Educational support for children with a social worker increased in Bucks as council allocates extra £127k funding

The council says nearly 1,700 children will benefit from this extended scheme.

Wednesday, 15th September 2021, 1:02 pm
Updated Wednesday, 15th September 2021, 1:04 pm

Bucks Council has allocated additional government funding to support all children in the county with a social worker.

The council was allocated £127,000 additional funding, the rest will be put towards training for schools, social workers and other professionals, it says.

The council is extending Virtual School Heads (VHS) scheme to include children with a current social worker on a child protection, or child in need plan, and those aged up to 18 who have previously been allocated a social worker.

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photo from Bucks Council

The role of a Virtual School Head is to work at a strategic level within a local authority, promoting the educational achievement of all children in care, the council says.

VSHs work closely with local education teams to set targets designed to help children reach their full potential.

The proposals were approved following a cabinet meeting on Monday (13 September), a new assistant head will be appointed to support the Bucks VHS.

A Bucks Council spokesperson advised: "In Buckinghamshire figures for 2018/19 show that nearly 1,700 children had a social worker. Across the country more than 1.6 million children have a social worker, about one in every 10 children or three per classroom.

"Statistics show that a large proportion of these children fall behind their peers at all stages of their education and achieve poor outcomes."

Councillor Anita Cranmer said: "It is no secret that children in care and other children with a social worker often lag far behind their peers when it comes to education and achievement and this is something that has only been made worse by the pandemic.

"We have a duty to do our best for all these children, to make sure we are doing all we can to help them to thrive and reach their full potential.

“This funding is much welcomed and will allow us to ensure that all our children with a social worker are given the support they need and that the focus is put on working together to make improvements.”