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Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic information

Ask-Listen-Act Impact of COVID-19 and lockdowns study

A new study has been launched to learn more about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns on children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Over the next six months, the project team will work with children and young people with SEND their parents/carers and professionals to co-develop key priorities for the future to reduce the long-term effects of COVID-19 and lockdowns for these children.

Special educational needs and disabilities include a range of difficulties or conditions, including those relating to communication and interaction, cognition and learning, social, emotional and mental health difficulties, and physical/sensory needs, as well as those with disabilities and specific learning difficulties.

The study, funded by the National Institute of Health Research, is being led by researchers from Liverpool John Moores University, Edge Hill University, the University of Liverpool, Liverpool Health Partners and a steering group of key stakeholders, parents and children and young people with SEND.

The study, which aims to inform policy and funding priorities both locally and nationally is entitled Ask, Listen, Act – Working Together to Inform the Provision of SEND Support for Children after the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The surveys are now live as of 16th June and can be found on the link below for the next month and may be extended depending on uptake.

Here’s the link to the online survey

We would be really grateful if you could support this getting out to children with SEND aged 5-15 and their parents; education, health and social care professionals who work with children with SEND; and policymakers/local authority staff who work in children’s services.

Government Guidance - education and childcare

The Education secretary, Gavin Williamson, announced the government’s plans for the full re-opening of schools in September, separate guidance for special schools, early years and childcare providers and FE colleges and providers is now available. The expectation is that children and young people with SEND will be able to return to full-time provision from the beginning of the Autumn term.

Full opening guidance available below:

How remote education is working for children and young people with SEND

  • Ofsted video – findings on remote learning, what has worked well for some children and young people with SEND
Easy Read Guides and Vaccine video

Vaccine video – this is a short film from NHS England and NHS Improvement developed for people with learning disabilities and/or autistic people. It describes what a vaccine is, how vaccines are made, why you should get a vaccine, whether a vaccine make you ill and how to decide whether to have a vaccine or not.

Easy Read Guides

Dr Rhona Hobson's guide for parents about 'What is normal?'

Dr  Rhona Hobson, Halton’s Principal Educational Psychologist has produced guidance about the normal responses that we all have and feel in this difficult situation for what is normal? 

Although it has been written for young people, the advice and suggestions provided will be helpful to us all as we move to the transition, recovery and learning phase in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Aftermath of COVID-19 pandemic – what is normal

Psychological First Aid training

Public Health England have launched a new psychological first aid (PFA) online training course to help support children and young people that have been affected by emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic. The training is available to all frontline workers and anyone who cares for or is regularly in contact with children and young people aged up to 25, including parents and caregivers.

Mental Health and Wellbeing
Coping with your child’s anxieties and behaviour

  1. Make sure to take care of yourself. Remember the airline safety briefing that tells adults to “put on your own oxygen mask before helping others”?  This same advice applies to challenging or traumatic experiences and children’s well-being too. Children cope better when their parents are resilient and have strong social supports
  2. Try to establish a “new normal” in terms of daily routines
  3. Children tend to like predictability and routines and it can be tricky without school to structure the day
  4. It might help to make a daily schedule while schools are closed so that kids know what will happen during the day and when it will happen

 

ChatHealth

Halton 0 – 5 Parents Service: 07507 327025

Halton 5 – 19 Parents Service: 07480 635988

Halton 11 – 19 Young People’s Service: 07507 330521

ChatHealth is an anonymous messaging service that provides a safe and easy way for service users to send a message to a healthcare professional and receive confidential help and advice.
The aim of implementing ChatHealth into Bridgewater is to further improve service user access to health and well-being support particularly in light of COVID19 pandemic.

Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust 0-19 Service (Health Visiting and School Nursing) aim to provide the best start for our children, young people and families. Their role is key to improving the health and wellbeing outcomes of our children and young people and to reduce inequalities. All staff provide evidenced based advice and support to local parents, carers, children and young people from pregnancy up to the age of 19 or up to the age of 24 for children and young people with a disability or complex need. Care is provided at a range of universal contacts alongside additional more targeted contacts, which are undertaken according to need. Our 0-19 Services utilise a whole system approach by working together with other professionals and services to deliver high quality care

Halton Borough Council: information for children, young people and families about going back to school/educational provision

Halton Borough Council: information for children, young people and families about going back to school/educational provision 

Things that might be helpful
Halton 0-19 Healthy Child Service Newsletter - COVID-19 Update

This newsletter reflects some of the fantastic work undertaken by the service during ‘lock down’ and explains some of their plans to continue to support children, young people and families in Halton as the restrictions are lifted

Newsletter 0-19 Halton

Halton Borough Council's Update - EHC Plans

We are committed to continue to support the EHC Plan process, however, not all the assessment advice will be immediately available.  Assessments for an EHC Plan may look different as these are not currently being undertaken face to face. We have moved to do this work by telephone or video calls where possible. Our decision-making panels will still take place but this work will be done remotely. We will continue to review these necessary changes.

Things around Education

Pupils of all ages – primary and secondary levels of education

Educational Helpline for staff, parents/carers and young people

Opening hours: 8am-6pm (Monday to Friday)

Parents/Carers

Educational Settings

Residential Educational Settings, Boarding Schools, Residential Special Schools/Colleges and Children’s Homes

GOV.uk Isolation Guidance and COVID-19 to support management of children and young people