Nearly 300 professionals who work with children and young people came together during the autumn term with a joint ambition of improving outcomes for vulnerable children in Somerset.
The recent events brought a number of partner agencies together, including schools from across Somerset, to share the good practice going on to try and narrow the gap between vulnerable pupils and their peers.
Cllr Frances Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Children and Families for Somerset County Council, said: “It is well known that there is an unacceptable gap in attainment between vulnerable children and their peers. This gap only gets worse as children grow older. These events aimed to tackle this inequality by encouraging schools and other agencies to work together and step in early when a child or young person is struggling.”
There are already a number of examples in Somerset where schools and agencies are taking the initiative and setting up multi-agency teams to support vulnerable children.
Presentations were given by representatives from The King Alfred School in Highbridge, The Blue School in Wells, West Somerset College in Minehead and the Halcon One Team in Taunton to showcase how partnership working has benefited different agencies and the children in that area.
Cllr Nicholson continued: “It is wonderful that so many professionals took the time to attend these events, highlighting that all agencies are working hard to change things for children in Somerset. The challenge will now be to ensure that the good practice we saw at the events is developed and delivered effectively and consistently across the County.”
Some schools are already discussing how they can work together in the future and guidance is currently being developed by the County Council.
Presentations and case studies from the events are available to download at http://extranet.somerset.gov.uk/cscimprovement/nine-priorities/embedding-early-help/improving-outcomes-for-vulnerable-children/