Coronavirus (COVID-19): information, advice and frequently asked questions

Coronavirus (COVID-19): National and Local Information and Guidance

UPDATED: 23rd July 2020

We know this is a difficult time as families are adjusting to this new, temporary way of living. We hope that this page will be able to help by giving specific information that you need, tips and advice on how to help and support your child at home, and also answer any questions you may have.

If you know of any information or guidance that could be added to these pages, then please let us know by emailing [email protected]. Also, if you have any questions and cannot find the answer here, then please get in touch with us.

General information and guidance

For the most up to date general information on the Governments response to COVID-19 go to the Government website.

Up to date information on shielding for the the most vulnerable can be found on the Governement website

Vicky Ford the Under Secretary of State For Children and Families has written an open letter (released 21st July) to those with SEND and those who care for someone with SEND. You can download the letter here.

Information on schools reopening can be found in the 'Opening schools and educational settings to more pupils from 1 June: guidance for parents and carers' web publication created by the Department for Education.

A Guidance document and a referral form to book a test for key workers is now available.

Information from Central Government

Information about First-teir Tribunals

More national information and support available

West Sussex Specific Information and Guidance:

For the most up to date general West Sussex information and guidance on COVID-19 please go to the West Sussex County Council website.

West Sussex Community Hubs can offer support if you are struggling to ensure you have food for your family, collect medication or in need of any additional support for your child with additional needs. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need assistance. For more information go to the West Sussex County Council Website Community Hub page. You can also phone 033 022 27980 between 8am and 8pm.

The West Sussex Short Breaks Team have produced an Accessible Virtual Short Breaks Wiki. The Wiki is all about sharing fun and support from familiar, local faces and voices as well as to help bring activities, resources and other things that people with a range of SEND's can do at home. Open Virtual Short Breaks in a new tab.

West Sussex Children and Young Peoples - Mental Health & Emotional Wellbeing Services. During the management of COVID-19, children and young peoples' emotional wellbeing and mental health services continue to provide online and telephone support, and face to face support when medically necessary. Please see West Sussex Children and Young Peoples Mental Health & Emotional Wellbeing Services for resources and links to support.

Reaching Families have created a new "social animation" designed as a tool to help parents talk to their children about coronavirus and the "new normal" we are all trying to adapt to.

West Sussex Libraries have developed a current offer, which is a virtual version of their Library service.

The West Sussex SEN Assessment Team have provided an information for families document which has information relevant for those currently going through the EHC Needs Assessment process.

Reaching Families are publishing a new series of fact sheets on Coronavirus and SEND. Topics covered so far are: anxiety, behaviour, benefit changes and education provision. To view these factsheets and more go to the Reaching Families Factsheet page.

The West Sussex Inclusion Team have created 'Support for children with SEND during the COVID 19 crisis: Information for Schools and Parents'. This contains a brief summary of some of the teams within the County Council and how their provision has been changed as a result of COVID 19. Download the Word Document.

EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY SERVICE (EPS) CALL BACK (This service is closed during the summer Holidays) The EPS have opened up a telephone consultation service in response to the current situation. This is open to all parents and carers who live in West Sussex and practitioners who work in West Sussex. For more information see the Educational Psychology call back Local Offer page

Reaching Families and the West Sussex Parent Carer Forum have put together questions and answers based on the questions that families in West Sussex have been asking them over the last few weeks. As the organisations are made up of parent carers, they are fully aware of the difficulties these circumstances may bring, so have also included information, tips and advice that they have found helpful. They have adapted the support that they provide so that they can still help you during this time - information on this is included on this web page.

You can see West Sussex Parent Carer Forum's information and response to the Coronavirus on their website

WSCC have produced 'Tips for Families' and 'Tips for Schools' , each version can help when discussing the Coronavirus and well-being with children and young people.

Whether you have a Compass Card or not, you may want to look at the relevant page on the Amaze - Compass Card site. They have gathered useful information to help you find things to do while Covid 19/Coronavirus is restricting our movements. Their page will be updated regularly.

Aspens have published a letter explaining changes to their service as well as a poster about their virtual Face to Face sessions.