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Weston Favell Academy

Looked After Children

Academy Provision for Looked After Children

For Looked After Children (LAC), a positive school experience is one of the most important factors contributing to good outcomes in later life, providing them with stability, structure and purpose.

In accordance with the Education (Admissions of Looked After Children) (England) Regulations 2006 and in accordance with Section 22 of the Children Act 1989, the definition of a Looked After Child (LAC) is:

a)       a child who is in the care of a Local Authority, or

b)       a child who is being provided with accommodation by a Local Authority in the exercise of their social services functions

This includes a child who was previously Looked After but immediately after being Looked After, became subject to an adoption, residence or special guardianship order.

All LAC and previously LAC are given the highest priority for school admissions.

The GDFT Trust Board, Academy Principal and Designated Teacher for LAC ensure the best provision and outcomes for LAC by maintaining:

  • A framework for assessing educational need, tracking progress, setting targets and monitoring educational outcomes for all LAC
  • Care planning processes that give full consideration to the children’s education
  • High standards of care and support that help children to do well.

All Looked After Children:

  • Have a Personal Education Plan (PEP) that sets targets for their attainment and details what support they will receive in order to achieve their potential and achieve their chosen goals in life.
  • Are supported to achieve their best academically and to reach their potential.
  • Are supported to achieve high levels of school attendance and punctuality.
  • Benefit from the extra funding that Pupil Premium provides

The GDFT Trust Board requires the Academy Principal to appoint a suitably qualified teacher with the necessary experience and status as the Designated Teacher (DT) for LAC (see below).

Responsibilities

The Principal:

  • Ensures the DT receives the full support needed to carry out their role effectively, including training and development opportunities so that they are able to increase their knowledge and understanding
  • Ensures adequate time and resources are made available for the DT to carry out their duties
  • Ensures the DT has opportunities to disseminate knowledge and information to other staff members so that the school environment is one that supports LAC in their learning
  • Continually monitors the effectiveness of school policies and the role of the DT on outcomes for LAC pupils and reports these to the Trust Board through the Academy Advisory Council and Executive Principal
  • Acts on any concerns raised by the DT or arising from any other source with regard to promoting the education of LAC

The Designated Teacher:

  • Has regard for the well-being, academic progress, social development and aspirations of LAC
  • Promotes a culture within the school whereby staff have a good understanding of the specific educational needs of LAC and the barriers they face.
  • Liaises with carers and social workers to ensure good communication and a consistency of approach to supporting the child or young person.
  • Is responsible for the oversight of the development and monitoring of PEPs within the Academy and setting targets for LAC. Development of the PEP is the joint responsibility of social workers, carers and the academy.
  • Helps LAC become involved in the PEP planning process and ensureS their views are taken into account
  • Oversees transitions of LAC to and from the school and the transfer of information to the child’s next school

Confidentiality

The DT will take care to ensure information sharing with colleagues within the Academy maintains the looked after child’s confidentiality. He or she shares relevant information as required to implement the child’s PEP. In cooperation with social workers and carers the DT will share relevant information with DTs at other schools in order to support smooth transitions between schools. Information sharing is carried out in a “safe” manner using secure electronic systems and email addresses and using password protected files where necessary.

Special Education Needs and Disability (SEND)

Looked after children are more likely to be identified as having Special Educational Needs (SEN) than their peers so it is important that their needs are identified and acted on as soon as possible to ensure they receive the right kind of support. If a child is subject to any other educational plan, for example an individual education plan, this will be incorporated into the PEP. The PEP will be a record of personalised learning that can be used by the school as a tool and will set clear targets and long-term goals and how these will be achieved.

Exclusions

We recognise that LAC are more adversely affected by exclusion than their peers. The exclusion of LAC will be a last resort measure only and the academy, through the DT, will work with social workers and carers to:

  • Manage and improve behaviour and reduce the risk of exclusion
  • Act decisively to help the child remain at school when there is a threat of exclusion
  • Make representations where a child has been excluded
  • Ensure adequate education for the child following exclusion.

This Academy follows the statutory guidance on exclusions.

The Designated Teacher for Looked After Children is Miss Ruth Thompson