Central School Attendance and Welfare Service (CSAWS)
The City of Birmingham School work alongside the Central School Attendance and Welfare Service Ltd (CSAWS) which is an Independent Education Welfare Service that provide guidance, advice and direct work in raising whole school attendance and improving outcomes for pupils and their families across our school. We believe that through attending school every day on time children and young people will get the best possible start in life. There are clear links between attendance and attainment, raising standards, fulfilling potential and safeguarding.
CSAWS are involved in the direct casework of children, young people and their families and use assessment skills, knowledge and strategies developed to understand the barriers to school attendance, challenge parentally condoned absence, promote and secure school attendance.
Poor attendance is a major cause for concern for any young person and can lead to high levels of vulnerability. COBS and CSAWS maintains contact with the Education Legal intervention team (ELIT) through the running of the ‘Fast Track’ attendance scheme, which targets persistent absentees and can lead to fines for cases where there is no improvement in attendance. In extreme cases this can also lead to parent/carers receiving a 'School Attendance Order' via the Courts.
Family Support Workers
Each of our campuses has a 'Family Support Worker', (FSW), whose primary role is to liaise with families over a number of issues including attendance and behaviour. They are able to offer personalised support to families including one-to-one sessions with parents and pupils, group sessions, and an all-round support package for families who may want to access it.
City of Birmingham school is committed to keeping our students safe, both in school and the wider community. As part of our safeguarding arrangements, we have a two-way information sharing agreement in place with West Midlands Police, and we are also active members of our local constituency Police & Schools Panel.
The agreement is compliant with Crime & Disorder Act 1998, Data Protection Act 2018 – 2021 Update and United Kingdom General Data Protection Regulation (UK-GDPR); and focuses on preventing young people from becoming involved, or further involved, in crime and anti-social behaviour (as either a victim or offender) or those who have been reported as missing that may be vulnerable as a result.
This joint approach helps us to intervene early; provide additional support, and share up-to-date safety messages with students and their families/carers. If you have any queries about this partnership work please contact Sunil Vyakaranam (Lead DSL).
Student Social Workers
Since 2014-2015, COBS has taken part in an initiative placing student social workers from local universities in schools as part of their course. We have several students each year who contribute greatly to our safeguarding work. They are able to provide one-to-one sessions; complete 'Early Help Assessment' requests' and referrals to other agencies for support, and follow the cases through; link with outside agencies such as Barnardo’s and Spurgeon's; support parents where necessary; and gain excellent experience in a range of safeguarding cases.