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Supporting vulnerable children and young people during the coronavirus outbreak

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Guidance for education settings and local authorities about children supported through social care, with EHC plans or identified as vulnerable by their school or local authority.


Supporting vulnerable children and young people during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak



This guidance covers children and young people:

  • supported by the child social care system
  • with education, health and care (EHC) plans
  • otherwise identified as vulnerable

This guidance is for service providers, including:

  • registered childcare providers (including nurseries and childminders)
  • local-authority-maintained schools and academies (both mainstream and special) – throughout, we define ‘school’ as either maintained by the local authority or a single (or part of a multi) academy trust
  • all alternative provision including pupil referral units
  • non-maintained special schools
  • independent special schools
  • general further education (FE) colleges, special post-16 institutions and other post-16 providers
  • local authorities and providers of children’s social care

Published 22 March 2020
Last updated 19 April 2020 + show all updates

  1. Clarifications to the existing guidance including the actions to be taken for each group around their attendance or otherwise at an education setting. We have not changed the groups included in the definition of vulnerable children.

  2. Updated guidance on educational provision over the Easter holidays.

  3. Updated the following sections of the guidance: 13, 20, 21, 22, 24, 26, 27 and 30.

  4. Updated guidance to include additional information on children with education health and care (EHC) plans and children in alternative provision (AP) settings.

  5. First published.

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