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Coronavirus: impact on children's services

7 May 2020

As part of the ongoing inquiry into the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on education and children's services, the Committee will hear from leaders in education and child welfare services on how the country's most vulnerable children are being affected.

The closure of schools is a reason why some children will be at greater risk of harm. The session is expected to cover the position of children and young people who are looked after and those with safeguarding and welfare needs.

Home visits, a key mechanism to safeguard and support children and their families, are being replaced in many cases by phone or video calls to avoid further spread of the virus. The session is likely to ask what changes are actually being made and needed, and what is their impact.

Purpose of the session

The session will also examine the educational challenges of supporting children and young people through remote learning, especially those in homes and environments not conducive to learning and homeworking.

It is also likely to consider some of the conditions which need to be satisfied before allowing schools to start returning and how phased returns could happen.


From 9.30am:

  • Jenny Coles, President, Association of Directors of Children's Services
  • Javed Khan, Chief Executive Officer Barnardo's

From 10.30am:

  • Emily Konstantas, Chief Executive, The Safeguarding Alliance
  • Paul Whiteman, General Secretary, National Association of Head Teachers

Further information

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