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East London council leads the way in inclusive education work

children studying in classroom Tags Adults , Business , Children , Council , Family , N/A , Residents , Teenagers

Barking and Dagenham Council's education team has had its work celebrated in the Royal Society for Arts, Manufactures and Commerce's (RSA) toolkit designed for practitioners in schools, trusts and local authorities.

The toolkit is a product of an 11-month project which saw the RSA partner with the Mayor of London to investigate how London schools, multi-academy trusts and local authorities can engage in early intervention work to become more inclusive and nurturing. It included a focus on reducing the number of formal and informal exclusions.

A case study of the East London council features over four pages in the toolkit, highlighting the borough's success in developing key relationships with professionals across services and departments to improve outcomes for residents. 

It showcases the council's multidisciplinary approach, Step Up Stay Safe (SUSS). This programme involves working with community organisations, the youth-offending service and local stakeholders to support the wellbeing of children, young people and adults.

"The case study is an excellent summary of the education team's hard work and dedication to improving outcomes for our children, young people and their families."

The different strands of the successful programme are outlined, including:

•    Weekly vulnerable pupil hot clinics, which allow professionals to refer their concerns about vulnerable pupils to the local authority designated officer (LADO), Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), early help, social care, universal health and the youth-offending service.

•    The council's dedication to encouraging Pupil Voice. Children and young people can make their voices heard through different forums, including a youth advisory group that meets with the police quarterly and the Tootoot app that enables pupils to voice their opinions on school life.

•    The council's efforts to combat youth violence. The Met Police regularly deliver anti-knife crime workshops, and schools receive training for searching, screening, and confiscating offensive weapons. The Lost Hours campaign encourages parents to take responsibility for their children and promotes positive activities young people can get involved in after school.

Councillor Evelyn Carpenter, Cabinet Member for Educational Attainment and School Improvement, said: "The case study is an excellent summary of the education team's hard work and dedication to improving outcomes for our children, young people and their families.

"I am incredibly proud of our work to prevent exclusions and our collaborative approach to supporting schools."

Overall behaviour in Barking and Dagenham secondary schools is good, with Ofsted rating over 90% of schools as good or outstanding. Exclusion rates in primary and secondary schools are below national and London rates.

Councillor Maureen Worby, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care Integration said: "Joint working and commissioning is key to providing better outcomes for vulnerable children and young people.

"By working together, we can make sure no child or family is left behind.”

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