Welfare Call monitors attendance and provides assessment for a number of different cohorts which range from: in and out of borough looked after children, youth offenders, SEN children, children missing education (CME), Post 16 children, children attending alternate provisions and Gypsy/ Roma / Traveller children. We also monitor other vulnerable cohorts such as children who are at risk of being sexually exploited.
Using a team of over 45 dedicated and experienced call operators, Welfare Call is able to gather attendance and attainment data on children regardless of what type of education provision they attend (registered schools, residential homes, PRU’s, hospitals based provisions, youth offending institutes and work based provisions for post 16 children, colleges etc).
The data collected is then provided to the Virtual School through over 60 different reports which can be scheduled on a basis to suit the authorities needs and to as many different recipients as requested. In addition to this we also have our online extranet service.
The extranet shows data in relation to attendance, attainment, school information and social worker / carer information. There’s also a section on the extranet (which is a firm favourite of the authorities using us) which shows other local authorities children who may be educated within the users’ authority (OLA children) providing the authority has signed the information sharing agreement. This data can be viewed online in real time by the Virtual School at anytime and enables the Virtual School to intervene promptly to individual cases and develop strategic responses to trends when looked after children are absent from school. This ultimately helps the Virtual School prevent breaks in learning and disengagement of young people whilst ensuring the child is safeguarded.
Welfare Call prides itself on the fact that its unique selling point is the human interaction and one to one communication it has with educational provisions. Using this method of data collection enables our call operators to build a relationship with the provisions and gives it a personal and friendly interface. In addition to this, the building of relationships enables us to query certain marks that may be slightly ambiguous or contradictory. Our vast amount of experience and ever increasing customer base (nearly 100 local authorities) proves that this method is the most effective way to gather attendance data reliably, timely and accurately.
Due to Welfare Call making daily telephone calls and not extracting data directly from schools systems means that there is no need for the schools to have to install any additional software. This also means that Welfare Call will never access information for children they are not responsible for, but also helps ensure that we are able to obtain 100% of the daily attendance at all times.
The cost of daily monitoring is seen by some as prohibitively expensive, but when compared with the cost of employing somebody to manually collect the data from within the authority or the cost incurred when serious incidences occur, it pales into significance. The ability to monitor the attendance of children placed in residential settings/ homes also enables the Virtual School to challenge the setting and its effectiveness whilst the child/children are being educated. These settings are by their nature very expensive, and as such, the local authority is required to ensure they are meeting their contractual obligations.
If you have any questions or queries or require any further information please contact us.
Ivy Namala – Lambeth Virtual School
The EPEP is an excellent tool. It is as good as the information we give to Welfare Call. Once there I feel confident that the data is kept more accurate, than the one we have at our local authority . It is reassuring that Welfare Call does most of the work, especially the monitoring of attendance. Welfare Call sometimes know the whereabouts of a child school change, before the social worker or Virtual School. It is reassuring. Thank you!
Graeme Ferguson, Virtual School Head, Derby City Council
We have been using the Welfare Call ePEP now for over a year having had a paper based PEP previously.
Over this period we have seen:
- our timely completion rates for the ePEP improve from 85% to 95%
- an improved quality of what has been written within the ePEP
- greater consistency
- improved communication with DT’s and SW’s
- better accountability for responsibilities
Chris Hargreaves Virtual School Head for Doncaster
I have used Welfare Call for the last three years. The basic service enables me to track, closely, the attendance and exclusions of children in care. I appreciate the support received from the company – they listen to the customer and respond in a positive and effective way.
Jane Munroe Virtual School Head for Harrow Authority
The customer service we receive from Welfare Call is excellent. They always answer calls, return emails, solve problems and are very helpful when things do not go according to plan.
Lorraine Brown, HEART Administrator for Enfield Authority
During the last 5 years Welfare Call staff have been most helpful in providing any specific reports as required in a timely fashion. Telephone calls are met with a willingness to help. More than pleased with service and have recently signed a three year contract.
Erika Lutzke, Business Support Officer for London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham Authority
We have been employing the services of Welfare Call for a number of years now, and find them indispensable to the collection of looked after children’s attendance and exclusion data, and also their KS2/KS4 data. Welfare Call reports make it easy to compare and analyse data and take appropriate measures to improve our children’s attendance and attainment.
‘Care Matters’ Parliamentary Green Paper (page 60)
Tower Hamlets have contracted with a private company to monitor the school attendance of their children in care. The company call the school every day for those children most at risk of non- attendance and less frequently for those attending regularly. Where a child is not in school, Tower Hamlets will be alerted and can then investigate the reasons for non- attendance. As a result, the number of children in care absent for 25 days or more dropped by 22% in a year: the number of children with permanent exclusions dropped by 33%; and the number of fixed term exclusions dropped by more than 50%.
Wendy Holmes, Advisory Officer Alternate Provision Attendance for North Lincolnshire Authority
Welfare Call has given me a first class service and response at all times. No change is too much trouble for them. They are a very knowledgeable company, who know what they are talking about and are willing to go the extra mile.
Tony Clifford, Virtual Head for Stoke-on-Trent Authority
Working with Welfare Call over the six years that our Virtual School has been in place has been one of the key factors in enabling us to achieve a ‘good’ judgement for Enjoy and Achieve from Ofsted in our recent inspection of LAC services. Our performance teams have been able to work closely with Welfare Call to give us accurate and immediate information about all our out of city LAC and this in turn has improved the timeliness and effectiveness of our interventions. I am impressed by Welfare Call’s commitment to making a difference to young people in care
Steve Mather Virtual Head for Sheffield Authority
We have had an annual contract with Welfare Call for several years, and we have been so satisfied with their service that I have been able to persuade my director to allow me to arrange a longer term deal with them. As a result I am able to deploy my team of staff much more effectively on advocacy and challenge rather than administration and compliance. We are in contact with the company on an almost daily basis. They respond to our requests for support almost immediately, and in a most professional and positive manner. They monitor the attendance of each child wherever they are in the country by calling every school every day, and by alerting social workers and carers to any unexplained non-attendance the same day. Schools are used to working with them as part of their daily routine. They have been instrumental in supporting us to establish an ePEP solution for our children. As a result our PEP in-date completion figures have improved significantly, and the quality of the PEPs is improving rapidly. They continue to work with us on developing and improving our bespoke template. Clearly we are happy with the service they deliver, and would recommend you talk to them further to explore how they can build your capacity, and meet your needs.