This study is evaluating the Transition Support Programme, developed and delivered by Hartlepool Borough Council. Transition Support aims to improve the educational, social and emotional outcomes for children with a social worker that have been identified as having an increased risk of a difficult secondary transition. The programme involves a combination of whole-school training in primary and secondary schools, targeted teacher training, the planning of personalised transition support, the completion of a Transition Planning Profile Tool for each child and person-centred approach to meetings, as well as multi-agency working with social care teams.
The eligibility criteria for this study is Year 6 children who have or have had a social worker in the last six years and are considered to be a Child in Need or subject to a Child Protection Plan. The cohort of approximately 100 children will transition into Year 7 over the course of the programme and are identified to be at increased risk of a difficult secondary transition. The ages of the children in the cohort will range from 10 – 12 years old.
This research builds on a report 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 What Works for Children’s Social Care (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 pilot evaluation includes mixed methods and an implementation and process evaluation (IPE). The mixed method approach will involve observations of training sessions and person centred planning meetings; interviews with teachers, social workers and child; a pupil survey and analysis of administrative data (Transition Planning Profile Tool data). The IPE will capture qualitative data from stakeholders and recipients involved in the programme.
Due to COVID-related restrictions, some aspects of delivery (face-to-face training and whole school training) and timelines may need to be adapted.