Nationally, Looked After Children significantly underachieve and are at greater risk of exclusion compared with their peers. All schools have a major part to play in ensuring that Looked After Children are enabled to be healthy, stay safe, enjoy, achieve, make a positive contribution to society and achieve economic wellbeing, in line with Every Child Matters.
Our approach to supporting the educational achievement of Looked After Children is based on the following principles:
- Prioritising education.
- Promoting attendance.
- Targeting support.
- Having high expectations.
- Promoting inclusion through challenging and changing attitudes.
- Achieving stability and continuity.
- Early intervention and priority action.
- Listening to children.
- Promoting health and wellbeing.
- Reducing exclusions and promoting stability.
- Working in partnership with carers, social workers and other professionals.
As for all our pupils, we are committed to helping every Looked After Child to achieve the highest standards they can, including supporting aspirations to achieve in further and higher education. This can be measured by improvement in their achievements and attendance.
Our Governors are committed to providing quality education for all pupils and will:
- Ensure Looked After Children are prioritised in the school’s oversubscription criteria, in line with the Education (Admission of Looked After Children) ( England) Regulations 2006
- Ensure a Designated Teacher for Looked After Children is identified and enabled to carry out the responsibilities set out below
- Ensure a Personal Education Plan is put in place, implemented and regularly reviewed for every Looked After Child, in line with the LA’s guidance on Personal Education Plans.
- Identify a governor as Designated Governor for Looked After Children.
This policy links with a number of other school policies and it is important that Governors have regard to the needs of Looked After Children when reviewing them.
Responsibility of the Headteacher
- Identify a Designated Teacher for Looked After Children, whose role is set out below. It is essential that another appropriate person is identified quickly should the Designated Teacher leave the school or take sick leave.
- Ensure that procedures are in place to monitor the admission, progress, attendance and any exclusions of Looked After Children and take action where progress, conduct or attendance is below expectations.
- Report on the progress, attendance and conduct of Looked After Children.
- Ensure that staff receive relevant training and are aware of their responsibilities under this policy and related guidance.
Responsibility of the Governors
- Identify a nominated Governor for Looked After Children.
- Ensure that all Governors are fully aware of the legal requirements and guidance on the education of Looked After Children.
- Ensure staff and relevant governors have an overview of the needs and progress of Looked After Children.
- Allocate resources to meet the needs of Looked After Children.
- Ensure the school’s other policies and procedures support their needs.
Procedures: the Governing Body:
- Monitors the academic progress of Looked After Children
- Ensures that Looked After Children are given top priority when applying for places in accordance with the school’s oversubscription criteria.
- Works to prevent exclusions and reduce time out of school, by ensuring the school implements policies and procedures to ensure Looked After Children achieve and enjoy their time at the school, by recognising the extra problems caused by excluding them and by not excluding them except as a last resort.
- Ensures that the school has a Designated Teacher, and that the Designated Teacher is enabled to carry out his or her responsibilities as below.
- Receive a report once term setting out:
- The number of looked-after pupils on the school’s roll (if any).
- Their attendance, as a discreet group, compared to other pupils.
- Their SAT scores, compared to other pupils.
- The number of fixed term and permanent exclusions (if any).
- The destinations of pupils who leave the school.
- The information for this report should be collected and reported in ways that preserve the anonymity and respect the confidentiality of the pupils concerned.
Responsibility of the Designated Teacher
Our Designated Teacher:
- Ensures a welcome and smooth induction for the child and their carer, using the Personal Education Plan to plan for that transition in consultation with the child’s social worker
- Ensures that a Personal Education Plan is completed with the child, the social worker, the foster carer and any other relevant people, at least two weeks before the Care Plan reviews.
- Ensures that each Looked After Child has an identified member of staff that they can talk to. This need not be the Designated Teacher, but should be based on the child’s own wishes. Members of staff who take on this role may need to be supported by someone from the school’s pastoral staff. They should also be alert to any child protection issues, any disclosures that pupils may make, and know what action to take. They should link closely therefore with the school’s Designated Teacher for Child Protection.
- Tracks academic progress and target support appropriately
- Co-ordinates any support for the Looked After Children that is necessary within school.
- Ensures confidentiality for individual pupils, sharing personal information on a need to know basis.
- Encourages Looked After Children to join in extra-curricular activities and out of school learning.
- Ensures, as far as possible, attendance at planning and review meetings.
- Sets up timely meetings with relevant parties where the pupil is experiencing difficulties in school or is at risk of exclusion.
- Ensures the speedy transfer of information between individuals, agencies and – if the pupil changes school – to a new school.
- Is pro-active in supporting transition and planning when moving to a new phase in education.
- Tracks academic progress and target support appropriately.
- Promotes inclusion in all areas of school life.
Responsibility of All Staff
All of our staff:
- Have high aspirations for the educational and personal achievement of Looked After Children, as for all pupils.
- Maintain Looked After Children’s confidentiality and ensure they are supported sensitively.
- Respond positively to a pupil’s request to be the named member of staff whom they can talk to when they feel it is necessary.
- Respond promptly to the Designated Teacher’s requests for information.
- Work to enable Looked After Children to achieve stability and success within school.
- Promote the self-esteem of all Looked After Children.
- Have an understanding of the key issues that affect the learning of Looked After Children.