Published: Wednesday, 08 June 2016
Key messages from recent meeting of Enfield Safeguarding Children Board.
Early Help & Support in Enfield
Providing high quality help and support to children and their families at an early stage before problems escalate is vital and a high priority for the Safeguarding Board and all our partners. The new Early Help Strategy is nearing completion and when finalised in the autumn it will give us a clear overview of the approach to providing early help, as well as clearly mapping those agencies and services who are involved and how they can be accessed. For more information on Early Help Services and how to refer to them visit the Local Offer page of the Enfield website.
Education – Children Missing Education (CME) & Elective Home Education
These two important areas were discussed at the meeting in June. Children who are missing from education are defined as children who:
- Are not on a school roll or being educated otherwise (e.g. privately or in alternative provision) for example children of travelling communities or immigrant families who never are registered for education; or
- Have been out of any educational provision for a substantial period of time (usually agreed as ten days without provision of reasonable explanation).
Each year, a number of children will either fail to start in a new school or appropriate education provision or become lost from school rolls or fail to re-register at a new school when they move home.
In Enfield there is careful monitoring of these children with a view to establishing: where they are, that they are safe, and ensuring they are receiving an education. A new multi-agency Missing Children Risk Management Group has been established to help us track these children. Numbers of children missing education are now significantly lower than they have been for a number of years, evidencing effective information sharing and follow up.
There are concerns about the numbers of children who are home educated and whether or not they are getting the academic and pastoral support they require. The team in Enfield works hard to engage with families who choose to home educate and visits at least annually. We know that there are a number of ‘supplementary schools’ in the borough where children receive some form of education and work continues to identify and engage with these establishments.
Alan Wood’s Review of LSCBs and Government Response
The review of LSCBs undertaken by Alan Wood along with the Government response to the review, have now been published. The review proposes a number of significant changes to the way local areas make arrangements to safeguard children, including suggesting that LSCBs in their current format, may be abolished altogether and replaced with a range of different models. The key requirement is that the three central agencies: the local authority, the police and health, come together to plan and organise local structures and systems to keep children safe. The review also recommends some substantial changes to the way child deaths are reviewed and the way that Serious Care Reviews (SCRs) are carried out, to try to maximise the learning element of these processes.
In Enfield we will continue to discuss the report and its recommendations and to monitor activity across the country before making decisions about how we move forward later in the year. The key message at the moment however, is that the business of the Safeguarding Board continues as usual and that our absolute priority remains ensuring children and young people are kept safe and supported to thrive.