A VITAL service which alerts schools if an incident of domestic violence has taken place at the home of one of their pupils has been saved from the axe.

Under the pilot scheme, which was first set up in 2011, specially trained staff at the charity Operation Encompass collate reports of domestic incidents dealt with by the police within the last 24 hours.

If there is a child known to be living at that address, the school which that child attends is contacted on a confidential basis and advised of the situation.

The school can then monitor the pupil and offer any support required to the child.

However, despite winning widespread praise, it was recently announced that due to funding cuts, the service was not be made permanent and would be discontinued.

But MP Tim Farron said the cost of the service, which he understood to be around £11,000 per annum for the South Lakeland area, was a small price to pay for such an important facility and had appealed for a change of mind by the agencies involved.

And the MP was delighted when he received a letter this week from Cumbria Constabulary confirming that the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and the education department of Cumbria County Council have agreed to jointly fund the Operation Encompass programme for another 12 months.

“The head teachers that I’ve spoken to believe this crucial service is an incredible asset and would hate to see it lost,” said the Westmorland and Lonsdale MP.

“So, I’m delighted that it will no longer be scrapped, and teachers will continue to be able to give support to children who have had to endure such awful experiences at home.”

Huw Davies, speaking on behalf of the Kendal Collaborative Partnership which represents 17 schools across the Kendal area, also expressed his delight at the news.

“It’s fantastic news that the service has been allowed to continue,” he said.

“It has proved to be a really valuable service for so many schools and for all the pupils involved.

“The amount of money involved is relatively small for such a worthwhile scheme and we’re absolutely delighted that it can continue to provide such a beneficial service.”