Schools Work

In Southwark, the ambition for the new Family Early Help Service is to ensure that families are helped when problems emerge and receive the support needed to create and sustain positive change, avoiding escalation into statutory services. This requires the engagement of a wide range of partners, including schools, in the development, commissioning and delivery of services in order to extend the impact and reach of our early help approach.

The Family Early Help (FEH) Service works in close partnership with Southwark Local Authority Primary, Secondary Schools, Multi Academy Trusts and Alternative Education settings. Together they deliver high quality early help practice, ensuring that families secure access to high quality, timely and effective early interventions.

Our new model of Family Early Help practice focuses upon a whole family assessment. It identifies a plan to address areas of need, agreed with the family and other key stakeholders, which may include any key adverse childhood experiences as identified as risk factors within the Troubled Families Programme (school attendance including exclusion, child in need of help, physical and mental health needs, domestic abuse, criminality and financial exclusion/worklessness).

The focus will be on:

  • families where schools have identified the impact of factors inside and outside the school environment that need work ‘in the home’ to improve outcomes for children
  • the school's attempts to work with families have not achieved sufficient change which is still impacting on a child’s learning and attainment

Although as a local authority we believe that attendance is everyone’s business, statutory duties for education welfare are still retained within the Family Early Help Service and are delivered within the principles of a whole family approach with the FEH Education Inclusion Team. The FEH service has close links with the Standards Team and Special Educational Needs (SEN) teams; and they're committed to improving teaching and learning for all children and young people, especially those with additional needs.

We continue to focus on developing our practices and further embedding our close working links between schools, Family Early Help and the local authority irrespective of the status as a maintained school, or trading academy or not as yet trading school.

Page last updated: 26 September 2022

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