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Recovery Phase (COVID-19)

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Updated 22 June 2021


The Graduated Approach to Inclusion continues to be the framework which underpins the approach that should be used by schools in Plymouth when considering and supporting the needs of vulnerable pupils, children with SEND and children who are missing out on education. As we move into the recovery phase of Covid-19, Plymouth City Council will continue to offer support to schools and families, seeking ongoing assurance with regard to these cohorts of children.

Our advice is for DSLs, SENCos and Pastoral leads to hold regular meetings, it is important for school teams to work together to identify and discuss pupils at an early stage so that planning for children is coordinated at the right time and with the right support for the child.

This document outlines the support that will be made available to schools during the recovery phase. PCC Services will work together to provide a co-ordinated approach for individual casework, groups and school-wide needs.

Education Participation and Skills Service Offer

Inclusion Attendance and Welfare Service

The Inclusion Attendance and Welfare Service will provide the following support for schools:

  • For any school not reopening to all students, ongoing monitoring, consultation and support regarding At Risk pupils.
  • Triaging of CARA's daily and direct contact with schools regarding any Red CARAs.
  • Early identification, advice and consultation regarding any pupil at risk of missing out on education this includes:
    • Persistent absentees
    • Anxiety based school avoidance
    • Displaying high levels of disengagement
    • Pupils at risk of exclusion
    • Children on CiN, CP
    • Being withdrawn to home education.
    • Children Missing Education
  • Attendance at Education Psychology Service Planning Consultation meeting to triangulate information about pupils who fall within any of the categories above to ensure a joined up approach to inclusion.
  • Advice and consultation regarding non-school attendance legal enforcement matters.
  • For schools who purchase the traded service offer, home visits on a cold call and pre-arranged basis as agreed with your link Education Welfare Officer.
  • Officers are able to attend meetings in schools or hold Virtual meetings. Schools should identify their preference to their link Education Welfare Officer.

Virtual School Service

Virtual School consultants and caseworkers will provide the following support for schools that have Plymouth children in care on roll.

  • Support for the Autumn Term Personal Education Plan (PEP) that must have the school, social worker and care provider attending, to ensure that the return to school from 'COVID learning' identifies key learning objectives and an assessment of progress and engagement achieved in the Summer Term 2020.
  • A focus on enhanced pupil premium funding, where this is required, to enable any emotional challenges or assessed gaps in learning to be addressed through pastoral or additional tutor based provision.
  • Support and challenge to schools where behavioural issues lead to the possibility of exclusion or reduced attendance
  • Education psychology to support any barriers to learning caused by COVID or other factors.
  • Learning mentor referral and support to ensure transitions and any school changes have as little impact as possible.
  • Additional support and funding for any previously looked after children who may be requiring pastoral or learning interventions

Educational Psychology Service

The Educational Psychology Service will provide the following framework of support for schools.

  • A dedicated link Educational Psychologist (EP), who is part of PCC integrated SEND Services, allocated to each school. Each school will have EP time reserved, according to a formula to ensure consistency across schools, and based on levels of need.
  • For any school not reopening, the allocated EP, who is usually the PCC SEND link, will work with staff to enable ongoing monitoring, consultation and support of pupils with EHCPs and those undergoing statutory assessment.
  • A termly Planning and Consultation Meeting with the SENCo, other key staff and link professionals to review and prioritise key areas of work during the recovery phase and beyond. The EP can work individually, and also as part of multi-agency teams. If there is a change of EP for a school, the Service will work to ensure a smooth and professional handover for staff and families.
  • EP work will be agreed with the SENCO and may include elements of consultation, assessment, planning and review for complex SEND and SEMH casework at targeted and specialist levels including EHCP processes. This will focus on pupils who are at risk of continuing to fall significantly behind their expected rate of progress e.g. those experiencing particular difficulty coping with transitions, children in care, have child protection plans, or those affected by adverse experiences which may be a result of Covid-19 and require assessment to identify and meet their needs.
  • An offer of consultation and staff supervision to support systems and strategies for recovery using relational approaches. This will include applying psychological theory to contribute to assessment,   promote engagement, attachment, and resilience. Aspects of this work may form part of the PCC EP Service purchased agreements with schools.
  • Critical Incident and Bereavement support.
  • The continuation of the EP and CIT helpline for families.

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