PaCC gets parent carers’ views on 2nd lockdown from coffee mornings
Whilst we are writing this, we are emerging from the second national lockdown into Tier 2 restrictions in Brighton & Hove.
PaCC was keen to hear from families how the second lockdown affected them and what information, help and support they wanted to be able to access. Fiona England, chair of PaCC, attended two parent carer coffee mornings where parents talked about their experiences.
Among other things, we found out that many parents were uncertain about rules and regulations for the second lockdown and they asked for more information to be provided. We asked Amaze to share the latest national lockdown rules on going out and meeting up and these were uploaded onto the Amaze website https://amazesussex.org.uk/news/
Families were happy that schools had stayed open during the 2nd lockdown, and many parents reported that the new lockdown wasn’t affecting them as much the previous one did. However, some parents attending the coffee mornings reported that staff shortages were leading to some children not being able to attend school. There were also some situations where children were sent home because of cases of Covid-19 in their bubble.
For those who were able to go to school, the situation was complicated by how different schools applied Covid-safety measures. Families reported some instances where SEND children became very anxious about wearing a mask and some were sent home.
Since the start of the pandemic, many parents have been home educating their children and as a result they are supporting their children round the clock which, in addition to many activities not taking place, means that many parents are caring 24/7 and not getting a break. Many parents have told us they are exhausted, that their mental health is deteriorating and they are in need of more mental health support including counselling.
Some parents felt that their child’s learning had gone backwards and they were really worried about the impact on their child’s longer term education and social outcomes. PaCC spoke to a few parents who said that their child’s transition to adulthood had been poorly handled and felt the situation had not improved since the first lockdown.
PaCC has collated all this feedback from families together with insights from the Amaze SENDIASS helpline and shared the key messages with the local authority, to make them aware of the challenges experienced by SEND families during this second national lockdown.