The British Psychological Society (BPS) has raised concerns about the extension to the Coronavirus Act and its impact on Education, Health and Care (EHC) assessments for young people with special educational needs or disabilities.
While the BPS welcomes the restoration of the mental health act provisions, it is urging the government to attend to the EHC measures to prevent any negative impact on vulnerable children and young people.
The extension of the Act means that local authorities will not need to meet the six-week time limit on EHC assessments which was in place before the Coronavirus Act came into force, meaning that vulnerable children and young adults with special educational needs could be left without the specialist support they need.
Dr Gavin Morgan, vice-chair of the Division for Educational and Child Psychology said: ‘It is regrettable that there are any delays in provision and resourcing for children and young people with additional needs. We are very mindful that the ongoing pandemic is having a wide-ranging effect on child development and continues to have an impact upon mental health.
‘Additionally, there are many children who have not been able to be assessed or supported by an educational psychologist due to school closures and other social distancing regulations; there are more children now than ever that need our support.’