The organisation Parentkind (formerly PTA UK) has conducted research into how parents of children with SEND feel about them going back to school in the new school year.
The findings (based on a survey completed in July) show that 64% are willing for their child to return in September; only 5% say they are not willing, and 34% are still undecided. 90% of the parents would like the right to decide whether or not their child goes to school in the autumn term; school attendance become compulsory again from the beginning of term, with the potential of fines for non-attendance.
The main concern for parents of children with SEND is their child catching COVID-19. Many are also worried that their child will not be able to use social distancing, that their child will struggle to understand changes in teacher and/or class, and that their child will not receive the same level of support as before.
These results underline the importance of schools communicating effectively with all parents, but particularly with the parents of children with SEND, in order to reassure them about the measures being put in place for their child, and how the risks about which they are concerned will be minimised.
See an infographic of the survey’s findings. This infographic includes information on what parents have found helpful, and more detail about their concerns, which SENCOs and teachers may find useful in thinking about their approach this term.