The Education Safeguarding Service (ESS) is a new service which was launched in September 2019.
It is an amalgamation of the Education Welfare Service and the two Education Safeguarding Advisors.
The service is split across 3 geographical teams:
- Taunton Deane & West Somerset
- Sedgemoor & North Somerset
- Mendip & South Somerset
The service also has a central team based at County Hall which undertakes a range of business support processes and has a single front door.
The core function of the service will be to support the development of safeguarding practices within education provision (0-25) across Somerset.
It will also hold responsibility for the monitoring of attendance-based indicators in schools and use data thresholds to trigger support and where necessary, challenge.
Specific activities include:
- Investigating education safeguarding complaints and concerns relating to providers
- Delivering termly DSL Network Conferences
- Elective Home Education monitoring and visits
- Children Missing Education monitoring and investigation
- Penalty Notices for Unauthorised Term Time Holidays and Irregular Attendance
- Managing Safeguarding Audits of education providers
- Children in Employment / Chaperone Licences
Its developing traded offer will be based on individualised packages of support for education providers.
The service will also play a key role in supporting the new local area safeguarding arrangements and will be held to account by the new Education Safeguarding Partnership.
While it retains the ability to commence legal interventions against families where attendance is an issue and where that intervention is likely to result in the desired outcome of improved attendance, its primary focus will be to ensure schools explore and exhaust all early help mechanisms on the basis that ‘Poor attendance is the symptom of another issue’.
To that end, referrals will need to be routed through Team Around the School (TAS) where:
- Universal interventions (including Warning Penalty Notices) have been unsuccessful in terms of improving attendance and exploration of intervention at Tier 2 / Early Help is required or a Penalty Notice is appropriate.
- An EHA is being used as a referral tool, following discussion and agreement at TAS where further investigation is required into whether a parent is ensuring full school attendance.
Service Criteria to include in the EHA:
Please ensure you complete the EHA in full, no additional information is required to make a request for support.
Please use the drop-down menu to select “Education Safeguarding Service”
Email address: Educationsafeguarding@somerset.gov.uk