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Children's Services

Section 1 – Vision and priorities

Vision

Hampshire’s Children’s Trust embraces a whatever it takes philosophy. We want all our children and young people to do well and, within the resources we have available to us, we will search for those strategies and activities that make sure that they do. If what we are doing fails to make the difference, we will try something else with the use of developing evidence. This is as true in educational settings as within communities. We are ambitious for our children and young people; we challenge expectations where they are too low and we support them all to succeed.

We are committed to upholding and promoting the rights of children and young people, as set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and affirmed by the Government. This includes adhering to the four guiding principles of the Convention: survival and development, non-discrimination, participation and the right to be heard, and best interests. All those who work with, or for, children have a responsibility for respecting, protecting and fulfilling their rights.

How will we implement this vision?

We will promote the Children’s Trust vision with children and families, agencies and partners, including schools and academies. We will ensure that those who work with children and young people reflect the UNCRC in all that they do. Hampshire's innovative Rights, Respect and Responsibilities programme for schools has been in place for several years. Based on UNCRC it aims to help children become responsible citizens, achieve their potential and increase understanding of their rights and also their responsibility to respect the rights of others.

Priorities

Our priorities recognise that the childhood years (beginning with conception and pregnancy) are fundamentally important in shaping adult life chances and opportunities. We have achieved much since the establishment of Hampshire’s Children’s Trust; in safeguarding, in educational attainment and in the wider achievements of children and their communities. Despite budget challenges, we move forward from a position of strength. We will maintain what is already excellent, while at the same time, tackling the difficult challenges presented by disadvantage and poverty with more vigour.

These priorities are informed by comprehensive needs assessment and underpinned by the UNCRC.

All five of our priorities are underpinned by a shared commitment to removing barriers to access, participation and achievement, and not tolerating discrimination and abuse.

The Children’s Trust has a relentless focus on improving outcomes for all, reducing inequalities and narrowing the gap between those who are vulnerable or disadvantaged and their peers.

Removing barriers to access, participation and achievement

Those who are vulnerable or disadvantaged may include the following groups of children and young people. Some children may find themselves in more than one category which increases their potential vulnerability. Equally, children may move in and out of these categories quickly as their circumstances change.

Children and young people living in poverty:

There are 31 areas in Hampshire which are among the most deprived in the country (Index of Multiple Deprivation 2010), and 12.2% of children live in households in receipt of out-of-work benefits, or where the income is low (less than 60% of the national median average) – in some areas of the county this reaches almost 50% (HM Revenue and Customs, 2008/09).

In 2010/11, 29.4% of pupils receiving free school meals achieved five GCSEs grade A*–C, including English and mathematics, compared to an average of 60.2% for all pupils.

Those with mental health problems, those struggling with obesity, those living with domestic violence, alcohol or drug abuse, young parents, and young offenders are all more likely to be living in conditions of poverty.

Children and young people who are in care:

In March 2012, 1,108 children and young people were in the care of the County Council. In 2010/11, 6.6% of children in care achieved five GCSEs grade A*–C, including English and mathematics. In the same year, the percentage of care leavers in education, employment or training was 43%.

Children and young people with mental health problems:

It is estimated that 10%–20% of children and young people have mental health problems, which is equivalent to 30,000 – 60,000 of those aged 0-19 in Hampshire.

Children and young people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities:

In 2011, 2.7% of Hampshire school pupils were recorded as having a statement of Special Educational Needs, almost 5,000 children and young people (Department for Education, 2011). In March 2012, a total of 930 children and young people were being supported by County Council services for disabled children.

In 2010/11, 7.8% of pupils with Special Educational Needs achieved five or more GCSEs grade A*–C, including English and mathematics.

Children and young people whose families have multiple problems, such as mental health or drug and alcohol abuse:

It is estimated that 1,590 families in Hampshire are experiencing five or more of the following factors related to poor outcomes: no parent in work, poor quality or overcrowded housing, no parent with any qualifications, mother with mental health problems, at least one parent with a long-standing limiting illness or disability, low income, and cannot afford a number of items of food and clothing (Department for Education, 2011).

Nationally, it is thought that children from these families are at risk of poor school attendance and attainment, and being involved in anti-social behaviour and crime.

Children and young people who are victims of neglect or abuse:

In March 2012, along with 6,000 children in need, there were 791 children and young people in the county with a Child Protection Plan, which is put in place when a child is identified as either suffering, or at risk of suffering, significant harm as a result of abuse or neglect.

Young carers:

It is estimated that 1% of children and young people in Hampshire are young carers, which is approximately 3,700 of those aged 0-19 (based on the 2001 Census).

Young parents:

593 of Hampshire’s young women aged 15-17 became pregnant in 2010. These young people are at increased risk of not achieving qualifications beyond their teenage years; not finding employment; and/or having difficulty with parenting skills.

Children and young people from a Black, minority ethnic or Traveller family:

Being from a minority group should not, but sometimes does, signify potential disadvantage. In 2011, 8.7% of school pupils were from Black, and minority ethnic (BME) or Traveller heritages, with 0.2% of pupils recorded as Gypsy, Roma or Traveller of Irish heritage. In the same year, 4% of pupils first language was found to be other than English, with 125 languages spoken in the county’s schools.

In 2010/11, the percentage of pupils achieving five or more GCSEs grade A*–C, including English and mathematics, was 25% for pupils from Gypsy, Roma or Traveller backgrounds, 16.7% for Black Caribbean pupils.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender young people:

In a 2011 survey, 1,611 school pupils from Year 7 (age 11-12) and Year 9 (age 13-14) reported that they had been verbally bullied in school or the playground because of their sexual identity. In addition, 541 pupils from these year groups said that they had been verbally bullied because of their gender or gender identity (Hampshire Pupil Attitude Survey 2011).

Young offenders:

In 2010/11, 1,074 young people aged 10-17 entered the Youth Justice System in Hampshire for the first time.

Comprehensive analysis of the numbers, characteristics and needs of these groups of children and young people has informed this Plan. The key needs assessments for Hampshire’s Children’s Trust are: the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment and the Child Poverty Needs Assessment (taken together, these form Section 3 of this Plan).

 

Hampshire's Children and Young People's Plan 2009-12

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