Sutton Council launches ‘Social Workers in Schools’ Programme

Published Wednesday, 9th September 2020

Sutton Council will be part of an innovative research project aimed at improving joint working between schools and Children’s Social Care (CSC).

This is a great initiative for Sutton to take part in, with seven schools being assigned a social worker. It’s an exciting opportunity to improve outcomes for children and families and further strengthen partnership working between Children’s Social Care and secondary schools in the borough.

The Social Workers in Schools Programme (SWIS)  is a research programme being overseen by the What Works Centre for Children’s Social Care and will be starting in mid-September. Its aim is to place social workers in secondary schools to resolve issues so that referrals to CSC are less likely. As a result, Sutton Council’s Children’s Services will receive funding from the Department of Education to recruit seven social workers to work in local secondary schools over the coming academic year. By doing this the Council aims to improve outcomes for children so that fewer children need to come into care and educational attainment increases.

SWIS is the continuation of a programme of work that began with three pilots in Lambeth, Southampton and Stockport in 2019. The results of these pilots, published here, suggest that the intervention is positively received, and has produced a reduced number of cases which need to be escalated in children’s services.  

Councillor Marian James, Chair of the People Committee at Sutton Council, said:

‘I am delighted that Sutton Council is part of this research project..We are ambitious for our children and young people and the launch of this programme will enable schools and Children's Social Care to work together to ensure positive interventions and outcomes for secondary age pupils in the borough" .