Zofia Niemtus

Can we fix our safety net for vulnerable pupils?

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Vulnerable children who should be getting multi-agency support are falling through gaps in the system. A lack of funding across mental health services and other public agencies is preventing a joined-up approach, warn insiders – and schools are being left to pick up the pieces. So, is there a way to repair our broken support network, asks Zofia Niemtus

Can we fix our safety net for vulnerable pupils?

Katie is 15 years old and she’s struggling. For the past year, she’s been living with an eating disorder that has resulted in her being hospitalised more than once, and she’s missed significant periods of school. She has previously been identified as requiring special educational needs and disabilities support, and there have been issues with her family, including a spell when she was homeless.

Her particular combination of needs means that she is in regular contact with a doctor, a clinical psychologist, a social worker, a counsellor and a speech and language therapist, who all need to ...

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