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I accept that it is impossible to implement social distancing measures in Special Schools and therefore risk assessments for those schools are likely to be complicated and complex, which is why at the time of writing only 7 of the 39 schools have been able to open.
Special Schools are what it says on the tin, they are special. Like all schools they are more than a place of education, they are a place of medical and therapeutic interventions, they provide respite for exhausted parents, carers and siblings, they provide routine and social interaction for children who need it to make sense of a confusing world and they provide education, care and fun.
It is disappointing that after 7 weeks, the vast majority of our Special Schools have still been unable to open. Whatever barriers are in place must be overcome so that some children can enjoy their right to education and families can get the support they need.
Some short break and respite care services for children, have closed whilst staff have been understandably redeployed but I have been assured that these are now available, albeit in a reduced way.
In the coming weeks I look forward to seeing how greater co-operation between health and social care, education and schools will alleviate the stress placed on families and children with a disability. It is important that families continue to receive the support that they need from these services.