Heads Up 12 February 2021


WE3 Family of schools

Support for Vulnerable Children from Schools During Lockdown

Warwickshire Safeguarding is responsible for ensuring learning from safeguarding case reviews is effectively shared and changes implemented across the partnership to improve quality of safeguarding practice.

The following briefing has been prepared by Warwickshire Safeguarding Partnership in response to the initial findings of an ongoing Child Safeguarding Practice Review (CSPR), formerly known as Serious Case Reviews, which has identified variances in the support offered to vulnerable children during the Covid 19 epidemic.  This briefing should be read in partnership with current Government Guidance and advice from Warwickshire Education Entitlement Team.

School Attendance

Since January 2021, all children and young people defined to be as vulnerable should be attending on site school provision. Vulnerable children and young people include those who:

  • are assessed as being in need under section 17 of the Children Act 1989, including children and young people who have a child in need plan, a child protection plan or who are a looked-after child
  • have an education, health and care (EHC) plan
  • have been identified as otherwise vulnerable by educational providers or local authorities (including children’s social care services), and who could therefore benefit from continued full-time attendance, this might include:
    • children and young people on the edge of receiving support from children’s social care services or in the process of being referred to children’s services
    • adopted children or children on a special guardianship order
    • those at risk of becoming NEET (‘not in employment, education or training’)
    • those living in temporary accommodation
    • those who are young carers
    • those who may have difficulty engaging with remote education at home (for example due to a lack of devices or quiet space to study)
    • care leavers
    • others at the provider and local authority’s discretion including pupils and students who need to attend to receive support or manage risks to their mental health

If a vulnerable child or young person does not attend, schools should:

  • work together with the local authority and social worker (where applicable) to follow up with the parent or carer to explore the reasons for absence,
  • work together with the local authority and social worker (where applicable) and other relevant partners to encourage the child or young person to attend educational provision,
  • be in daily contact via telephone or online provision with the child or young person. This daily contact includes all those children that remain on the school roll even if they attend off site settings or are part of a managed move. 
  • A minimum of weekly contact with the parent/carer with whom the child resides to seek their perspective of how they are managing
  • where daily contact with the child or young person has been unsuccessful a home visit is to be completed, during which the child or young person should be seen and spoken to.
  • If the child or young person has not been seen for a period of 10 working days, the school should make a Child Missing Education (CME) referral. The CME team will carry out further checks and submit a MASH referral if the child or young person remains missing from education. Further details are available on the following webpages   


For advice, guidance and support, Schools can contact the CME Team on 01926 736 323 or by email on: cme@warwickshire.gov.uk. 

Every child on the vulnerable children register/database will be allocated to a named Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) who will be responsible for ensuring that the identified level of support and contact is provided. DSL’s will record all contacts and outcomes with vulnerable children and their families in the usual way so that those records are visible to colleague DSL’s and can be reviewed in regular DSL meetings.

Further Information

For further information on the work of Warwickshire Safeguarding please visit the website.  Here you will be able to access relevant information and guidance on safeguarding policy, procedures and practice, as well as accessing the following resources:

  • Lessons Learned Briefings (2 page brief providing synopsis of case and key learning points); and
  • 7 Minute Briefings (Single page briefing placing the spotlight on key topics of information identified as requiring further promotion and understanding amongst all professionals working with child and/or adults).


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