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
    effectively.

    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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