Vulnerable children and young people
The overall position remains that, if pupils can learn safely at home, they should.
However, we know that some children and young people rely upon the care and protection provided by schools and other agencies in relation to a range of circumstances.
Where appropriate, local authorities will need to ensure and prioritise continued care and support for these pupils during the period of school closure
Vulnerable children and young people – definition
Children and young people may be vulnerable for a range of reasons including: being on the child protection register; looked after; on the edge of care; being eligible for Free School Meals; having complex additional support needs; being affected by poverty and deprivation.
This is not an exhaustive list of reasons and other groups of children and young people may have increased vulnerability due to closures of early learning centres and schools.
Decision making for this group
Those who work directly with children and young people are best placed to identify children and young people who will require support in order to secure their wellbeing, as a result of ELC and school closures.
Local authorities will know the children and families within their areas who are potentially at risk.
This will include:
- children whose names are on the child protection register
- children who are looked after at home or away from home (in foster, kinship care or residential care); and
- children who are ‘on the edge of care’ and whose families will be under particular strain during the current crisis
Not all of these children will need the additional help that school or ELC can provide during this time, but their lead professional (who may be in school) can advise on that.
Named Person (key point of contact) service during school closures
Named persons as key points of contact are a very important first response for vulnerable children (as defined above).
Local authorities will need to consider how best to continue to provide key points of contact during the school closure period.
Please contact your local authority for information about the arrangements they are putting in place. Read the contact details for your local authority.