Vulnerable children

Senior Mental Health Lead: How to have an impact

11 June 2021

If you are new to the role of mental health lead, or you would like to make sure that your role really makes a difference next year, Dr Pooky Knightsmith offers a few simple ideas to help you to maximise your impact


Doorstep disadvantage: Beyond the Pupil Premium

24 May 2021

Do you understand the barriers to learning that poverty creates in your school’s community? Doctoral researcher and teacher, Sean Harris, reflects on some of the lessons he has learned as a school leader, researcher and as somebody who has experienced poverty himself


Emotionally based school avoidance: How can we respond?

19 May 2021

Emotionally based school avoidance occurs when a student feels genuinely unable to attend school because of stress or other wellbeing barriers. How should we respond? Darren Martindale offers some practical steps that schools can take




Behaviour and bias: Where are your blind-spots?

13 April 2021

When it comes to behaviour, do you treat different pupils differently? Do you look for underlying needs? What biases do you have and how do they affect your responses to poor behaviour? Adele Bates discusses and advises


SEND & Covid: Supporting students in the months to come

12 April 2021

The return to school last month may have been particularly challenging for our students with SEND. Garry Freeman reminds us of the basic principles of supporting students’ underlying needs – which will be more crucial than ever in the months to come


Full re-opening on March 8: Safeguarding priorities

24 February 2021

With schools due to re-open fully from March 8, safeguarding issues will be foremost in our minds and our preparations must begin now. Expert Elizabeth Rose advises on what our priorities and approaches should look like


Ideas for working with hard-to-reach families

3 February 2021

Every school will have some families with which it is difficult to engage, and often these are the families of our more vulnerable learners. Dr Pooky Knightsmith looks at why this might be and offers some practical ideas


Vulnerable learners: Child-centred planning

19 January 2021

Child-centred planning can make all the difference for vulnerable young people. Dr Pooky Knightsmith offers five principles to ensure this is done in a genuine, non-tick-box, fashion


Moving beyond the label: Needs not diagnosis...

18 January 2021

For many parents and too many professionals, the diagnosis is seen as a magic answer and the solution to a child’s difficulties – but it is not. Sara Alston discusses the risks involving diagnostic labels and looks at how we must provide SEN support based on need


Supporting looked after children to aspire to university

11 January 2021

An incredibly small minority of children in care end up going to university. Virtual school headteacher Darren Martindale discusses a programme in the Midlands which set out to raise aspirations among our most vulnerable students


Looked after and fragile: How schools can support children in care

6 January 2021

The barriers faced by children in care, or looked after children, are manifold and well-documented, perhaps more so now than ever before. How can we help these students to face and overcome these challenges? Virtual school headteacher Darren Martindale advises



Social justice and schools: Accountability

1 December 2020

In a seven-part series, teacher and school leader Dave Anderson considers how schools can be a key driver for social justice and how we can make our education system more equitable. In the final part, he tackles our school accountability system and the dreaded ‘O’…


Building Resilient Learners: An intervention

27 October 2020

We know that some young people are at risk of getting trapped in a negative cycle of avoiding education, poor academic outcomes and a feeling of failure. The Building Resilient Learners project sought to give these young people practical tools to stop this from happening. Lisa Whitworth explains







County lines: A world of violence, intimidation and crime

11 March 2020

Young offenders are not as ‘popular’ as other vulnerable groups and yet in a world of intimidation, violence, county lines and organised crime, their need is just as great. Schools are among those on the front line of this battle. Darren Martindale explains more


Child protection: Domestic violence and abuse

16 March 2016

Domestic violence is a child protection issue that schools must be prepared for. Expert Dr Julie Leoni explains what abuse can look like, the impact on children, spotting the signs and taking action


The issue of violence in teenage relationships

2 July 2015

Violence in adolescent relationships is a growing concern for many. Expert Mark Bowles examines the evidence, prevalence, and impact of this kind of violence on young people – and looks at what schools can do to play their part in tackling the problem

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