William Eichler 18 June 2019

Whitehall announces measures to support ‘vulnerable’ children in school

Whitehall announces measures to support ‘vulnerable’ children in school image

The Department for Education has announced that it will ‘take forward’ changes to make it easier for vulnerable children to access school places.

Education secretary Damian Hinds said he would change the School Admissions Code to ensure children needing a social worker would be able to access a school place ‘as quickly as possible’.

‘We understand children in care have very poor outcomes. Actually the truth is the outcomes for children in need of a social worker are almost as bad but there are five times as many of them,’ Mr Hinds told the think tank Reform.

‘We also know the effects of this sustain. Overall if you’ve needed contact with a social worker at any time since year five, on average you are going to score 20 grades lower across eight GCSEs.’

An analysis cited by the Government estimates that every classroom has three children who have come into contact with a social worker. It also calculated 1.6 million children needed a social worker at some point in the last three years.

These children, according to the study, are three times more likely to be persistently absent from school and four times more likely to be permanently excluded.

Mr Hinds said that, as well as reforming the admissions code, the Government would ensure teachers were trained to look after children who have mental health issues.

He also said there must be closer working between schools and councils to improve educational outcomes for disadvantaged pupils.

‘We need to improve the visibility of this group, both in schools and in the system as a whole. We need to make sure in every case that information is passed on to a social worker when a child moves school,’ he said. ‘We also need to improve our knowledge of what works to support and help these children.’

Schools will also receive guidance on how to use the Pupil Premium – a grant aimed at decreasing the attainment gap for the disadvantaged children – effectively.

Sir Kevan Collins, chief executive of the Education Endowment Foundation, commented: ‘The Pupil Premium is the key lever for closing the attainment gap and greater security of funding supports schools to plan ahead with confidence.

‘We know that it has enabled headteachers to focus attention and make a difference for their most disadvantaged pupils. This is achieving results in schools across England, but there is undoubtedly more to do to.’

Mr Hinds added: ‘We must not lower our expectations for them – for these children it is more important that they can do their very best to make the most of their talents when they’re at school.’

Our school places challenge image

Our school places challenge

A new report has warned the UK needs more than 600 new schools by 2022 to meet demand. Mark Robinson explores how local authorities can address the school place shortfall.
Data sharing arrangements image

Data sharing arrangements

Lowri Phillips explains what public bodies should do to meet their legal obligations and minimise the risks.
Highways jobs

Service Manager – Network Management

Somerset County Council
£46,122 per annum
A number of exciting permanent opportunities have arisen to drive forward further improvements to our traffic related services. Somerset
Recuriter: Somerset County Council

Principal Traffic Control Engineer

Somerset County Council
£33,799 to £37,849 per annum
A number of exciting permanent opportunities have arisen to drive forward further improvements to our traffic related services. Somerset
Recuriter: Somerset County Council

Assistant Engineer

Bedford Borough Council
£31,371 - £32,878 per annum
Bedford is growing at a fast pace and we are investing heavily in our highways infrastructure. Bedford, Bedfordshire
Recuriter: Bedford Borough Council

Senior Clerk of Works

Bedford Borough Council
£27,905 - £30,507 + market rate supplement £2,630 per annum
Bedford is growing at a fast pace and we are investing heavily in our highways infrastructure. Bedford, Bedfordshire
Recuriter: Bedford Borough Council

Senior Technician

Bedford Borough Council
£27,905 - £30,507 per annum
Bedford is growing at a fast pace and we are investing heavily in our highways infrastructure. Bedford, Bedfordshire
Recuriter: Bedford Borough Council

Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

The June issue of Local Government News contains the full details of all the winning schemes in the 2019 Street Design Awards. From Children's Play to Pedestrian Environment, find out who has been recognised for their innovation and use of best practice.

This issue also explores how local government pension funds can hedge currency risk, how councils can best address the shortfall in school places, and an update on the number of authorities banning the use of Roundup over safety fears.

Register for your free magazine