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New research examines experiences of home-schooling children with special educational needs and disabilities during COVID-19

UNIVERSITY NEWS LAST UPDATED : 01 JUNE 2020

A study has been launched to investigate how parents and families navigate the additional pressures of home-schooling children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) during the coronavirus pandemic.

Research

Birmingham City University

This research will be one of the first to explore the experiences of families experiencing home-schooling of children with SEND during a pandemic in the UK.

Led by Dr Carolyn Blackburn at Birmingham City University, it comes in response to the vast majority of families in the UK who are having to home-school their children as schools close due to COVID-19.

The virus has led to an increased reliance in online learning and video conferencing with teachers, but Dr Blackburn argues that children with SEND often need highly specialist resources and pedagogical approaches not easily replicated in the home.

This comes as some schools start to reopen to primary school pupils.

Data will be gathered from an online survey and follow up interviews to examine pressure points for families during this time, as well as identifying coping mechanisms and support, and highlighting where further support may be needed.

Dr Blackburn said: “Depending on the severity of their condition, children with SEND may need highly structured, predictable routines, calm, uncluttered learning environments and patient, specialist teachers.

“This study aims to build on current research into home education and provide an insight into the experiences of parents as they navigate their way through the current restrictions, whilst ensuring the health and wellbeing of their family.”

The research will produce reports which will inform guidelines for schools and policy makers.

Find out more by visiting the University’s website.

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