer site, we have a Local Offer Steering Group which consists of representatives from:
All members are responsible for raising the profile of the Local Offer and sharing information with their networks.
The concept of co-production means that all parties need to be involved in the planning, design and delivery throughout the process. All parties aim to think of creative ways to shape the information and guidance available to Derby’s parents carers, children and young people.
The group currently meets every month to discuss and review the website; the meetings are used to consult on the Local Offer site and discuss all future development and improvement activities. If you would like more information or to be a member of the Local Offer Steering Group please contact the Local Offer at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01332 640758.
03/01/2020 - Eating disorder hospital admissions rise sharply
Hospital admissions for eating disorders have risen by more than a third (37%) across all age groups over the last two years, figures show. Experts described the figures as "worrying" and urged the government to promote early intervention. There were 19,040 admissions for eating disorders in 2018/19, up from 16,558 the year before and 13,885 in 2016/17. The NHS Digital data for England found the most common age last year for patients with anorexia was 13 to 15. A quarter of admissions in 2018/19 were for children aged 18 and under, at 4,471. More than half of these (2,403) were for anorexia, up 12% from the previous year. This included 10 cases of anorexia among boys and six among girls aged nine and under.
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