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Moving on from school or college - coronavirus info for families of deaf children

Published Date: 01 Jul 2020

Last updated: 24 June 9am. We aim to update this blog as soon as any new information is made available.

Planning for the future

If your child has left school/college this summer, you should not postpone making preparations for them moving on to what they want to do next - whether that is college, university or work-based training. To do nothing now would risk a young person not having their education in place for the autumn or being left without support.

If your child has an Education, Health and Care plan, statement of special educational needs or a coordinated support plan, a review meeting should have taken place to plan the next steps. Whilst local authorities may have reduced levels of staff at the moment, we expect them to prioritise young people who are expecting to leave school this summer. For young people in England and Wales, it is important that their new education provider is named on their plan/statement. The legal deadline for this to have happened was the 31 March.

Review meetings can be held online. Additional communication support should be provided where needed to ensure deaf young people can fully access this meeting and feed into the plan. Young people and their families should still expect to receive all relevant paperwork in advance to prepare for the meeting.

Moving on to college

Colleges are currently accepting applications and deaf young people should still try and reach the learning support/disability teams to talk to staff about their arrangements for the next academic year through online meetings (with communication support provided by the college if necessary).

Teachers of the Deaf or other professionals who normally support transitions to college or university should still seek to support where possible remotely.

Moving on to university

If a young person is moving on to higher education this September then they can contact the disability advisor for their preferred university from which they have received a conditional offer. They can request a meeting to talk about the support that needs to be in place by next September. If communication support is required for the meeting then the university should set this up.

If a young person is wanting to visit universities to decide which ones to list on their UCAS form next year then they will have to wait until this is possible or attend a virtual open day (which should be made accessible). In the meantime, they can check out the information different universities have on their website for disabled students. If there is a lot of useful info on the website for disabled young people and accessible materials (e.g. subtitled videos) then this will probably be a good sign.

Deaf young people expecting to start higher education in September should still be applying for Disabled Students Allowances (DSA) if they require any communication support or technology in higher education. It may take longer than normal to obtain the medical evidence of deafness required for the application process, as it needs to come from a GP or audiologist. DSA assessment centres should still be open and offering DSA assessments remotely through video or phone, providing communication support when needed.

Careers advice

Careers advisors may be less accessible in person to support young people with making decisions about what to study next or where they want to work. However, schools and colleges (and careers organisations in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) can still make arrangements for careers advisors to be accessed online.

Young people can also use webchat to contact national careers services in:

Young people can also find careers information via our website on work and careers for deaf people.