SEND: Families can apply for share of £10m in coronavirus crisis home-learning fund
Tuesday, May 19, 2020
Low-income families with children with special educational needs and disabilities can apply for emergency funding to help them buy equipment and resources to help them with home learning during the lockdown.
The grant funding is being awarded in response to the difficulties that parents may have educating and looking after disabled or critically ill children who are staying at home more than usual.
The funding is part of a total of £37m grant to the Family Fund for 2020-21, which is expected to support 75,000 families.
Families in England with children with complex needs and disabilities can apply direct to Family Fund for grants for vital equipment to make their lives easier staying at home during the lockdown, such as computers and tablets, educational toys and specialist equipment.
Cheryl Ward, chief executive of Family Fund, said, ‘Family Fund welcomes this commitment of an additional £10 million in emergency funding. It will make an incredible difference to thousands of families in England during this crisis, providing practical and essential grant support to help improve the quality of life and ease some of the additional daily pressures faced in these difficult times by many disabled children and their families.’
The funding offers grants of around £400-£500, dependent on need, to help low-income families with seriously ill or disabled children with the cost of equipment, goods or services, from washing machines and refrigerators to sensory and educational equipment that they might not otherwise be able to afford.
Children and Families Minister Vicky Ford said, ‘Our first priority remains the safety and wellbeing of vulnerable children, including those with special educational needs and disabilities. I know that these unprecedented times may put additional pressure on families, particularly those whose children have the most complex needs, and these parents deserve some extra help to look after and educate them at home.
‘From computers and tablets to household items that many of us take for granted, this new funding will directly benefit tens of thousands of families, making sure parents of children with special educational needs and disabilities get the support they need at this difficult time and beyond.’
Dame Christine Lenehan, director of the Council for Disabled Children, said, ‘I am delighted that the Government has recognised the needs of the most complex children with disabilities at this critical time. Family Fund provides support for some of the poorest families and £37 million will make a real difference to meet the direct challenges they face. Continued support and a refreshed SEND review, as soon as is reasonably practicable, will be needed to keep momentum in this area.’