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Call for evidence

The impact of COVID-19 on education and children’s services

Terms of reference:

  • The implementation of the critical workers policy, including how consistently the definition of ‘critical’ work is being applied across the country and how schools are supported to remain open for children of critical workers
  • The capacity of children’s services to support vulnerable children and young people
  • The effect of provider closure on the early years sector, including reference to:
    • Children’s early development
    • The early years funded entitlement and the childcare market
  • The effect of cancelling formal exams, including the fairness of qualifications awarded and pupils’ progression to the next stage of education or employment
  • Support for pupils and families during closures, including:
    • The consistency of messaging from schools and further and higher education providers on remote learning
    • Children’s and young people’s mental health and safety outside of the structure and oversight of in-person education
    • The effect on apprenticeships and other workplace-based education courses
  • The financial implications of closures for providers (including higher education and independent training providers), pupils and families
  • The effect on disadvantaged groups, including the Department’s approach to free school meals and the long-term impact on the most vulnerable groups (such as pupils with special educational needs and disabilities and children in need)
  • What contingency planning can be done to ensure the resilience of the sector in case of any future national emergency
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