Guidance and information: Coronavirus


Southwark Council Guidance


Read Southwark Council's latest advice and information at


Following the Government announcement on the phased return of year groups to school from 1 June 2020, Southwark Council is supporting school leaders to prepare and consider how this can be achieved a safe manner for children, families and staff. 

Decisions will be taken by individual schools based on careful planning and robust risk assessments. These decisions will not be rushed-the requirement at this stage is to consider whether and how a safe school environment can be provided for more children returning in the Early Years, Year 1 and Year 6 and how contact can be managed with Years 10 and 12 and how more children and young people can return to special school. 

A similar process of support by the council is underway with childcare providers in the private and voluntary sector before increasing the number of children able to attend. 

Parents/carers and staff will receive details from their school or early years setting regarding their plans to extend opening or reopen when they are able to confirm that it is safe to do so. 

Government Guidance


DfE Guidance

Please click here (pdf, 446kb) to see the DfE/DHSC Ministerial letter to Children and Young People with SEND, their families and those who support them, regarding pupils returning to school in September.

Click here to see the updated DfE guidance on vulnerable children and young people.


DfE Guidance for full opening of schools in September 2020

It is our plan that all pupils, in all year groups, will return to school full-time from the beginning of the autumn term.  This guidance is intended to support schools, both mainstream and alternative provision, to prepare for this. Click here to view guidance.


GCSEs, AS and A level awarding: Summer 2020

For information on how qualifications will be graded and awarded in summer 2020, please visit the government website by clicking here.


Coronavirus (COVID 19): online education resources

The government has published a list of online educational resources for schools and parents to help children to learn at home. You can access this guidance by clicking here.


Guide to Mental Health and Wellbeing for those with Learning Difficulties

Please click here to download the easy read guide for looking after your feelings and body.

You can find further guidance on looking after your mental health and wellbeing on the Government website.


Closure of educational settings: information for parents and carers

Please click here for information for parents and carers about the closure of schools and other educational settings following the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19)



The Secretary of State has issued a notice to extend the temporary changes to the law on what provision has to be made currently for those with Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans. The temporary changes to the law have been in force since 1 May and are now extended to 30 June. Once the notice expires, the Secretary of State can issue a further notice for a period of up to a month if it would be appropriate and proportionate to do so in the context of coronavirus. We will keep this under close review. We have also taken the opportunity to publish an updated version of Changes to the law on education, health and care needs assessments and plans due to coronavirus.

You can find out more by visiting the Government website


Southwark Services


Autism Support Team:

The Autism Support Team will be operating a remote service during this current time of nursery and school closures. Our specialist team are able to provide consultations to parents/carers, and educational staff via digital communication. This may be a scheduled telephone appointment, factime appointment, email or text message. Please click here to find out more (pdf, 250kb)


Education Psychology - Parent Consultation Service

The Parent Consultation Service offers parents and carers an opportunity to request consultation about the concerns they have about their children at home. Find out more by downloading their leaflet here. (pdf, 243kb)


Southwark Children and Family Centre Service Update

Please click here to download the latest service update from the Southwark Children and Family Centre Service. 


School and Early Years Places

School and childcare providers are currently closed for all children, except for those who are vulnerable or who have a parent that is a critical worker. If you need help finding a school place please email or call 020 7525 5337. If you need help finding a childcare place with a nursery or childminder please email or call 020 7525 1785


Autism Support Team Newsletter: Issue 7

Issue 7 of the Autism Support Team Newsletter (pdf, 915kb)is out now. All issues will be available on the Autism Support Team page of the Local Offer.


Service Update: Southwark Visual Impairment Team

Please click here to download the latest service update from the Southwark Visual Impairment Team.


Service Update: Southwark Hearing Impairment Team

Please click here to download the latest service update from the Southwark Hearing Impairment Team.


Service Update: SEN Inclusion and Monitoring Team

The SEN Inclusion & Monitoring Team will be offering a remote advice, training and support service during this period of school and setting closures.

You can find out more about the remote service offer by clicking here


Southwark Information, Advice and Support Team

The Southwark Information, Advice and Support (SIAS) Team drop in sessions are suspended until further notice. Please contact the team by emailing or telephone 0207 525 3104.


Important notice from the SEN Team

Dear Parents and Young People,

In line with Government advice we are having to implement new measures within the Council to maximise the efforts to avoid the spread of Covid-19. This includes the postponement of non-essential meetings and minimising direct contact between staff. This is likely to have a knock on effect on EHCP Co-production meetings, annual review meetings and and other such meeting and being able to meet statutory deadlines in some cases. We will attempt to what we can to minimise disruption through written and virtual processes but apologise for any delays that occur as a result of the measures needing to be taken in these unprecedented times for everyone’s safety and welfare. If you have any urgent concerns in the meantime please contact us in the usual way and if a Coordinator is not at work, your call will be diverted to someone who can help you.

Please take care in these difficult times.

Yvonne Ely
Assistant Director SEND



Southwark libraries are now closed. However, we are auto-renewing all loans and cancelling overdue fines until we can reopen, so there’s no need to worry about any books or DVDs that you’ve already borrowed.

In the meantime, you can explore our huge, free, online library offering. We have free audiobooks and online booksfree magazines and newspapersfree movie streaming and more.


SEN Team Letter

Click here to read Southwark SEN Team's letter to parents and carers of children and young people with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) in Southwark. 


Southwark Emergency Support Scheme

For information on how families can access the Southwark hardship fund please click here


Open letters from MPs


Open Letter to Children and Young People with SEND, Their Parents, Families And Others Who Support Them

Click here to download the open letter from Vicky Ford MP Parlimentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families.


New Joint ministerial letter from ministers Ford & Whately about SEND legislative changes- Guidance on temporary legislative changes relating to coronavirus (COVID-19).


Health, Wellbeing and Support


Afasic: Speech, Language and Communication Resources

Afasic is a UK wide charity that represents and helps children and young people affected by speech, language and communication needs and their families.

On their website you’ll find advice and a range of resources to help support children to develop skills and language at home. Click here to find out more information.


Mentally Healthy Schools

To view the update from Mentally Healthy Schools, please click here.

You find out more about Mentally Healthy Schools and the resources they offer by visiting:


Information Sheet: Keeping Healthy

For ideas for keeping your family healthy and well during the coronavirus outbreak, you can download the information sheet by clicking here.


POINT: Additional Needs and Disabilities - At Home Resources

Following the government announcement that schools will close on Friday 20th March 2020 POINT have compiled a list of useful educational, creative and activity resources that will be helpful for families to access from home.

You can access these resources by visiting the POINT website.



Online counselling for young people:

Kooth is accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and is available online, offering free and safe access to self-help materials, mood-tracking, online journal and goal setting tools and a moderated online community of peers.
Access is free of the typical barriers to support: no waiting lists, no thresholds, no cost and complete anonymity. You can visit their site by clicking here

The Nest

The Nest in Southwark provides free mental health and wellbeing support for young people aged 13 – 25. This supports young people and their families with the opportunities, experiences and tools to enable them to develop their emotional and social skills through one-to-one and group work.

During the COVID-19 lockdown, the service offers remote support including e-resources, an online chat service, and one-to-one advice over the phone or video calls. Once lockdown restrictions are lifted these services will continue alongside face-to-face support from the base in Peckham, Southwark. For More information please click here.


Family Fund

The Government have announced that the Family Fund will receive funding of £37.3m in 2020-21. This includes £10m which has been allocated to help families in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. More details can be found by clicking here.

You can also head to the Family Fund's website for more information. Should you need support with making an application to Family fund, please contact Southwark's Citizens Advice Bureau.


Children's Guide to Corona Virus

The Children's Commission have put together a child friendly guide to the Corona Virus. A great resource to share with your families. You can view the guide by clicking here.


Managing the Transition to Home-schooling

Click here to download a useful resource for managing the transition to home-schooling for children and young people with SEND.


Frequently Asked Questions from Southwark families

Click here (pdf, 157kb) to download frequently asked questions from families regarding SEND provision for children and young people in response to COVID-19