Looked After Children (LAC)
Welcome to our page for information about looked after children. We have included information about the roles of the governing body and the Designated Person below.
The Children and Social Work Act 2017 set out new duties for local authorities, maintained schools and academies, effective from September 2018. It has extended the role of virtual school heads and designated teachers to certain previously looked-after children. This is because these children may continue to experience educational challenges after leaving care. The new remit extends to those children with:
- Child arrangements orders
- Special Guardianship Orders (SGO)
- Adoption orders
The role of the governing body
- Our governing body ensures the designated teacher (headteacher) undertakes appropriate training (section 20(2) of the 2008 Act).
- Our governing body receives a termly report from the designated teacher (headteacher) which contains the information described in section 2.10 of the above guidance.
- Our governing body considers the report and acts on any issues it raises to support the designated teacher (headteacher) and maximise the impact of the role.
The role of the designated teacher within the school:
The designated teacher (headteacher) has lead responsibility for helping school staff understand the things which affect how looked after children learn and achieve. This includes sharing information learnt during her own training which is cascaded to all staff, not just teaching staff.
The designated teacher :
- promotes the same culture of high expectations and aspirations for looked after children as those who are not looked after.
- makes sure the young person has a voice in setting learning targets and this is achieved through making sure discussions and information gathering is appropriate for the age and stage of the child.
- supports staff advising them about differentiated teaching strategies appropriate for individual children and in making full use of assessment to identify any gaps which need to be filled through extra tuition.
- makes sure looked after children are prioritised in one-to-one tuition arrangements and that carers understand the importance of supporting learning at home
- has the lead responsibility for the development and implementation of the child’s personal education plan (PEP) within the school. This is facilitated by the online portal 'Welfare Call' which is a shared portal for the school, Children's Services Social Care and the Virtual School for Looked After Children.
At Terrington St Clement Community School:
We have a designated team of staff who provide support at the time(s) it is most needed. We recognise a sudden move to a strange school can be traumatic for children taken into care or being moved between carers so have a TA (teaching assistant) on hand to give high levels of 1:1 support for as long as that support is needed. This TA works very closely with the Designated Person who makes sure the support is appropriate and prioritised. Together they chart the progress of any looked after children, providing intervention to help them catch up with any gaps in their learning or to provide challenge to stretch our most able looked after children. Both members of staff liaise with classteachers to make sure targets are appropriate and will make a difference. You can find out more about the role of the Designated Person in the attachments below:
Voice of the Child:
As part of the care planning process, we make sure the voice of the child is heard and considered by using methods of communicating best suited to the individual child. This may be through annotated drawings, or photographs or the more traditional methods of using written proformas.
If you have any questions about how we cater for the needs of looked after children, please contact the school office who will be more than happy to make an appointment for you to meet with the headteacher who is also the designated teacher.