Looked After Children

Welfare Call currently works on behalf of 100+ authorities throughout England and Wales, monitoring over 28,000 looked after children every day. We do this by contacting each individual education provision (whether that be mainstream schools, PRU’s, residential homes, alternate provisions) on a daily basis to determine if a child has gained a registration mark for both the AM and PM session.

The attendance data is gathered by a group of 45 call operators who contact the schools on a one to one personalised basis, at a time specified by them and a contact person of their choice (passwords can also be set up for added security). Welfare Call’s method of attendance collection requires no downloading of software onto the schools system and therefore means that Welfare Call will never access information regarding children they are not responsible for. Through Welfare Call’s extensive training program, our operators maintain a high level of service and knowledge which ensures that not only is all data recorded accurately, but this also allows for certain marks to be challenged and problematic children to be identified quickly so we can notify the virtual school. Our extensive range of attendance reports, coupled with our daily communication to education provisions 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 they are safeguarded.

If any absences are recorded, Welfare Call will also gain the reasons behind the absence where known and report this to you. If the child is excluded we will also ask the school for a hard copy of the letter so the virtual school can see it is a formal exclusion. If it is an unauthorised absence we will then contact the carer to ask why the child is not in education and then also contact the social worker advising them that a child under their remit has not attended school to ensure safeguarding of the child.

All calls are recorded for training purposes and to ensure a level of accuracy and professionalism is maintained by the call operators. Welfare Call uses this process to collect for all children ranging from reception to year 11. We slightly adapt the approach for Post 16 attendance collection in that we make weekly phone calls instead of daily.

The system is modified to accommodate children who are in alternative provisions. When a school marks a child with the code “B” (educated off site) we will ask where the child is being educated and if the school knows the alternative timetable of the child. When we have found out this information, we will then contact the alternative provision directly and mark the child on the sessions they have attended. If a child has been absent from the alternative provision we will then send an automatic email to the on roll school to advise of the absence so the school can correct their mark. This ensures that the on roll schools register (which is a legal document) reflects the child’s true attendance.

Below is a brief outline of some of the service elements that are included as part of the attendance contact:

Service elements

  • Daily calls to education provisions, with allocated time slots and passwords for schools
  • Call to carer if child has an unauthorised absence
  • Calls to social worker /social worker team or email to advise of child absence
  • Update daily of any changes to the following:
    • carer details, social worker details
    • education placement
    • alternative provision
    • children who are not on roll at a provision etc
  • On movement of school; Welfare Call will introduce the service and send a copy of the authority intro letter then backdate attendance to the start date of the school
  • Collect designated teacher name and contact details, SEN information, missing UPN numbers
  • Collect SATS and GCSE results
  • Request hard copies of Exclusion letters
  • Alternative provisions – If a child is being educated at an alternative provision, Welfare Call will contact the alternate provision directly.
  • Vast array of attendance reports that can be sent to multiple people within the authority
  • Extranet service that provides real time data regarding all looked after children we are monitoring on behalf of the authority

If you have any questions or queries or require any further information please contact us.