Looked after Children policy

Aims
The college aims to ensure that:
A suitable member of staff is appointed as the designated teacher for looked-after and previously
looked-after children
The designated teacher promotes the educational achievement of looked-after and previously lookedafter children, and supports other staff members to do this too
Staff, parents, carers and guardians are aware of the identity of the designated teacher, how to contact
them and what they are responsible for
Legislation and statutory guidance
This policy is based on the Department for Education’s statutory guidance on the designated teacher for
looked-after and previously looked-after children.
It also takes into account section 20 and section 20A of the Child and Young Persons Act 2008.
Definitions
Looked-after children are registered pupils that are:
In the care of a local authority, or
Provided with accommodation by a local authority in the exercise of its social services functions, for a
continuous period of more than 24 hours
Previously looked-after children are registered pupils that fall into either of these categories:
They were looked after by a local authority but ceased to be as a result of any of the following:
• A child arrangements order, which includes arrangements relating to who the child lives with
and when they are to live with them
• A special guardianship order
• An adoption order
They appear to the governing board to have:
• Been in state care in a place outside of England and Wales because they would not have
otherwise been cared for adequately, and
• Ceased to be in that state care as a result of being adopted
Personal education plan (PEP) is part of a looked-after child’s care plan that is developed with the school. It
forms a record of what needs to happen and who will make it happen to ensure the child reaches their full
potential.
Virtual school head (VSH) is a local authority officer responsible for promoting the educational achievement
of their authority’s looked-after children, working across schools to monitor and support these pupils as if
they were in a single school. The VSH is also responsible for providing information and advice to schools,
parents and guardians in respect of previously looked-after children.
Identity of our designated teacher
Our designated teacher is Kaye Mason
You can contact her by email on beokma@blessededward.co.uk
Our designated teacher takes lead responsibility for promoting the educational achievement of looked-after
and previously looked-after children at our school. They are your initial point of contact for any of the
matters set out in the section below.
Role of the designated teacher
Leadership responsibilities
The designated teacher will:
Act as a central point of initial contact within the school for any matters involving looked-after and
previously looked-after children
Promote the educational achievement of every looked-after and previously looked-after child on roll by:
• Working with VSHs
• Promoting a whole school culture where the needs of these pupils matter and are prioritised
Take lead responsibility for ensuring school staff understand:
• The things which can affect how looked-after and previously looked-after children learn and
achieve
• How the whole school supports the educational achievement of these pupils
Contribute to the development and review of whole school policies to ensure they consider the needs of
looked-after and previously looked-after children
Promote a culture in which looked-after and previously looked-after children are encouraged and
supported to engage with their education and other school activities
Act as a source of advice for teachers about working with looked-after and previously looked-after
children
Work directly with looked-after and previously looked-after children and their carers, parents and
guardians to promote good home-school links, support progress and encourage high aspirations
Have lead responsibility for the development and implementation of looked-after children’s PEPs
Work closely with the school’s designated safeguarding lead to ensure that any safeguarding concerns
regarding looked-after and previously looked-after children are quickly and effectively responded to
Involve parents and guardians of previously looked-after children in decisions affecting their child’s
education
Supporting looked-after children
The designated teacher will:
Make sure looked-after children’s PEPs meet their needs by working closely with other teachers to
assess each child’s specific educational needs
Have overall responsibility for leading the process of target-setting in PEPs
Monitor and track how looked-after children’s attainment progresses under their PEPs
If a child is not on track to meet their targets, be instrumental in agreeing the best way forward with
them in order to make progress, and ensure that this is reflected in their PEP
Ensure the identified actions of PEPs are put in place
During the development and review of PEPs, help the school and relevant local authority decide what
arrangements work best for pupils
Ensure that:
• A looked-after child’s PEP is reviewed before the statutory review of their care plan – this
includes making sure the PEP is up to date and contains any new information since the last
PEP review, including whether agreed provision is being delivered
• PEPs are clear about what has or has not been taken forward, noting what resources may be
required to further support the child and from where these may be sourced
• The updated PEP is passed to the child’s social worker and VSH ahead of the statutory review
of their care plan
Transfer a looked-after child’s PEP to their next school or college, making sure it is up to date and that
the local authority responsible for looking after them has the most recent version
Supporting both looked-after children and previously looked-after children
The designated teacher will:
Ensure the specific needs of looked-after and previously looked-after children are understood by staff
and reflected in how the school uses pupil premium funding
Work with VSHs to agree how pupil premium funding for looked-after children can most effectively be
used to improve their attainment
Help raise the awareness of parents and guardians of previously looked-after children about pupil
premium funding and other support for these children
Play a key part in decisions on how pupil premium funding is used to support previously looked-after
children
Encourage parents’ and guardians’ involvement in deciding how pupil premium funding is used to
support their child, and be the main contact for queries about its use
Ensure teachers have awareness and understanding of the specific needs of looked-after and previously
looked-after children in areas like attendance, homework, behaviour and future career planning
Be aware of the special educational needs (SEN) of looked-after and previously looked-after children,
and make sure teachers also have awareness and understanding of this
Ensure the SEND code of practice, as it relates to looked-after children, is followed
Make sure PEPs work in harmony with any education, health and care (EHC) plans that a looked-after
child may have
Ensure that, with the help of VSHs, they have the skills to identify signs of potential SEN issues in lookedafter and previously looked-after children, and know how to access further assessment and support
where necessary
Ensure that they and other staff can identify signs of potential mental health issues in looked-after and
previously looked-after children and understand where the school can draw on specialist services
Put in place robust arrangements to have strengths and difficulties questionnaires (SDQs) completed for
looked-after children, and use the results of these SDQs to inform PEPs
Put in place mechanisms for understanding the emotional and behavioural needs of previously lookedafter children
Relationships beyond the school
The designated teacher will:
Proactively engage with social workers and other professionals to enable the school to respond
effectively to the needs of looked-after and previously looked-after children
Discuss with social workers how the school should engage with birth parents, and ensure the school is
clear about who has parental responsibility and what information can be shared with whom
Be open and accessible to parents and guardians of previously looked-after children and encourage them
to be actively involved in their children’s education
Proactively build relationships with local authority professionals, such as VSHs and SEN departments
Consider how the school works with others outside of the school to maximise the stability of education
for looked-after children, such as:
• Finding ways of making sure the latest information about educational progress is available to
contribute to the statutory review of care plans
• Ensuring mechanisms are in place to inform VSHs when looked-after children are absent
without authorisation and work with the responsible authority to take appropriate
safeguarding action
• Talking to the child’s social worker and/or other relevant parties in the local authority
regarding any decisions about changes in care placements which will disrupt the child’s
education, providing advice about the likely impact and what the local authority should do to
minimise disruption
• Making sure that, if a looked-after child moves school, their new designated teacher receives
any information needed to help the transition process
Seek advice from VSHs about meeting the needs of individual previously looked-after children, but only
with the agreement of their parents or guardians
Make sure that for each looked-after child:
• There’s an agreed process for how the school works in partnership with the child’s carer and
other professionals, such as their social worker, in order to review and develop educational
progress
• School policies are communicated to their carer and social worker and, where appropriate,
birth parents
• Teachers know the most appropriate person to contact where necessary, such as who has the
authority to sign permission slips
Where a looked-after child is at risk of exclusion:
• Contact the VSH as soon as possible so they can help the school decide how to support the
child to improve their behaviour and avoid exclusion becoming necessary
• Working with the VSH and child’s carers, consider what additional assessment and support
needs to be put in place to address the causes of the child’s behaviour
Where a previously looked-after child is at risk of exclusion, talk to the child’s parents or guardians
before seeking advice from the VSH on avoiding exclusion
The Governing Body
The Governing body will
• Support the Local Authority in its statutory duty to promote the educational achievement of LAC
• Ensure that the DT is given the appropriate level of support to fulfil their role
• Ensure that the DT has the opportunity to acquire, update the necessary skills, knowledge and
training to understand and respond to the specific teaching and learning needs of LAC.
• Ensure that the DT role contributes to the deeper understanding of everyone in the school who is
likely to be involved in supporting LAC to achieve.
• Recognise its responsibility in partnership with the headteacher for monitoring how well the DT role
is being carried out. As part of this role the DT will provide an annual report to the Governing Body.
Monitoring arrangements
This policy will be reviewed annually by the Designated Teacher. At every review, it will be approved by the
full governing board.
Links with other policies
This policy links to the following policies and procedures:
Behaviour
Child protection and safeguarding
Exclusions
SEN
Supporting pupils with medical needs