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LAC Policy

Looked After Child Policy 2023-24

Looked After Child Policy  

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1.0 Aims of policy

2.0 Introduction

3.0 Definition of “Looked After Children and previously Looked After Children”

4.0 Principles and Objectives

5.0 The Designated Teacher

6.0 The role of Governing Body

7.0 The role of all staff

8.0 Admissions

9.0 Personal Education Plans

10.0 Funding

11.0 Partnership Working

12.0 Further Information

13.0 Academy Specific Information

1.0 Aim

At Co-op Academy Woodslee we do not discriminate against any child or adult on the grounds of race, disability, gender, age, gender reassignment, pregnancy, maternity, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation. We embrace the individuality of all our community members and comply fully with the Equality Act 2010. We ensure that Looked After Children excel, as we aim for all children to excel. We support our pupils to overcome their barriers to learning and enable them to leave our academy as happy, well-rounded and self confident young people.

2.0 Introduction

Looked After Children (LAC) and previously Looked After Children are one of the most vulnerable groups in society and it is nationally recognised that there is considerable educational underachievement when compared to other groups. Raising levels of achievement has been strongly and clearly highlighted as a major part of improving the life chances of looked after children and schools play a pivotal role in this.

The Academy is committed to ensuring that all children receive access to a broad and balanced curriculum which motivates and inspires them to learn. The gaps in LAC, and previously LAC learning – and in many cases the emotional impact of their experiences – are likely to have become significant barriers to their progress, the school therefore carries out careful planning, monitoring and evaluation to ensure the best possible outcomes for our LAC, and previously Looked After Children.

3.0 Definition of “Looked After Children and previously Looked After Children”

In UK law children in care are referred to as ‘looked after children’. A child is ‘looked after’ if they are in the care of the local authority for more than 24 hours. Legally, this could be when they are:

• living in accommodation provided by the local authority with the parents’ agreement

• the subject of an interim or full care order or, in Scotland, a permanence order

• the subject of an emergency legal order to remove them from immediate danger

• in a secure children’s home, secure training centre or young offender institution

• unaccompanied asylum-seeking children.

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 arrangements 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.

4.0 Principles and Objectives

This policy incorporates requirements set out in the statutory guidance on the duty on

local authorities to promote the educational achievement of looked after children and

previously Looked After Children under section 52 of the Children Act 2004.

5.0 The Designated Teacher

The designated person must be a qualified teacher. The role became statutory in September 2009 under the Children and Young Persons’ 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 previously LAC.

The designated teacher at Co-op Academy Woodslee is the Headteacher.

Some responsibilities of the designated teacher are to:

• Maintain a detailed record of all Looked After Children and previously Looked After Children – including information relating to current status, type of placement, name and contact details of Social Worker, Virtual School Head, relevant health information, SEN status, PEP information, current and historic assessment information.

 • Ensure that a Personal Education Plan (PEP) is completed when a child enters the school and is then reviewed at least every 6 months – this should take into account the opinions of the social worker, class teacher, carers and where possible the child and their parents/carers.

 • Complete and keep PEPs updated, plus ensuring targets are SMART

 • Working 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

• Coordinate support for the child in school, liaising where necessary with other professionals and carers

• Ensure that all staff, through appropriate training, are aware of the difficulties and educational disadvantages faced by looked after children and understand the need for positive systems to support them

• Ensure all information remains confidential, sharing only personal information on a need to know basis

• Prepare reports for and attend LAC meetings

• Monitor the educational progress of all Looked After Children and previously Looked After Children and intervene, in cooperation with other agencies if required, if there is evidence of underachievement, absence from school or internal truancy, or other similar concern

• Submit data every term to the relevant bodies such as: Virtual School for Children Looked after (CLA) in Wirral and the Shropshire Virtual School Head

• Produce at least one annual report to the Governing Body which should include information on staff training, links with external agencies and for each child: current progress, attendance, exclusions (if any), concerns regarding behaviour, how the PEP has been implemented and whether the plans put in place are effective in addressing the learning needs of the child. The report should not mention any child’s name.

Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of expectations.

6.0 The role of Governing Body

Section 20 of the Children and Young Persons Act 2008 places a duty on the Governing Body to designate a member of staff (the designated teacher) as having responsibility to promote the educational achievement of Looked After Children and previously Looked After Children. To this effect, the Governors should:

• Ensure that the necessary provision is being made for any pupil who is a Looked After Child or previously Looked After Child.

• Ensure that the designated teachers are given the appropriate level of support and has the opportunity to keep up to date with relevant training.

• Ensure the designated teacher disseminates relevant training and provides support for all members of staff that will influence teaching and learning for Looked After Children and previously Looked After Children.

• The Governors in partnership with individual head teachers are responsible for monitoring how well the role is working. As part of this monitoring an annual report will be received from the Designated Teacher.

• Annually review the effective implementation of the Academy’s policy for LAC and previously Looked After Children.

7.0 The role of all staff involved in supporting Looked After Children:

  • Ensure that all looked after children are made to feel welcome and included;
  • Have high expectations of Looked After Children’s involvement in learning and educational progress;
  • Be aware of the emotional, psychological and social effects of loss and separation from birth families;
  • Understand the reasons which may be behind a looked after child’s behaviour, and why they may need more support than other children;
  • Understand how important it is to see Looked after children as individuals and not to publicly treat them differently from their peers; appreciate the central importance of showing sensitivity about who else knows about a Looked after child’s status;
  • Understand what a PEP is and its importance in helping to create a shared understanding between teachers, carers, social workers and, depending on age and understanding, the child him or herself of what everyone needs to do to help them achieve their potential

8.0 Admissions

The Academy believes that admissions criteria should not discriminate against Looked After Children or previously Looked After Children; we therefore ensure Looked After Children and previously Looked After Children are given priority.

9.0 Personal Education Plans

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 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 academy’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. Issues that may be discussed in the PEP:

• the child’s strengths and weaknesses

• include the child’s views on how they see they have progressed and what support they consider to be most effective

• interests, both in and out of school

• developmental and educational and pastoral needs

• future plans, and how these can be supported

• issues arising for the child

• It will also identify targets that will be reviewed during the next PEP meeting.

The PEP should set clear objectives or targets which relate to academic achievement as well as out of school activities and wherever necessary behavioral 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 previously LAC, although they no longer required a PEP, the designated teachers should continue to consider their educational needs. The designated teachers should maintain links with Virtual School Heads who must make advice and information available, in order to promote the educational achievement of this group of previously looked-after children.

10.0 Funding

LAC are entitled to additional funding to help improve their outcomes and narrow the gap between their outcomes and those of their peers. The academy is committed to ensuring effective use of dedicated funding, where available, for all eligible Looked after Children on roll to provide additional, personalised support to ensure accelerated progress in order to improve outcomes. All LAC are entitled to one to one tuition in English and/or Mathematics even if they appear to be reaching expected levels. This school is committed to prioritising all Looked after Children for this tuition. The appropriate use of allocated funding is to be assessed through the Personal Education Plan.

11.0 Partnership Working

The Academy values partnership working, and in order to secure the best possible outcomes for Looked after Children, it is essential that we work with parents/carers, social workers, the Virtual School Heads and other external partners to ensure we are providing the best possible life chances for our Looked after Children.

12.0 Further Information:

Keeping children safe in education Sept 2021 

Promoting the education of Looked after Children and previously Looked after Children Feb 2018 

The designated teacher for looked after and previously looked after children 

Promoting the health and wellbeing of looked after children 

13.0 Academy Specific Information

 LAC Policy

Co-op Academy Woodslee

1. Headteacher • Susannah Mcshane [Woodslee]

2. Chair of Governors •

3. Designated Governor for LAC •

4. Designated Teacher for LAC • Susannah Mcshane [Woodslee]

5. Family Partnership Worker • Claire Rutherford [Woodslee]