The Education of Looked After Children

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					The Education of ‘Looked After Children’

Children and young people who are ‘Looked After’ by the Local Authority
usually have suffered physical and emotional trauma and have been abused
physically, emotionally or sexually. They have effectively lost their families
and al stable reference points and often have great difficulty settling onto
school life and learning as quickly and comfortably as their peers as a
consequence of their emotional response to their circumstances. They often
make the highest demands of their teachers and carers.

As the children and young people in our schools with the greatest level of
unmet need, they need the greatest level of support and planning that we can
provide in order to help redress the balance in some degree, and enable them
to lead independent, productive lives.

It is widely recognised that only by closer and more effective joint working
between carers, school, social workers and a wide range of other
professionals can we hope to achieve this.

The Wirral Virtual School

By organising, focussing and co-ordinating the efforts of a range of
professionals and others, The Virtual School aims to: -

     Ensure that every child in the care of Wirral has the opportunity to fulfil
      his or her potential by identifying and addressing the barriers that
      prevent them achieving their educational potential.
     To narrow the gap between the attainments and achievements of
      young people who have been in Wirral Local Authority Care and those
      of their peers who have not.
     To improve their life chances by highlighting specific areas of action
      and taking appropriate steps to address them.

Virtual School Staff
The Staff of the Virtual School consists of all those who are ‘corporate
parents’ i.e. the entire staff of Wirral Borough Council and all those working in
Children’s Services.
The Virtual School Senior Staff group consists of Senior Managers in each
of the areas of work that contribute to improving the educational and learning
outcomes for looking after children.
The Governing Body oversees the work of the Virtual School. This group
currently consists of 6 councillors, Head of Branch, Participation and
Inclusion, Head of Branch, School Effectiveness, The Head Teacher of The
Virtual School, (Education Department), Assistant Director Children’s Division,
Service Manager (LAC), Representative from Field Social Work, Foster Care
(Social Service Department) a representative form Connexions, a Primary
Head Teacher and a Secondary Head Teacher.

LACES; Caroles Misc; The Education of LAC
The LACES Team is the full-time staff group to the Virtual School. Amongst
other things they: -
    Keep an up to date database with the names, educational and care
       details of the children and young people of school age who are looked
       after by Wirral.
    Manage the process of Personal Education Planning, which identifies
       each pupil’s educational potential and any additional educational
    Through more effective joint working between carers, schools, social
       workers and a wide range of other professionals, develops strategies to
       address raising the educational attainments of looked after children.

   Contact details:

   Head Teacher Virtual School: David McGovern, Solar Campus, 235
   Leasowe Road, Wallasey, CH45 8RE

   Tel: 0151 637 6280 Fax: 0151 637 6256

Virtual School

Teacher’s names and school they are responsible for with an NB subject to
Learning Mentor referred only by LACES Teacher

LACES Teacher’s role to raise achievement of Looked After Children and
ensure they fulfil potential. PEP meetings are arranged to discuss educational
Attendance at school is important if potential is to be fulfilled. Looked After
Children are considered to have an attendance difficulty if they miss more
than 25 days school a year for any reason (i.e. less than 87% attendance).
Foster Carers should be discouraged from taking holidays during term time.
Referrals to LACES Team should be made by Social Worker within 5 days of
young person becoming LAC.
Top Twenty Tips for Carers

   1. Encourage the child in your care to be positive about school life and
   2. Defend the rights of the young person but support the school as much
       as possible.
   3. Make regular contact with teachers and support workers.
   4. Attend parents’ evenings, reviews and meetings about the young
   5. Try and attend less formal occasions like plays, concerts, social
       evening, exhibitions, fairs and sporting events.
   6. Be available.
   7. Work in partnership with school when trying to sort out problems.
   8. Inform school of any issues, which might affect progress or behaviour.
   9. Tell the school when you know in advance about an absence or as
       soon as possible on the day if it’s unexpected.
   10. Don’t make appointments in school time unless it’s essential.
   11. As tempting as it is, avoid booking holidays in school time.
   12. Make sure all letters from school are dealt with promptly.
   13. Be aware when you need to escort young people to school. This may
       not always be age related; it might be to make sure they arrive!
   14. Be prepared to give time to them at the end of the school day by
       supporting learning tasks or just being available to listen to their views
       and opinions.
   15. Without being too obvious, look for changes in mood or behaviour that
       might suggest problems in school.
   16. Be ready for the more stressful times in school e.g. exams/ problems
       with teachers or work, conflict with friends and other students. Work
       out tactics and ideas about how best to cope.
   17. Check homework and sign diaries or planners.
   18. Encourage the young person to use the local facilities for sport and
   19. Make sure there is plenty of access to reading and study materials.
   20. Encourage involvement in school activities outside school hours such
       as visits, outdoor activities, sports, drama, art or any other club that
       might interest the young person.
Special Educational Needs (SEN) Code of Practice

School Action

When a class teacher (Primary) or subject teachers and Special Educational
Needs Co-ordinator - SENCO (Secondary) identify that a pupil has Special
Educational Needs (SEN), different strategies are then used in the school to
help the child to fulfil his/ her potential.

The same teacher/s remain responsible for working with the child on a daily
basis and an Individual Education Plan (IEP) will usually be drawn up.

SENCO could take the lead in: -

    Planning future interventions for the pupil in discussion with colleagues
    Monitoring and reviewing the action taken

School Action Plus: -

    SENCO and subject/ pastoral staff, in consultation with parents, ask for
     help from external services.
    Teachers and SENCO are provided with advice or support from outside
    Additional or different strategies to those at SCHOOL ACTION are put
     in place – an IEP will usually be devised.
    SENCO should take the lead in: -
      Any further assessment of the child
      Planning future interventions for the child in discussion with
      Monitoring and reviewing the action taken

Some schools automatically place LAC on School Action Plus as LACES are
on external service.
                            Carers Education Guide

Areas for Training

      Education placement – matching
       Reviews(other agents) (+ SEN reviews)

      Learning – styles/ cultures/ abilities
       Cultures/ skills (Aim Higher)

      National Curriculum
       Key Stages (Table)
       Testing SATs CATs Prediction (TA’s)

      SEN COP (SENCO’s Statements - expectations)

      Supporting Education – YP/ School (Rights)

      Liaison with school/ communication (Support)

      LACES role

      Designated Teachers
       Other agents – ESWO, school nurse, EP, Learning Mentors

      Connexions (Work experience)

      Supporting the YP (uniform, routine, kit, equipment, diaries, t/t)

      Parents evening, Homework

      Extra curricular activities (Jeanette Geary)

      Consent

    Options

    Responsibilities (expectations)
   (Glossary/ Acronyms)

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