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Coronavirus - LIVE updates 20th March 2020

In these uncertain times that we are all muddling through, one thing that remains certain is our commitment to providing an excellent service to parents, carers, schools and professionals.

In a bid to assist you as much as possible, we have a dedicated page with all coronavirus related updates on our website. We are also providing a full service, so you can contact us by telephone, email, social media channels, post, we are happy to arrange calls by video link and if you don't have time for a call we are offering written responses to any questions you have. We are committed to responding within 48 hours and outside of 'standard' work hours, to make this uncertain time as reassuring as possible to you all.

Stay positive. Stay safe. We will get through this.

Update 10:00AM:

Our Senior Solicitor, Hayley Mason providing an important update of who a vulnerable child is and confirming only one parent needs to be a key worker to send their child to school, but the other parent should assist with childcare wherever possible.

Our Senior Solicitor also runs through the list of who is considered a 'key worker' - you can also find the list here.

Part of our continued commitment to get this information across to you as we hear it, in an easy to understand format.

Update 11:00AM:

**SEND Tribunal Update**

The First-Tier Tribunal have issued a Practice Direction, setting out how Tribunal Panels will work during the Covid-19 Pandemic.

This will apply to ALL Appeals and Applications within the First-tier and Upper Tribunals.

  1. Wherever possible, the Tribunal will continue to hear Appeals before a "Standard" panel. That being, a panel made up of a Judge, and one or two members.

  2. If a salaried Judge considers a case could not proceed, or there would be an unacceptable delay if the Appeal is dealt with by a "Standard" panel, the Judge can decide for the case to be heard by a Judge alone, or with a Judge and a panel of fewer or different members.

  3. When deciding how the Appeal should proceed, the Judge must have regard to the urgency of the case, and the overriding objective that the case must be dealt with "fairly and justly".

  4. If the Judge decides to alter the "standard" panel, they can determine what members will hear the case.

  5. If the standard panel is altered, the Tribunal may seek the advice of one or more non-legal members to assist in decision making, provided the advice is recorded, and disclosed to the parties.

Update 11:30AM:

Specialist Solicitor Nicole Lee has provided a summary of the Coronavirus Bill, its impact on Education and what it means for you and your family. Please read more about the Coronavirus Bill here.

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