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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information and Advice

The Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) team are currently working away from the office environment to follow government guidance. We are all working at the moment and we have access to emails and phones as usual. We are continuing to run panels (through video conferencing and conference phone calls). We are in contact with our health and social care colleagues by phone, text and email.

We are still processing requests for statutory assessments, writing Education, Health and Care Plans and redrafting EHCPs from Annual Reviews. We are working with schools and settings to process annual reviews virtually.

We are emailing paperwork as access to our printers is limited because we are working away from the office. If we haven’t got your email address and need to send something to you we will contact you by telephone to request a contact email address from you. We can send things by post if you do not have an email address or do not wish to be contacted in this way, but it may take longer than usual.

We are working on the Local Offer to add information to help parents and carers who have their children at home when schools are closed, or family members have symptoms and are self-isolating. Keep visiting the site for useful websites and resources in the coming days and weeks.

We have set up a special educational needs and disability (SEND) helpline which is an education, health and social care multi-agency response to supporting the needs of SEND pupils at this current time.

We will aim to respond to all enquiries within 24 hours.

The purpose of the helpline is to:

  • address general SEND queries through signposting to relevant resources/guidance as appropriate,
  • allocate appropriate staff to give provide advice and information for known individual SEND children,
  • the SEND referral line will be available 10am until 12pm Monday to Friday on: 03330 150 816

Useful contact numbers for the teams are the same as always:

  • 01229 407 403 for Barrow and South Lakeland
  • 01946 506 211 for Allerdale and Copeland
  • 01228 226 843 for Carlisle and Eden

Please get in touch if you have any queries, either using the numbers above or through your named contact.


News and updates

New emergency support line for vulnerable people needing urgent help

Cumbria County Council and partners have launched a new emergency support service for people at high risk of becoming seriously ill, as a result of COVID-19, and who do not have support available from friends, family or neighbours.

The Emergency telephone support line is: 0800 783 1966.

Or you can email your request for help at:

The telephone call centre will operate Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and 10am to 2pm at weekends. The service will also accept referrals from members of the public who may be concerned about people in their community

The helpline is there to support those at high risk and include people over 70 years old, pregnant women and those with underlying health conditions who should be protecting themselves by staying at home. The majority of these people will already be receiving support from family, friends or local voluntary groups with tasks like shopping or collection of medicines if they require it. But we know that a small number of people will not have this support. If they have no alternative, these people will now be able to call the Freephone number to request help with getting food, medicines, essential supplies and home deliveries.

Cumbria County Council has been working closely with District Councils, CVS, Cumbria Community Foundation, community and voluntary sector, private sector and military to establish these new arrangements. To support the new helpline every area is coordinating a supply of essential food, medicines and supplies which can only be accessed via the emergency helpline or email. The requests received asking for help will then be matched with local support and supplies being offered by community groups, volunteers, councils and businesses. 

Cumbria is already seeing widespread community and voluntary sector support for the response to COVID-19 and informal support, including neighbourhood WhatsApp groups and community Facebook groups, alongside a commitment from existing community emergency planning groups, local churches and faith groups and formal voluntary sector organisations who are working with the county council and partners including District Councils and NHS.

Useful information and resources for families who have children with SEND

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