Advice, guidance and support for parents and carers of children with vision impairment during COVID-19.

Guidance for returning to school in September – what this means for children and young people with SEND

This guidance is for parents or carers with children and young people with SEND returning to school.

The government has produced a support package for families who are struggling to access the internet as part of home schooling.

We have created a guide with useful links for support and other information for parents, carers and families of vision impaired children during the COVID-19 pandemic. Support for families of VI children during COVID-19

The Government has also produced tips to help parents support children with home education.

Read our short guide on how to support your vision impaired child with transition from primary to secondary school on the Children, young people and families advice and resources page

There have been changes to SEND law and Education and Health Care plans during the pandemic. This brief guide has some links on how you can find further information around these changes. Guidance and FAQ's from Gov.UK 

During our recent survey of how children have been impacted by the closure of schools following the pandemic, we have heard from parents who have concerns about their child’s learning during the ‘lockdown’ period and how their mental health has been impacted.  Some parents are choosing not to send their child back to school. If this is the case, your child should still have access to home learning provided by the school.

‘Vulnerable’ children, including those with EHCPs (Education, Health and Care Plan) can return to school as of 1/06/20. There are concerns about the safety of children following the wider re-opening of educational establishments.  The expectation to send children back to school is subject to the completion or updating of a risk assessment. Risk Assessment Guidance.

Amendment to the Children and Families Act

At the end of May a modifications notice extension was made to EHCPs. This means vulnerable children do not have the legal protection provided by their EHCP within school. The term ”reasonable endeavours" is being used instead of the child’s EHCP.  This was reviewed at the end of June and extended to remain until 31 July. For further information on this please visit EHCP changes. You can also find further information at Gov.UK EHCP and IPSEA.

With other disability charities, TPT is calling on the Secretary of State not to further extend the amendments to Section 42 of the Children and Families Act 2014 under the Coronavirus Act 2020. The weakening of rights under Section 42 has led to greater regional variation in levels of education, health and social care support and many families have gone months without any of the vital support their children rely on day to day. Read the joint letter to the Secretary of State.

If you are concerned about any of the above please contact [email protected] 

Education Select Committee Inquiry

The Education Select Committee is conducting an inquiry into the impact of COVID-19 on education and children’s services. TPT, in partnership with other sight loss organisations, conducted surveys of both parents and carers, and sight loss sector professionals to feed into this inquiry. This will help committee MPs understand what effect COVID-19 has had on the lives of children and young people with vision impairment and their families, and how they can plan for the future.

Summer Food Fund

The COVID Summer Food Fund will enable children who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals to be supported over the summer holiday period. The payments for the COVID Summer Food Fund will be met centrally by DfE. This is in addition to the free school meals national voucher scheme and will support children who usually receive benefits-related free school meals.  More information on this can be found on the