Just BLISS in Bedford

Multi-agency approach helping vulnerable children to stay in school

Bedford Borough Council and partners launched BLISS, a Behaviour, Learning and Inclusions Support Strategy. This multi-agency approach promotes inclusion and helping vulnerable children to stay in school.

Produced in partnership with schools, colleges, nurseries, police and health services, BLISS aims to ensure that schools are supported to be inclusive and effectively tackle challenging behaviour from students, and further reduce exclusions in the borough.

The Council says that while there has been a national rise in exclusions, it has seen progress from schools in reducing permanent exclusions.

The strategy aims to make education accessible to every child. Working with those who are vulnerable to exclusion and provide support at the earliest opportunity.

An enhanced workforce development offer will be made available to all schools, through an Early Help Assessment. With tailored support for children who are struggling with aspects of their behaviour in the classroom.

Cllr James Valentine, portfolio holder for Education and Children’s Services said:

“We want to reduce the number of days children and young people spend away from school. We know a child being excluded will have a negative impact on their learning and they become more vulnerable.

“Children can face challenges away from school and we want to support them as best we can. BLISS is a tool that can help continue to build on the progress already achieved. By focusing the strategy on our service users, we can provide the right support and the right action at the right time.”

Launched alongside BLISS were two further documents; The Little Book of BLISS, a manual to accompany the BLISS, and The Early Help and Intervention Graduated Response.

This outlines the different support that is available to schools when dealing with challenging behaviour, and the approach the Council takes to interventions.