The Narrowing the Gap research project, funded by the Department for Children, Schools and Families, is currently examining what arrangements are working. Project lead Christine Davies said several approaches have been reinforced by the work so far, including the need for strong leadership at all levels in the trust, and schools working in co-operation with other services for children and young people. She added: "The engagement of parents is undoubtedly critical in securing improved outcomes for vulnerable groups."
The project will look at how to sustain links between schools, children's centres and children's services and how to engage parents. It will also examine the best ways to use systems brought in by Every Child Matters, to strengthen local arrangements and set up systems for developing local leaders to deliver improved services.