Schools ‘should spearhead welfare’ to be eligible for funding guarantee

Schools’ three-year funding guarantee should be conditional on them
taking responsibility for the overall welfare of children and young
people in their area, delegates were told.

The funding guarantee, outlined in the government’s five-year
education strategy earlier this month, put schools in a “privileged
position”. But with that came responsibility, said Christine
Davies, lead for children’s services at the Confederation of
Education Services Managers.

Funding should be conditional on schools working in partnership
with other local schools to take a “collective responsibility” for
children and young people in their area. Between them schools
needed to ensure they were enrolling all the children and young
people living locally, she said.

Although the Education Act 2002 places a duty on schools to promote
well-being, the duty in the Children Bill to co-operate to improve
well-being does not apply to schools.

Davies warned there was a danger that the new children’s services
agenda could create groups of professionals where fewer groups were
needed, while existing ones needed to communicate more

She also called on managers to motivate their staff to take on
board the new children’s services agenda. “If we don’t empower our
staff to get engaged then it won’t happen.”

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