Young boy at laptop

More support for children and young people in Northumberland

Children and young people who have or have had a social worker in Northumberland will benefit from enhanced partnership working between their schools and social care to get their education back on track after disruptions to their learning caused by their childhood experiences and the pandemic.

Virtual School Headteachers will be using their experience of strong collaborative working to map the support already available to accelerate learning, manage behaviour, improve wellbeing and prioritise school attendance.  They will make sure that the right training and guidance is available to Designated Safeguarding Leads in schools and to children’s social workers so that barriers to education are well understood and that strategies that work to overcome those barriers are used effectively.

Cath McEvoy-Carr, Executive Director for children’s services, said: “This new duty has allowed us to take stock, and look at our offer through the Virtual School. It allows us to better support those professionals in schools, and other educational settings to ensure that all children and young people who are open to a social worker get the right support, including mental and emotional support, to encourage them to attend school much more frequently and reap the benefits of that much-needed learning and social interaction.”

The county’s Virtual School Head is working closely with schools and other educational settings to:

• make visible the disadvantages that children with a social worker can experience and enhance partnerships to help all agencies hold high aspirations for these children.
• promote practice that supports children’s engagement in education, recognising that attending an education setting can be an important factor in helping to keep children safe from harm.
• level up children’s outcomes and narrow the attainment gap so every child can reach their potential. This will include helping to make sure that children with a social worker benefit from support to recover from the impact of COVID-19.

Councillor Guy Renner- Thompson, cabinet member for children's services, said: “Children and young people open to social care often face many more barriers to education and it’s important that we as a local authority do all we can to support those children and young people and break down any barriers where possible.” 

You can find out more about the Virtual School at >
View all news