Best Practice

Safeguarding: During and beyond the coronavirus crisis

The number of child referrals has gone down by 50 per cent. It is not surprising given that schools are one of the main referrers of safeguarding concerns. So, what is happening to vulnerable children and what can schools do to help? Suzanne O'Connell takes a look

The need to provide school places for vulnerable pupils has been recognised since mainstream schools closed to the majority of pupils. By "vulnerable children", the guidance means those who have a social worker, including looked after children, or those with Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs).

In practice, only a small number of families have taken up the option. An investigation by The Guardian suggests that only about five per cent of those eligible have continued to attend school in some places. In Kent, it is reported that only between 10 and 20 per cent of those vulnerable children eligible for a school place turned up the week before the Easter holidays (Weale, 2020).

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