DfE – guidance for full opening: special schools and other specialist setting – updated

We (the DfE) are writing to inform you that today we have updated our Guidance for full opening: special schools and other specialist settings

Overall the guidance has been updated and refreshed to reflect that we are now coming towards the end of the autumn term and the expectation is that all children and young people, in all year groups and setting types, remain in education settings full time where possible. Additionally, we have further updated the information in the following sections: 

  • SEND legislation (ceasing temporary changes) 

o    We have updated this section to reflect that the temporary changes to SEND legislation have now ceased.  

  • System of controls: Prevention (Section 1) 

o    New section included on ventilation.  

o    Updated guidance on staff coming into close contact with someone who is symptomatic.  

o    References to bleach removed as no longer recommended by Public Health England. 

o    Update on the use of face shields or visors 

o    Updated advice on the use of face coverings in Local COVID Alert Levels high or very high (whilst recognising some people may be exempt from wearing them and this section is temporarily superseded by the new national restrictions guidance). 

o    Further guidance on the use of healthcare plans. 

  • System of controls: Response to any infection (Section 1) 

o    Updated information on the NHS Test and Trace system. 

o    School home test kits information. 

o    The       NHS COVID-19 App. 

  • Special residential settings (Section 1) 

o    Guidance on self-isolating for children and young people. 

  • Attendance (Section 2) 

o    Clinically extremely vulnerable children and young people (temporarily superseded by the new national restrictions guidance). 

o    Recording attendance. 

  • Workforce (Section 2) 

o    Clinically extremely vulnerable staff (temporarily superseded by the new national restrictions guidance). 

o    Guidelines       for pregnant staff. 

o    Recruitment during coronavirus (COVID-19). 

o    Initial teacher trainees. 

  • Safeguarding (Section 2) 

o    Safeguarding leads. 

  • Wraparound provision and extra-curricular activity (Section 2) 

o    Consistent       use of groups or bubbles. 

  • Curriculum expectations (Section 3) 

o    EYFS disapplications. 

  • Behaviour expectations (Section 3) 

o    Tool to support the re-engagement of pupils. 

  • Contingency Planning for remote education (Section 5) 

o    Processes in the event of local outbreaks (temporarily superseded by the new national restrictions guidance). 

o    Temporary continuity direction information for remote education. 

As mentioned above, in some sections the guidance is currently impacted by the national restrictions which came into force on Thursday 5 November. Whilst they are in place this guidance will link directly into them, and these links will be removed when the restrictions cease. We expect that there will be further updates on the national restrictions very shortly.

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