What is the problem the project is hoping to address?
There is a lot of evidence that family factors can create major barriers to young people thriving at school. This can mean poorer educational outcomes for vulnerable young people which increases their risk of becoming involved in youth crime, drug abuse and other issues.
There is national evidence to suggest that coordinated family support can have a positive impact, helping young people engage with their schooling, particularly if this also includes support within schools. This project will help pupils re-connect with mainstream schooling and support them in staying ‘connected’. Blackpool Council is working closely with the Department for Education and our new partner – School-Home Support (SHS) – to help vulnerable young people with early help.
The project will focus on young people of secondary school age who:
- Have just moved into the area and are at significant risk of disconnecting from education (via the Council’s In Year Fair Access team); or
- Are on the verge of Elective Home Education (specifically as a result of behaviour/attendance); or
- On the verge of permanent exclusion; or
- Are on a managed move between Blackpool Secondary Schools that is at risk of failing.
What is the project hoping to achieve?
The project hopes to contribute to a reduction in levels of persistent absence and numbers of permanent exclusions, with particularly for those admitted in year. It also expects more pupils referred to the In Year Access Panel to be placed in mainstream schools and retained successfully; and that there is a reduction in numbers of children educated at home.
How will the project be delivered?
The project is providing funding for Educational Inclusion Workers in each secondary school, working with schoolteachers and the new delivery partner. SHS will provide:
- Seven Inclusion Workers: working in secondary schools with pastoral staff and teachers to reconnect vulnerable young people with their school. They will also work with primary schools (where younger brothers and sisters are involved) and will also work with Parent Engagement Workers to provide family support;
- Three Parental Engagement Workers: working with families in the Children’s Centres to help parents/guardians reinforce the importance of attendance and positive engagement with their child’s secondary school. They will work alongside Better Start, HeadStart and Children’s Services.
When will this start?
The project will run between January 2019 and August 2020. SHS will being helping young people and their families from the middle of March 2019.