Social workers will be placed in schools to help spot the signs of abuse and neglect more quickly and work with teachers to support children at risk.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has announced nearly £10 million for projects aimed at boosting the educational outcomes of vulnerable children, and to keep them safe from harm.
This includes £6.5 million to involve more than 150 schools in a project that will place social workers in schools to work with teaching staff, reflecting that the second largest source of referrals to children’s social services is schools (18%).
Part of a series of measures unveiled at the Prime Minister’s virtual Hidden Harms Summit in Downing Street on Thursday 21 May, the funding package comes as early evidence from pilot studies shows placing social workers in schools helps keep children safe because they are able to work with teaching professionals to identify children in need of support.
It follows news that reports of domestic abuse incidents have been on the rise during the coronavirus pandemic, with some children also experiencing exposure to drug and alcohol misuse or at risk from online harms.