New duty for children known to social care
New duty for children known to social care
The Government’s children in need review recognised the crucial role that Virtual School Heads have in helping education settings and local authorities work together, and made a commitment to explore the capacity needed to extend their leadership to the cohort of all children and young people with a social worker.
Why is this cohort important?
This cohort have been identified as a group of children who face significant barriers to education as a result of experiences of adversity and trauma, most commonly abuse and neglect. They can therefore have similar adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) to those children currently in care and previously looked after children.
- 1.6 million children needed a social worker between 2012 and 2018, equivalent to 1 in 10 children or 3 children in every classroom.
- These children are present in 98% of state schools.
- On average, children with a social worker do worse than their peers at every stage of their education.
- Children with a social worker are around 3 times more likely to be persistently absent from school and between 2 to 4 times more likely to be permanently excluded from school than their peers. This group are also over 10 times more likely to attend state-funded alternative provision settings than all other pupils.
The pandemic has affected all children and for the most vulnerable it has only increased barriers to education. It is essential that children with a social worker are supported to recover and reach their full potential.
Buckinghamshire Virtual School will work alongside children’s services, early years settings, schools, colleges and other education providers to promote better outcomes for children with a social worker.
- enhance partnerships between education settings and local authorities and make visible the disadvantages that children with a social worker can experience.
- promote practice that supports children with a social worker to attend and engage in education, recognising that school attendance is a protective factor and helps keep children safe.
- enhance partnerships between education settings and the local authority so agencies can work together.
- support in identifying and mitigating the barriers to good educational outcomes for this cohort, narrowing the attainment gap so every child can reach their potential.
- offer advice and support to key professionals to help these children make progress.
We are unable to:
- work with individual children and their families - including tracking and monitoring educational progress of individual children or providing academic or other interventions.
- respond to requests from parents or carers to offer advice, intervention and support in relation to individual children with a social worker.
- take responsibility for children with Special Education Needs and Disability (SEND) who do not require or need a social worker, as defined above.
Please refer to DfE Promoting the education of children with a social worker. Virtual School Head role extension for more information
Buckinghamshire Virtual School offer for the extended role to all children with a social worker
The Buckinghamshire Virtual School website for useful links and resources.
Core training for schools, colleges and APs -a rolling programme focusing on strategies to address some of the common barriers for children with social workers.
Training for social workers -a rolling programme on key educational topics which will help social workers to challenge and support education for this cohort.
Data analysis - monitor attendance and exclusion data for children with social workers and support as required.
Facilitating peer to peer support and sharing of good practise.
Designated Teacher and Designated Safeguarding Lead liaison meetings.
Enhanced partnership working
Virtual School visits, advice and support for schools with a high proportion of children with a social worker and / or specific challenges with vulnerable children.
Advice line / inbox for schools.
Networking with and guidance from specific partners.
Additional specific training if required.
Targeted partnership working
Clinics- case study and consultation for schools and social workers (ideally together) supported by: Virtual School, CAMHs, Senior Social Worker, Senior SEN Officer, Educational Psychologist, YOS Specialist.