The Inclusion Team working in partnership with other agencies, are supporting schools to develop their understanding and ability to support children and young people who find it difficult to consistently attend and positively engage in school.
The EBSN guidance supports a graduated approach of support, intervention and services; it is designed to complement and work alongside existing good practice that is happening across schools in Solihull and incorporate support from other SMBC services.
The guidance is based on the current evidence base of the factors which are associated with positive outcomes. These include:
- Early intervention
- Systemic working: working with families, school staff and the young person
- Formulating and intervening according to individual need
Emphasis on the need for a rapid return to the educational setting alongside intervention, support and adaptations with the school and home environment (Baker and Bishop, 2015).
Solihull Council is promoting a graduated approach to supporting CYP with EBSN which involves three stages:
- Universal: Whole school, evidence-based approaches should be utilised to promote wellness enhancing, resilient environments and reduce the likelihood of EBSN concerns emerging. Whole-school training can be accessed to support staff members understanding of what such approaches look like in practice and how they can be successfully implemented.
- Targeted: If staff members identify concerns about a CYP in relation to EBSN, targeted, evidence-based interventions should be implemented following a plan, do, review cycle. Interventions should be tailored to each individual CYP based upon information gathered about the CYP and the reasons known for school non-engagement. Advice should be sought from the Inclusion Service, SISS, SEPS or other professionals’ schools use, if required.
- Specialist: CYP who are identified as requiring external involvement from psychological services (e.g. SEPS, Solar) as evidenced through the Plan, Do, Review process.
The Getting Help Stage
Where risks of emotionally based school non-attendance are identified, it is important to gather further information from the young person, families and school staff involved with the young person and put in place strategies to support them as soon as possible. Fast action can prevent emotionally based school non-attendance from becoming entrenched and result in much better outcomes.
This stage should involve also gaining the view of professionals and agencies that are currently involved in supporting the CYP and family but can also incorporate making referrals to other support agencies to help in the identification of needs and targeted intervention planning e.g. SISS services.
The Solihull EBSN guidance advocates that schools should follow thorough assess, plan, do and review cycles with the young person at the centre of the planning and interventions.
Following the gathering of information from the child, family, school and other professionals involved it is important that ‘sense’ is made of it. In other words, an overview of the whole picture where various factors are obtained and potential formulations or hypotheses regarding the behaviour are formed. These should then inform the intervention and return to school support plan.
In order to understand the cause of EBSA, professionals must consider the CYP’s underlying needs and how these may be contributing towards their presenting behaviour. It can be helpful to consider what the function of the behaviour is and what it may be communicating. Try to separate behaviours from feelings and underlying needs.
Getting More Help
Referral to a psychological service or support service.
Educational Psychologists work both for local authorities and privately across the country. They are trained to post graduate level and may specialise in certain areas. Most schools will have a link EP they work with regularly.
An EP would seek to work with the CYP, families, educational settings and other professionals already involved to develop and psychological formulation of the EBSN functions, which may be gained through further assessment (including observations, consultations and individual assessment work).
This is a team of education specialists who support children and young people with attendance difficulties. They provide training to schools and work directly with families.
Specialist Inclusion Support Service
SISS is a large team of teachers and teaching assistants who specialise in supporting children and young people with additional needs. They are split into several teams covering mental health, learning, disability, communication, autism and early years. The service also runs an additional resource provision for pupils with emotional wellbeing needs and provides training to school staff.
Educational Psychologists work both for local authorities and privately across the country. They are trained to postgraduate level and may specialise in certain areas. Most schools will have a link EP they work with regularly.
An EP would seek to work with CYP, families, educational settings and other professionals already involved to develop a psychological formulation of the EBSN functions, which may be gained through further assessment (including observations, consultations and individual assessment work).
Getting More Help
Referral to a psychological service or support service (eg SOLAR).
It is important that there is a shared understanding and awareness of EBSN indicators, so that CYP at risk of EBSN can be identified as early as possible so that effective support can be put in place. It may that young people present with few or many different indicators of EBSN.
Please see Table 1 below which outlines some possible early indicators of EBSN (those you may notice before the CYP’s patterns of behaviour become entrenched) and indicators of EBSN (those you may notice once the CYP’s patterns of behaviour are more established).
In order to recognise the possible indicators of EBSN it is important that staff members remain curious about CYP’s behaviour, try to refrain from making assumptions and share information with colleagues to establish a holistic picture.
|Early indicators of EBSN
|Indicators of EBSN
For further information regarding this guidance and how your school can implement it, or to discuss further training requirements please contact: