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Access to Education: Local Lockdowns

Volume 682: debated on Monday 12 October 2020

What steps he is taking to help ensure that access to education for all children is maintained during local covid-19 lockdowns. (907351)

The Department is committed to the continuation of high quality education for all pupils. We have asked that every school plan for the possibility of local restrictions to ensure continuity of education. We have published a direction, which provides an express legal duty on schools to provide remote education where needed.

In our mission to level up, I am keen to ensure that every child has the resources and support that they need to thrive. What is the Secretary of State doing to ensure that the most vulnerable children and those with complex needs, such as the wonderful children at Penn Fields in my constituency, can have everything that they need to thrive during this time?

My hon. Friend and constituency neighbour is right to highlight the brilliant work at Penn Fields School that serves not only his constituents, but mine as well. I will, if I may, also highlight the wonderful work of Wightwick Hall School, which is in my constituency and also serves his constituents as well. They are doing an amazing job during this pandemic, but it is right to ask how we can support them more. That is why, in terms of covid catch-up funding, the support that we are providing for those special schools is three times the rate of that going to mainstream schools, which recognises the extra challenges that they have to deal with.