COVID 19 Updates

25th March - Parents / Carers

Dear Parent Carers - 25th March 2020

In this ever changing situation providing an update is challenging. I will endeavour to be in contact as often as possible.

We have now in place conference calls with Newham Parents Forum and LetUsCommunicate parents group twice a week to gather parent care views and provide updates.

Office Arrangements
As of 25th March 2020 only essential staff will be based in the office – that is the Travel Assistance Team and Disabled Children and Young People’s Team.

All other staff will be based at home but available by their work emails or work mobiles. We will put these details on the Local Offer


SEND 0-25 Service Number
We have set a SEND 0-25 Service contact number (0203 373 3280) where families can ring in. Staff answering will take a message and then pass on to the relevant member of staff within my service or signpost to other services.

Wherever possible please contact staff by email and they will get back to you.

SEN Team
The team can be contacted on their usual telephone and email numbers or by emailing:

School Transport
Tel: 0203 373 3325


Wherever possible we are supporting schools to keep open. Both JFK and EKO Pathways, our Special Schools are open today. We are in contact with schools regularly to see how we can support them.

If you want your child to attend school please liaise with your school to see what arrangements are in place.


We are working closely with care agencies to maintain the support they are providing. For those families with direct payments or care packages please talk to your social workers if there are issues and we will be happy to look flexibly at how we support you where there are issues such as carers not being able to attend.


As indicated we are in contact with Let Us Communicate and Newham Forum twice a week and there are regular conference calls with health and head teachers to adapt to the changing situation.


We are aware that some families are struggling with regards accessing certain items. Corporately the Council is putting in place distribution hubs and more information can be found on the Council website

I wish you all the best.

Simon McKenzie
Head of Service
Special Educational Needs and Disability

20th March - Parents / Carers

Dear Parent/Carers,

Please find below the latest update for your information.


You will be aware that on Wednesday evening the Government announced the decision to keep schools open for key groups. This presents a significant challenge for schools in relation to school staff capacity issues.

Schools have been or are in the process of contacting parents to identify which children will be attending school.

In terms of putting this in place there are many issues to consider as it is not just about staff numbers, but also about having the right skilled staff, especially for your children with special educational needs and disability.

Schools will be in touch with parents to provide further details today and at the start of next week.

Care Support

We have contacted the majority of care support agencies over the last 24 hours to check that they are able to meet their commitments. We will need to continue to monitor the position closely and assess the impact following schools closing next week for the majority of children.


We continue to work closely with health, especially in relation to children with complex health needs to try and pre-empt any issues.

SEN Team

The team can be contacted on their usual telephone and email numbers or by emailing:

School Transport

Tel: 0203 373 3325

Social Care and Disabled Children and Young People’s Team

Social Care will continue to operate and can be contacted on their usual numbers and by email.


I will provide a further update on Monday. I wish you all the best for the weekend.

With best wishes


Simon McKenzie

Head of Service

Special Educational Needs and Disability

19th March - Parents / Carers

Dear Parent / Carers

Please accept my apologies for the delay in emailing you. As I am sure you are aware this is a rapidly changing situation making it difficult to be up to date. My intention is to send an email to Newham Parent Forum, Let Us Communicate Parent Group and put this update on the Local Offer every day by midday (Monday to Saturday).


As you will have heard and seen yesterday the government announced the closure of schools with some exceptions most notably for us those children with an Education, Health and Care Plans or open to a social worker. Details of this will be worked on over the next two days and we have a conference call with the Chair of Primary and Secondary Headteachers this afternoon to discuss further.

Within our schools over the last week unfortunately a couple of resource provisions have closed due to staffing capacity. We anticipate this will continue to be an issue next week and are working to find a solution to enable as many pupils in this categories announced by the Government yesterday to access education if they wish.

Free School Meals

We have been working with parents over the last week or so pre-empting the closure of schools to identify ways we can continue to provide free school meals. Further details will be provided in the next day or so.

SEN Team

With the direction from the Government with regards social distancing and self-isolation, a number of the team will be working from home. We will continue to have a core team in the office. The team can be contacted on their usual telephone and email numbers or by emailing:

School Transport

Within this service with a number of staff needing to self-isolate due to existing medical conditions this has been a challenging week. The Transport team will be looking at how to provide a continuing service from next week. We will endeavour to transport as many pupils as we can. For those eligible to attend school it will help us greatly if you can advise us if you are not intending to send your child to school.

Tel: 0203 373 3325

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