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  • Writer's pictureEllie Costello

The Observer

Yesterday's Observer (4 October 2020) featured an article by Chaminda Jayanetti about how SEND provision is being squeezed out by Covid guidance. Square Peg is referenced in the article.

We are hearing many stories of parents whose child's EHCP provision and SEN support can no longer be provided because it doesn't fit with Coronavirus guidance. More worryingly, we're seeing a much more forceful attendance agenda, with the only justifiable reasons for absence being seen as shielding under a consultant's recommendation. As we know, this disregards all the pupils who were already facing barriers to attendance pre-pandemic, let alone new cohorts of children who were perhaps only just coping or who have suffered a bereavement or other trauma in lockdown. Whilst undiagnosed or unsupported SEND is often the trigger for anxieties around attendance, there is a wider SEMH and mental health issue here. We would like to see more comprehensive coverage of the barriers to school attendance and the increasing concerns around children's mental health and the influence of current attendance and behaviour policies.

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