SEND school holiday activities

11:29am - 14 October 2020

Children with special educational needs and their parents and carers are set to enjoy some activities this school holiday thanks to North Somerset Council and its partners, despite the challenges to deliver sessions safely in these difficult times.

To meet social distancing rules many planned activities have had to be changed or curtailed but plans are now in place for October’s school holiday break. To keep children, families and staff safe these sessions will be at a much-reduced capacity, and the focus will be on ensuring those most vulnerable will be supported as much as possible as they were during the summer break.

Cllr Catherine Gibbons, North Somerset Council’s executive member for young people, said: "Coronavirus has had such an impact on all of us and how we go about our daily business.

"We recognise the extra strain this has put on parents and carers of children with additional needs and I’m really pleased that by working with different groups we have got a programme of events and support together.

"We also recognise that the unfortunate Covid-19 related closure of facilities like the Lion's Club playground at Kingston Seymour has had a real impact on the range of options available to families, and we’re working with other groups and local activity providers to find out what they are able to offer during the school break," added Cllr Gibbons. 

This information will be updated on the local offer website at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/localoffer  

The council's Disabled Children’s team is also negotiating with a local soft play centre to look at the possibility of providing safe 'stay and play' sessions specifically for children who may not be able to access their usual holiday support. These limited places will be available for children and young people with SEND and their siblings who are in contact with the Disabled Children's team and more information will be sent to them once sessions are confirmed. 

Kenton Mee, Chair of North Somerset Parent Carers Working Together, said "We are continuing to work hard to ensure important issues faced by parent carers are raised and addressed during this challenging time. 

"From early in the Covid crisis the lack of activities for children with additional needs and/or disabilities has been very high on parent carer priorities highlighting the additional burden placed upon them at this time.

"We have worked hard with stakeholders and are really pleased to see this progress in creating availability for activities during the October holiday."