Special schools in England urgently seek coronavirus advice | Education

Special schools in England are anxiously seeking updated coronavirus advice, only days before many reopen in a sector where social distancing is often impossible.

The most recent guidance was published in July but those running special schools say they need greater clarity, particularly in relation to children with suctioning needs.

Phillip Potter, the headteacher of Oak Grove college in West Sussex, which opens to the first of its pupils on Friday, said he was working on the basis that the guidance was still in preparation. However, he needed further information in order to source and prepare for using the right personal protective equipment, for which the college was already paying “an extortionate amount”.

“There’s also the question of whether we can get enough of it in time, and the need to reassure and prepare our staff, young people and their parents. We need to know the rules we will be following,” added Potter, whose school teaches 260 students with learning difficulties, from years 7 to 14.