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Student & Family Support (SAFS)

Commissioned by B&NES Council to support primary and secondary students to engage positively in mainstream education

What is the Student and Family Support Service (SAFS)?

The Student and Family Support Service (SAFS) provides students, their families and schools with individualised packages of support to reintegrate pupils back into school following a Managed Move or Fair Access to School arrangement. This may be needed for a variety of reasons, including mental health, poor attendance and behavioural issues, following a period of home education or a period with the hospital education service.

This student-focused service has a key role to play in narrowing the gap and reducing inequalities in outcomes for local children and young people facing significant challenges.

Mentoring Plus’ service model was designed in consultation with our Youth Reps advocacy group, parents and local teachers. Our young people wanted the service to help foster a kinder education system for local students facing challenges.

Mentoring Plus has been commissioned by Bath & NE Somerset Council to deliver this service since September 2018.

Approximately 100 students are directly supported by our SAFS team each academic year, with up to 36 students at any one time.

Benefits of the SAFS programme

Increased attendance in school

Students reintegrate successfully back into school and attend regularly. Pupils are motivated and engaged in their education, increasingly enjoying learning with confidence

Interested

Pupils are fully involved and informed regarding their intervention, and so are their families.

Parents/carers are supported

Parents/carers are supported and positively engaged with the SAFS service, their child’s education and school.

Improved wellbeing

Pupils have improved emotional wellbeing and resilience.

Supporting schools' strategies

Schools develop strategies for supporting individual children/young people to sustain the student's attendance and positive engagement with school.

Supporting schools

Schools build capacity to support children and young people who may have been disaffected with their education or affected by other challenges.

How does SAFS work for...

Students

Mentoring Plus helps students by providing a skilled Mentoring Practitioner to support their transition back into mainstream education over an initial 16-week period. They work with the student and develop an intervention that can enable them to re-engage in their education. Students can also access additional positive activities through Mentoring Plus to support their continued engagement with education.

Families

Families of SAFS students access support from the Mentoring Practitioner throughout the period, alongside ongoing monthly access to our Parents Plus support group starting within the first academic year of service provision.

Schools

Schools benefit from support and coordination from the Mentoring Practitioner during the period, alongside additional professional development opportunities accessed via the B&NES Behaviour and Attendance Panels.

Referral process

Referrals for the service are submitted by schools via the B&NES Behaviour and Attendance Panels. Students may be eligible for the service if they meet the following criteria:

  • Students in a Managed Move arrangement
  • Students eligible for Fair Access support
  • Students reintegrating into education.

Parents or careers keen to access the service for their child should contact their school directly.

Schools wishing to refer through the Panels should contact Elizabeth Parr at B&NES Council.