Practitioner Service

Our school support practitioners are based in schools or the community and provide bespoke whole family support to tackle barriers to low attendance. We primarily support children who are either persistently or severely absent, missing more than 10% or 50% of their schooling respectively.
Practitioner service
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School and community practitioners

We currently deliver our practitioner service in seven locations in England. Within these locations, our practitioners either work with and for one school – our school based model. Orthey may work across a number of schools – our community model. We work with primary, secondary and alternative provision settings to support children back to school.

Practitioner service key features

Practitioner service key features


  • Practitioners are professionals in family support work and have the time to dig a little deeper to understand the underlying causes of absence.
  • Practitioners are trained, supervised and supported in this work by a team of specialists with access to a range of resources.
  • The whole family support model used by our practitioners focuses on addressing school absence within and beyond the school gate.
  • School-Home Support practitioners are ‘off timetable’ so provide additional dedicated capacity to work with families on attendance.
  • Our practitioners work with, not for schools so they truly are independent from schools and statutory services to offer impartial support and advice to families and children.
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How our practitioner service operates

Our practitioner service is designed with flexibility at its core, allowing us to customise and adapt it according to the unique requirements of each setting.

The approach taken by our practitioners is bespoke, with interventions not bound by time limits, recognising the individuality of each family.

Our collaborative process involves working closely with families to conduct a thorough assessment of their needs, leading to the co-creation of a personalised plan.

This tailored plan is crafted to strengthen their resilience and foster greater independence, addressing the specific challenges faced by each family, giving them resources and tools for sustainable support.

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What do practitioners do?

School-Home Practitioners  are education professionals that come from a range of backgrounds. Working for School-Home Support means their roles are not limited to one area of delivery. This holistic approach recognises the interconnectedness of family dynamics and aims to create a supportive environment both within and outside the school setting

Our family support practitioners are supported by a wider team. This team has a wealth of expertise and supports across many areas. We also work with other agencies and charities to refer families and young people to other services as needed. 

Practitioners can also offer financial support through our Uniform and Welfare Funds to families to cover the cost of the uniform and any emergency necessities like food, travel expenses or furniture. 

Thanks to the support of our partners and funders, we are able to offer added value to the families we support. For example, we organise aspiration sessions with our corporate partners.


What impact do our practitioners have?


Individuals were supported by our practitioners through early intervention and whole family support programmes


Persistently absent children increased their attendance by 10% resulting in 20 extra days in school


Severely absent children increased their attendance by 20% resulting in 40 extra days in school


Families supported were facing at least two complex challenges simultaneously
Find out more in our Impact Report

Hear from the children and families we support

Children and families are referred to School-Home Support practitioners via schools when concerns arise about a child’s attendance, behaviour, or wellbeing. Our practitioners collaborate directly with pupils and their families to address obstacles to achieving good school attendance and active participation in learning.

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Ahmet’s story

Ahmet’s experience with education had already faced major disruption; having been in 3 mainstream schools already, his family took him abroad to continue his education. When the family returned home, Ahmet was still struggling to settle into the mainstream school.

Read the full post here about Ahmet’s story
Mental Health

Elizabeth’s story

Facing a recent bereavement and bullying at school, Elizabeth’s attendance was at just 5.5%. She was at risk of missing out on her education entirely. Daily support from our practitioner became the reliable constant Elizabeth needed to build her confidence back up.

Read the full post here about Elizabeth’s story
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Hayden’s story

11 year old Hayden was referred to School-Home Support Practitioner Gemma after his dad died by suicide when he was sentenced to time in prison. The family were also living in unsuitable housing, making it very difficult for Hayden to engage in school.

Read the full post here about Hayden’s story
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Mina and Neha’s story

Mina is 4 years old and was referred to School-Home Support because she was persistently absent from school, often due to illness. Her attendance was just 63%. School-Home Support practitioner Ellen had the time to get to know Mina’s family and her older sister Neha, and understand the challenges they were facing at home, so that she could offer the support they needed to get Mina and Neha back into school, ready to learn.

Read the full post here about Mina and Neha’s story
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Macey’s story

Macey is young carer. Like many young people with caring responsibilities, the pressures at home we’re having a serious impact on her school attendance.

Read the full post here about Macey’s story

Talk to us about our practitioner service

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