School attendance and absences for children with a social worker (CSW) are an important consideration for schools and local authority children’s services. A review conducted by the Department for Education in 2019 identified that CSW were almost three times more likely to have missed 10% of possible school sessions than their peers that had never had a social worker. However there are varied reasons for these absences, and CSW have different needs, experiences, and outcomes.
What Works in Children’s Social Care (WWCSC) has commissioned a rapid review to provide evidence on the extent of school non-attendance among different groups of CSW, the effectiveness of targeted interventions and the associated risk factors for school non-attendance amongst CSW.
The review aims to address three research questions:
- What is the extent of school non-attendance among different groups of CSW (e.g., Children in Need (CiN), those on Child Protection Plans (CPPs) and Children Looked After (CLA)?
- What are the risk factors/drivers for school non-attendance among different groups of CSW, including child-, family-, social care- and school-level factors?
- What is the effectiveness of targeted interventions to improve school attendance of different groups of CSW?
The rapid review is being conducted from May 2022 and is estimated to be completed in January 2023.