The Council’s continued investment into Children and Families will aim to see its children’s services rated as ‘Good’, recognising the significant journey of improvement we have been on. The Council will continue to invest in its school estate, including the delivery of a new secondary school and extra places to keep pace with development.
Vision and Objectives
Children and young people are Worcestershire’s future. Putting children at the heart of everything we do is our “golden thread” as we know the importance of having a great start in life. This permeates throughout all our activity, and informs how we work with partners to achieve the best outcomes for our children and young people. To provide the best possible opportunities we must be part of a multi-agency commitment to invest in our children and young people and ensure our services support them to flourish.
We continue our focus on improving the life experience and outcomes for all children and young people in Worcestershire. We have a clear ambition to provide a good educational offer across Worcestershire to enable children and young people to achieve their full potential. We know this is vital to support their transition to adulthood and being able to live happy, healthy and prosperous lives. Investing in our young people in this way also helps support our other priorities around health and wellbeing and equips our future generation with the skills to secure well-paid and rewarding jobs of the future.
A key priority is also keeping children and young people safe. We work pro-actively to ensure children have a safe and stable family environment as we know the best outcomes can often be achieved within a family setting. Should a child or young person be potentially vulnerable or unsafe, we will continue to act decisively, putting their welfare and safety first and then look to provide a positive care experience for them.
Education – providing the best start in life
Investing in education is vital to provide our children and young people with the best start in life. Whilst this is delivered through a range of different providers, including maintained schools and academies, we will support all schools, educational providers and early years settings to meet high quality standards. We continue to work alongside these providers to develop and promote a first-class educational curriculum and high-quality teaching, enabling the sharing of best practice across the County.
We are committed to ensuring at least four out of every five schools across Worcestershire are rated by Ofsted as ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ and will continue to work closely with those others to improve their performance. Already our educational performance across Worcestershire is above the national average, and we are focused on improving this in all areas of the County to give our children and young people the opportunities to thrive. We’ll also be focusing on improving outcomes for vulnerable and disadvantaged learners and supporting them to access learning.
We will continue to invest in our schools, ensuring good classroom facilities and learning environments, including the delivery of a new secondary school in Worcester. Our investment in our school estate will deliver more school places ensuring all children are able to access a provision of their choice that meets their needs and to match the needs of our growing County.
Transition from education to employment
To thrive, our children and their families need to have access to economic opportunity, accessible education and employment and to live in an environment that is a good place to live and grow up. The physical and mental health of our younger generation is also key to reducing need and demand in the long term. We will be working to ensure the voice and needs of children, young people and their families are heard across Worcestershire and that we take advantage of opportunities to develop our own services in line with the needs of these groups.
We are committed to supporting our young people transition from education to the workplace. A recent Worcestershire Skills Show was visited by over 6,000 young people from 43 schools and colleges, exploring over 120 Worcestershire employers. We will continue to run events like this to provide young people an opportunity to explore Worcestershire’s employment sectors, getting to know its employers and their work, the skills they are seeking, and career entry points.
We recognise the importance of providing highquality apprenticeships within the County. We will work in partnership to raise the profile of apprenticeship schemes and the positive contributions they have in providing our younger generations with a bright working future. The County Council is a leader in this space, currently employing 150 apprentices directly and supporting a further 140 across the County – providing great career opportunities for local young people.
Keeping Children Safe
Safeguarding is at the heart of what we do. We recognise the value of family life and we aim to ensure all children and young people experience a childhood where they feel happy, healthy and safe, giving them the stable building block to being successful young adults able to make a positive contribution to their communities and society.
We will also fulfil our statutory duty to identify vulnerable children in need and those in need of protection, taking effective and timely action when necessary to promote their welfare and protect them from harm. We will work with our partners to provide early help and family support to children and young people, including those with disabilities and additional needs and those identified as “vulnerable children” at risk of exploitation and or missing in education.
We will “enable and promote” parents to care for their own children well, including through our edge of care services, preventing family breakdown or support a return to family care where it is safe to do so.
Where necessary we will continue to intervene to ensure the safety of a child and where children are received into our care we will ensure children and young people have a positive, stable and local care experience achieving timely permanency.
Alongside promoting the role of corporate parents to children and young people in our care, we will work together with our districts, partners and stakeholders.
Ensuring these vulnerable young people have “permanency” in their care arrangement, access to education and training, accommodation and support that enables them to make a positive journey through care, as they transition into young adults
How we will measure this
- Better than the national average attainment at GCSE and A-levels
- At least four out of five schools rated Good or Outstanding by Ofsted
- 90% of children getting their first preference school
- Our Children’s Services rated Good by Ofsted
- Higher than average number of young people accessing Education, Employment and Training