Government calls for evidence on educational outcomes of children in need

The DfE launches consultation seeking views on improving the educational outcomes of children in need

Published on 19th March 2018

The government wants to hear from children’s social workers about what more can be done to improve the educational outcomes of children in need.

The Department for Education has launched a consultation urging professionals across education, children’s social care, health and other specialist services to outline what they are doing to improve the educational attainment of children in need.

“We have launched the children in need review and published the data and analysis on children in need which shows that overall these children have poorer educational outcomes than other children. There are, however, some children who are able to succeed in spite of the challenges they face,” said the call for evidence.

“We want to understand what it is that makes the difference to the educational outcomes of Children in Need in practice, how some Children in Need can achieve better educational outcomes than others, and what works in enabling Children in Need to achieve their potential,” it added.

The DfE wants to better understand how the work of professionals supporting Children in Need can make a difference to a child’s educational outcomes. Specifically, they are interested in:

  • how support is delivered or commissioned to help children
  • how this support is measured and evaluated
  • how this support influences educational outcomes

Children in need are a legally defined group of children, assessed by social workers as needing help and protection as a result of risks to their development or health, or who are disabled.

However, the DfE said it needs to develop a stronger evidence base, going beyond the data to look at what is happening in practice. At different stages in a child’s life, or when requiring different levels of statutory social care support, children’s needs will require a different response. At each of these stages, a child may work with a variety of professionals who offer support to a child and to their family, to improve a child’s circumstances.

The consultation ends on 1 June 2018.



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