This study is evaluating the Placing an advisory teacher in Children’s Social Care intervention, delivered by Bath and North East Somerset (BANES) Virtual School. The intervention places two part-time experienced advisory teachers within the social care team to support a targeted group of children identified through RAG rating on Child Protection (CP) and Children in Need (CIN) plans. The aim of the intervention is to significantly raise the academic outcomes for the cohort. It is the role of the advisory teachers to reduce exclusions, improve attendance and raise progress for the group by working alongside both schools and families to break down barriers to education. Placing an advisory teacher in Children’s Social Care also consists of bespoke packages to support each child, the completion of Pupil Education Plans (PEP), as well as additional support for the school from an Educational Psychologist.
The eligibility criteria for this study is Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), Key Stage 1, 2, 3 and 4 (Nursery to Year 11) who have or have had a social worker in the past six years. This cohort of children on Child Protection (CP) and Children in Need (CIN) plans have significantly lower attainment than their peers. It is therefore crucial to identify effective interventions that close the attainment gap in education to stop these pupils falling behind.
This research builds on a report What Works for Children’s Social Care (WWCSC) released in February 2020 which revisited 63 trials funded by the Education Endowment Foundation to determine what works in education for children who have had social workers. It resulted in WWCSC in collaboration with the Department for Education (DfE) to hold an open call for three school-based programmes which aim to increase educational attainment for children with a social worker.
The mixed-methods pilot evaluation will capture qualitative insights from multiple stakeholders about the intervention programme and its perceived impacts, alongside quantitative administrative data to assess progress towards the stated aims for schools and children. This information will provide an assessment of the feasibility of delivering the programme at scale and inform a future impact evaluation. A light touch cost evaluation will also be conducted.
Due to COVID-related restrictions, some of the listed outcome measures (such as attendance) and timelines may need to be adapted.