Dr Amanda Waterman, School of Psychology, Faculty of Medicine and Health
Covid-19 Rapid Action Fund
One of the consequences of the COVID-19 ‘lockdown’ is that large numbers of children are hidden from view, and safeguarding health professionals have been pulled onto frontline duties. The low number of vulnerable children who appear to be attending school is of concern. Local Authorities lack the capacity to track how vulnerable families and children are interacting with their education services during the COVID-19 crisis (and/or explore how this links to health).
We are currently trying to get insights into the situation on the ground – and we are creating questionnaires to capture information from local communities. However, we also need to support our existing network of researchers (available as they have been removed from school testing duties) to communicate – remotely – with Headteachers and SENCOs to capture data about the success (or otherwise) of initiatives to support vulnerable children and home learning. We will then be able to link to existing routine data sets within the Connected Bradford project around areas such as health, education, crime etc. This work will provide much needed information to the local government, but the DfE also need such information in order to inform their understanding of the National picture.
Dr Amanda Waterman can be contacted by email: A.H.Waterman@leeds.ac.uk