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EOTAS 11      

Ymateb gan: Bwrdd Iechyd Prifysgol Bae Abertawe ___________________________________


National Assembly for Wales
Children, Young People and Education Committee Inquiry into Education Otherwise than at School EOTAS 11

Response from: Swansea Bay University Health Board



Response to call for evidence in relation to pupils who are EOTAS

The evidence below is supplied by Swansea Bay University Health Board and relates to 2 of the specific areas identified under the advised Terms of Reference specifically and includes a response to the detailed questions posed within the Inquiry (p2-3).

1.       The quality of support provided to children and young people in the range of EOTAS provision’

Although many of the specific areas on which this call for evidence is made relate specifically to education colleagues children and young people, who are EOTAS, access to universal programmes, particularly vaccinations, offered and delivered in the school setting by School Nursing Services can be compromised.

In Swansea Bay University Health Board we have a School Nurse named against the PRUs within our footprint and all national vaccination programmes are offered to any pupil who is EOTAS in their PRU setting.

There is concern that data within the HB Child Health Department is not always fully up to date which means some pupils are not identified appropriately.

To address this concern there is a need for the new child health system [CYPrIS] which is being rolled out nationally [and is hosted by NWIS not individual HBs] to have a ‘read across’ function to allow it to automatically update a pupil’s details as provided by education to the HB.

Agreement is in place via an ISP with the 2 LA partners of the HB but the current functionality within CYPrIS does not support this ‘read across’. A change request to incorporate this functionality was made on behalf of School Nursing services nationally some time ago and accepted but to date has not been actioned.

2.     The potential risks for children and young people EOTAS such as increased barriers to accessing mental health support, increased risk of involvement with crime and the criminal justice system such as ‘county lines’.

While it is accepted that any pupil disengaged at any level is more vulnerable and therefore at higher risk of the various forms of exploitation being EOTAS should not in itself be a barrier to accessing mental health support.

Provided that education colleagues are aware of the signs of emotional distress and/or when they have concerns about a pupil’s mental health ensure appropriate sign posting and/or referrals pathways are adhered to being EOTAS does not impact on the HBs response.

In line with our HB Values ensuring children and young people’s rights are met is key and in support of this aim we have in place a Children’s Charter that outlines what can be expected by any child or young person and their family in regard to support and service provision. This does of course equally apply to every child and young person regardless of where they are educated.


Response to Inquiry into education other than at school (EOTAS)

Reasons for and support available for children and young people at risk of EOTAS, including through their exclusion from mainstream provision.


The variation in rates of EOTAS for children and young people with particular characteristics (such as learners with special educational needs or who are eligible for free school meals) and the consequences of this.


There are multiple reasons for EOTAS, including exclusion and school refusal. Within a graduated response in Education, or a tiered model of health care, there must be universal and targeted services for prevention and early identification, as well as assessment and intervention for those with identified need.

These CYP need a robust multiagency approach to identify and support the ALN that underpins behaviour and wellbeing.  The new ALN framework has a greater emphasis on person centred practices that reflect the strengths, needs and aspirations of the pupil.

They remain the responsibility of the Local Education Authority because they are not electively home educated. In order to identify and meet the need, the LA needs to co-ordinate support from their own services, e.g. Educational Psychology, Behaviour Support Teachers, Home Tuition Service. They also need to expertise from colleagues in Health and Social Services, e.g. Speech and Language Therapy, CAMHS.

How effectively parents are engaged and supported through the process of EOTAS.

Parent engagement is universal priority for all agencies. It can be difficult to maintain communication and relationships when placement breaks down. Again, this needs consistent communication between agencies to ensure information is timely and accurate.

The levels of financial support available to support EOTAS and children and young people at risk of becoming EOTAS and whether this represents value for money.


The potential risks for children and young people EOTAS such as increased barriers to accessing mental health support, increased risk of involvement with crime and the criminal justice system such as ‘county lines’.

The Local Authority has overall responsibility for CYP who are EOTAS or at risk of becoming EOTAS. There are some specific services such as Youth Offending who would work with many of these pupils and report on value based intervention, e.g. cost and outcomes. There is clear evidence that these pupils are at increased risk of unidentified ALN, mental health disorders and offending.

Outcomes and wellbeing of children and young people EOTAS.

As with all aspects of intervention, this needs a clear and agreed multiagency measure for outcomes and wellbeing that reflects the specific needs of the individual CYP through a Person Centred Plan. These will vary; some pupils may gradually reintegrate to their mainstream school, others will need specialist provision to meet their needs.

Attainment of children and young people EOTAS.


The quality of support provided to children and young people in the range of EOTAS provision.


Professional development support for Pupil Referral Unit staff, including those who provide home tuition


These questions can only be answered by the Local Education Authority because they relate to standards of teaching, learning and professional development. The new Estyn framework has specific standards related to wellbeing and approach to learning, as well as care, support and guidance.