Children: Social Services

Department for Education written question – answered on 17th June 2020.

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Photo of Lord Watson of Invergowrie Lord Watson of Invergowrie Shadow Spokesperson (Education)

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Berridge on 21 May (HL4173), what is their definition of “children on the edge of receiving support from children’s social care services”.

Photo of Baroness Berridge Baroness Berridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade) (Minister for Women), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

This phrase is part of a wider description of vulnerable children and young people for the purposes of educational attendance during the COVID-19 outbreak. The guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-vulnerable-children-and-young-people/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-vulnerable-children-and-young-people

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, educational providers have been able to offer places to children and young people who may be vulnerable and therefore would benefit from attendance. This includes children who have an education, health and care plan, who have been assessed as being in need under section 17 of the Children Act, or who have been identified as vulnerable for some other reason, at the educational provider or local authority’s discretion. The phrase, 'children on the edge of receiving support from children’s social care services', is one of the examples given as an illustration of children who might be in this category of 'otherwise vulnerable' children and therefore benefit from attendance. It is not a precise definition as the emphasis is on local discretion and was chosen partly as a response to requests from local authorities, schools and other safeguarding partners for the flexibility to offer education places to children and young people who didn’t meet one of the very specific, defined thresholds. These children might include, for example, some children and young people receiving early help services.

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