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Rise in children placed under council protection plans

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Published at 9:01am 12th January 2019.

More children are coming under county council child protection plans.

The figures had been going down but the latest statistics show a jump of more than 30 per cent – from 251 in April to 329 at the end of December.

But despite the increase, which the county councils say is difficult to explain, officers say it is too early to tell if this is a trend.

The figures, although up, remains below the national benchmark.

The December figure gives a rate, per 10,000, of 42.8. The last calculation of the national average was 45.3 per 10,000 and Dorset’s statistical neighbours average was 38.5.

This puts Dorset just below the national average and just above its statistical neighbours.

“The most important thing is to make sure we have the right children, on the right plan, at the right time,” said a county social services spokesman.

The county council safeguarding committee on Monday 14th will also be told that while the number of children persistently absent from primary school has fallen the number of secondary pupils persistently not at school has increased.

“Possible factors include an increase in mental health/anxiety issues and the use of study leave and pupils leaving school before the end of term,” say the report authors as a possible explanation for the change.

The measure of ‘persistent absence’ refers to the percentage of pupils that have missed 10% or more of all available school sessions calculated over two sessions per day.


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