Social workers to work with teachers in schools

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has announced that social workers will be placed in schools to work with teachers to support children at risk.

As such, £6.5 million of government funding will help involve more than 150 schools in a project that will place social workers in schools to work with teaching staff, reflecting that the second largest source of referrals to children’s social services is schools (18 per cent). Pilot studies shows placing social workers in schools helps keep children safe because they are able to work with teaching professionals to identify children in need of support.

The announcement also follows news that reports of domestic abuse incidents have been on the rise during the coronavirus pandemic, with some children also experiencing exposure to drug and alcohol misuse or at risk from online harms.

Williamson said: “The stark reality is that too many children are growing up at risk of abuse, neglect and exploitation. These are the most vulnerable in society, and the ones that most need our help. For these children, schools offer a safe space to get support, develop resilience and fulfil their potential. That is why, as schools begin opening more widely and we look to the future, we must take all the steps we can to protect these children. By bringing social workers into schools we can spot the warning signs more quickly.”