Returning to School During COVID-19 Pandemic

Last Updated: 28th August 2020 (Not currently being updated. If you have any ideas or suggestions please email: [email protected])

Transitions for those with a special educational need or disability can be difficult to manage at the best of times. A good transition can have incredible benefits towards the success that a child or young person experiences whilst in education. The opposite of this can also happen. With the added changes made as a result of COVID-19 it is especially important that children, young people and their parents/ carers feel safe in knowing that their transition will be a good one. Schools should be helping to manage a return to school in a way that is safe and works best for their students but there are things you can do at home to make the return as successful as it can be.

It is for this reason that this page has been created - to store links to resources that are designed to help manage school transitions. Some of the resources are general and useful for a range of transitions and others are COVID-19 specific. If you have created or know of any resources or services that you think would be beneficial to include on this page please contact: [email protected] or through our Facebook

The most up to date information from the Government and West Sussex County Council on schools reopening can be found in the following documents and web pages:

Educational Psychology Service (EPS)

Dr Audrey Hunt and Dr Denita Whitelock from the West Sussex Educational Psychology Service have produced on line resources for parents to support their children’s wellbeing and the positive return to school. For more information on EPS visit their Local Offer service card.

Supporting your child with their emotional wellbeing during the COVID 19 pandemic:

How parents can support their child’s anxiety about returning to school:

Strategies and resources to support primary age children’s return to school:

Preparing the return to school secondary age:

Resources from the West Sussex Learning and Behaviour Advisory Team (LBAT) & Autism & Social Communication Team (ASCT):

The LBAT and ASC Teams have created 'Getting Started Guide to Returning to School in September 2020' which is a great place to start when thinking about helping your child manage their return to school.

More Resources from LBAT and ASC Team:

ASC & LBAT Team School Transition Booklet

ASC & LBAT School Transition Booklet KS 3

ASC & LBAT School Transition Booklet KS 3

The West Sussex Educational Psychology Service have some leaflets on Emotionally Based School Avoidance that can be found on the Local Offer website.

More Resources

Reaching Families' second animation video titled 'Coronavirus and going back to school' (via their facebook page)

Widgit have produced a free Back to School Toolkit which contains some resources to help prepare for returning to school in September.

Managing unexpected endings and transitions booklet from Anna Freud, National Centre for Children and Families. A practical guide to support pupils and students to manage change during periods of disruption.

A guide for those experiencing anxiety due to uncertainty from Autistica

Transport to school during COVID-19. Information on how West Sussex County Council are adapting school transport to the current COVID-19 situation.

Social Emotional Mental Heath Fact Sheets, Booklets and Videos section on the Local Offer website

Resources from Aspens:

Helpful Events and Training

Preparing Autistic & SEND Children for going back to school is a free online course you cant take and consists of a series of videos.

The Big Transitions for Autistic and SEND Pupils after Lockdown. A free 'course' with practical help, advice and resources to help you prepare your Autistic and SEND children for the big transitions as lockdown begins to ease.

Public Health England have published a question and answer document in regards to what schools should be doing in preparation for students returning.

Support Services in West Sussex


Reaching Families (RF)

West Sussex Parent Carer Forum (WSPCF)