Britannia Education Trust
Policy for the Education of Looked After Children
Adopted: June 2017
Reviewed: June 2019
Due for Review: Summer 2022
The Designated Teacher for Britannia Education Trust is:
Celeste Richardson – Assistant Head (SEND)
Looked After Children (LAC) and Previously Looked After Children (PLAC) are one of the most vulnerable groups in society and it is nationally recognised that there is considerable educational under achievement when compared to other groups. It is recognised that schools are key in helping to raise the educational standards and improving the life chances of LAC and PLAC and in tackling the cause of social exclusion through careful planning, monitoring and evaluation.
Context and Principles
Under the Children Act 1989, a child is looked after by a local authority if s/he is in their care or is provided with accommodation for more than 24 hours. They include the following: children who are accommodated by the local authority under a voluntary agreement with their parents (section 20); children who are the subject of a care order (section 31(1)) or interim care order (section 38); and children who are the subject of emergency orders for the protection of the child (section 44).
A previously looked-after child is one who is no longer looked after in England and Wales because s/he is the subject of an adoption, special guardianship or child arrangements order which includes provisions relating to with whom the child is to live, or when the child is to live with any person, or has been adopted from ‘state care’ outside England and Wales.
The Role of the Designated Teacher
The designated person must be a qualified teacher. The role became statutory in September 2009 under the Children and Young Person’s Act 2008. Ideally, the designated teacher should also be a senior member of staff who is able to influence decisions about the teaching and learning, plus promote the educational achievements of every LAC and PLAC.
Some of the responsibilities of the designated teacher include the following:
bullying. The Designated Teacher must ensure that they are actively monitoring and preventing bullying in school by raising awareness through the school’s behaviour and anti-bullying policy.
Personal Education Plans (PEP)
All LAC must have a Personal Education Plan (PEP), which their social worker will take the lead in developing. The PEP is a record of the child’s education and forms part of the overall Care Plan. It provides a clear and shared understanding about the teaching and learning provision to ensure their academic progress. The social worker, parents, carers and the child may be invited to the PEP meeting to ensure the views of all stakeholders are considered. The school’s role in this plan is crucial and at least one member of staff who knows the child well will attend the meeting to establish and subsequently review this. The PEP should set clear objectives or targets which relate to academic achievement as well as out of school activities and wherever necessary behavioural targets. If a child moves school, the PEP should be forwarded, as a matter of urgency, to the new school when known. In relation to PLAC, although they no longer required a PEP, the designated teacher should continue to consider their educational needs. The Designated Teacher should maintain links with Virtual School Head Teachers who must make advice and information available, in order to promote the educational achievement of this group of PLAC.
As for all our pupils, Britannia Education Trust is committed to helping every LAC to achieve the highest standards they can, including out of school activities and supporting career aspirations for further and higher education. This can be measured by improvements in their achievement and attendance.
This policy links with several of Britannia Trust’s school policies:
Britannia Education Trust will ensure that the needs of LAC and PLAC are reflected in all aspects of our provision, e.g. through assemblies and Personal, Social and Health (PSHE) education. We will raise awareness and challenge negative stereotypes about them to ensure that they achieve their full potential.
Responsibilities of the Executive Head Teacher
Responsibilities of the Trustees
The role of Trustees under Section 20 of the Children and Young Persons Act 2008 places a duty on the Trustees to designate a member of staff (the Designated Teacher) as having responsibility to promote the educational achievement of LAC and PLAC.
To this effect, the trustees should:
The responsibilities of all Staff
All our staff will:
Information on LAC and PLAC will be shared with school staff on a ‘need to know basis’. The Designated Teacher will discuss what information is shared with which school staff at the PEP meeting. Once this has been agreed by the social worker, carer, young person and other parties, complete confidentiality will be maintained and will comply with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) guidance.
The Academy Trust values partnership working. In order to secure the best possible outcomes for LAC and PLAC, it is essential that we work with parents/carers, social workers, the Virtual School Head Teacher and other external partners to ensure we are providing the best possible life chances for both LAC and PLAC.
Keeping children safe in education - Statutory guidance for schools and colleges September 2018
Working Together to safeguard children 2018
The designated teacher for looked-after and previously looked-after children - Statutory guidance on their roles and responsibilities: February 2018
Promoting the education of looked-after children and previously looked-after children - Statutory guidance for local authorities: February 2018