Under-threat service for vulnerable children in Bolton will not be axed

Bolton Town Hall

Bolton Town Hall

First published in The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , education reporter

VULNERABLE children will continue to be cared for by an “essential” service which was threatened under changes to the way local government is now funded.

Education chiefs have teamed up with local schools to retain the Behaviour Support Service — and improve it — to support schools in “managing a growing number of pupils with behavioural, emotional and social difficulties”.

But there is a chance the restructure could result in redundancies.

Under government changes schools now receive funding directly to buy services that before were provided by the local authority.

A shake-up of the service is now under way to best support schools, by, for example having more support and engagement mentors in secondaries.

A Bolton Council spokesman said: “The service provides essential advice, guidance, and support in the management of children who have social, emotional and behavioural difficulties and most schools view it in high regard and wish to retain the shared service.

“We are working closely with schools to further improve the service to best meet their needs and secure their financial backing for the service in the future.

“The proposed re-structure will help achieve this and enable it to further improve the support to schools in managing the growing number of pupils with behavioural, emotional and social difficulties.”

The service provides advice, guidance to schools to help manage children who have social, emotional and behavioural difficulties, summer holiday and half-term activities for youngsters, parenting programmes and has links with other organisations .

The spokesman added: “Every effort will be made to minimise compulsory redundancies and effects on staff and before any final decision is made trades unions, staff, elected members and key service users will be fully consulted on the proposals.”

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