Partners Luke Judd and Craig Clarke update us on their recent discussions with Local Government clients on the challenges faced by Children’s Services to address Covid-19. In particular, the safeguarding of vulnerable children when access to families is restricted and school attendance is hugely diminished. Plus, they consider how a new large cohort of vulnerable learners, whose access to learning is now at risk, has added significantly to overall numbers at risk.
The return to school has meant not just the challenge to introduce of a new operational model to keep staff and pupils safe but also the responsibility to assess risk, which has fallen to each school to determine. Looming large, of course, is the funding deficit resulting from this additional burden. As Craig and Luke conclude, however, it is heartening to know the agility, creativity and dedication of our Children’s Services as they have focused entirely on what can be done, when at times this must have seemed impossible.