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5.4.2 Education of Looked After Children

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This chapter applies to all Looked After Children. It should be read in conjunction with the following government guidance:

Looked After Children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) this guidance explains the respective roles of the home Authority and the Authority where the child lives when these are different.

RELATED GUIDANCE

Keeping Children Safe in Education

Supporting pupils at school with medical conditions (2015): statutory guidance from the Department for Education

Guidance on Designated Teacher for Looked After Children

Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0 - 25 years Statutory Guidance for Organisations who work with Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (2015)

Promoting the Educational Achievement of Looked After Children: Statutory guidance for local authorities (July 2014)

Note that different provisions apply to children who acquire Looked After status as a result of a remand to local authority accommodation or Youth Detention Accommodation. In relation to those children, please see Remands to Local Authority Accommodation or to Youth Detention Accommodation Procedure, Care Planning for Young People on Remand.

Mental Health Behaviour in Schools Guidance (DfE 2016)

RELATED CHAPTER

Children and Young People Aged 0-25 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Procedure

AMENDMENT

In February 2017, information was added with regards to Personal Education Plans are required until the age of 18. Section 10, When a Child is Absent from School was also updated about considering applications for discretionary leave of absence during term time in exceptional circumstances. A link was also added to the Mental Health Behaviour in Schools Guidance (DfE 2016) in the Related Guidance section.


Contents

  1. Duty to Promote the Educational Achievement of Looked After Children
  2. The Personal Education Plan (PEP)
  3. Avoidance of Disruption in Education
  4. When a Child First becomes Looked After
  5. When a Child Moves to a New Local Authority 
  6. When a Child Needs or Joins a New School 
  7. When a Child has No School Place 
  8. Celebrating a Child's Achievements
  9. Reviewing and Updating PEP's
  10. When a Child is Absent from School 
  11. School Exclusions 
  12. When a Young Woman becomes Pregnant
  13. School Transport 
  14. Children and Young People with Medical Conditions
  15. Training for those Involved in the Care and Education of Looked After Children
  16. Information Sharing

    Appendix 1: Nominated Officer Agreement to the Placement of a Child at Key Stage 4 Where Placement Change is Likely to Disrupt Education


1. Duty to Promote the Educational Achievement of Looked After Children

Under Section 22 (3A) of the Children Act 1989, local authorities have a duty to promote the educational achievement of Looked After Children. Section 99 of the Children and Families Act 2014 imposes a requirement for an officer to be appointed to discharge this duty – sometimes referred to as a ‘Virtual School Head’ ('VSH').

Governing bodies of schools and colleges must appoint a Designated Teacher to promote the educational achievement of children who are Looked After and to ensure that this person has appropriate training.

An up-to-date list of Designated Teachers should be maintained to assist with communications and assist other authorities that have placed children within the authority.

As leaders responsible for ensuring that the local authority discharges its duty to promote the educational achievement of their Looked After children, Directors of Children’s Services and Lead Members for Children’s Services should ensure that:

  • Closing the attainment and progress gap between Looked After children and their peers and creating a culture of high aspirations for them is a top priority;
  • Looked After children have access to a suitable range of high quality education placement options and that commissioning services for them takes account of the duty to promote their educational achievement;
  • VSHs are in place and have the resources, time, training and support they need to discharge the duty effectively;
  • VSHs have robust procedures in place to monitor the attendance and educational progress of the children their authority looks after;
  • The authority’s Corporate Parenting Specialist Advisory Group regularly addresses the educational experiences raised by Looked After children and is able to respond effectively to such issues.

The Virtual School Head should be the lead responsible officer for ensuring that arrangements are in place to improve the educational experiences and outcomes of the authority’s Looked After children, including those placed out-of-authority.

VSHs should ensure the educational attainment and progress of children Looked After by the local authority are monitored and evaluated as if those children attended a single school.

The VSH should ensure that there are effective systems in place to:

  • Maintain an up-to-date roll of its Looked After children who are in school or college settings and gather information about their education placement, attendance and educational progress;
  • Inform Headteachers and Designated Teachers in schools if they have a child on roll who is Looked After by the VSH’s local authority;
  • Ensure that social workers, Designated Teachers and schools, carers and IROs understand their role and responsibilities in initiating, developing, reviewing and updating the child’s PEP and how they help meet the needs identified in that PEP;
  • Ensure up-to-date, effective and high quality PEPs that focus on educational outcomes and that all Looked After children, wherever they are placed, have such a PEP;
  • Ensure the educational achievement of children Looked After by the authority is seen as a priority by everyone who has responsibilities for promoting their welfare;
  • Report regularly on the attainment of Looked After Children through the authority’s corporate parenting structures.

Social workers, Virtual School Heads and Independent Reviewing Officers (IROs), school admission officers and Special Educational Needs departments should work together to ensure that - except in an emergency - appropriate education provision for a child is arranged at the same time as a care placement.

Governing bodies should ensure that appropriate staff have the information they need in relation to a child’s Looked After legal status (whether they are looked after under voluntary arrangements with consent of parents or on an interim or full Care Order), and contact arrangements with birth parents or those with Parental Responsibility. They should also have information about the child’s care arrangements and the levels of authority delegated to the carer. The designated safeguarding lead, through the Designated Teacher for Looked After children, should have details of the child’s social worker and the name of the Virtual School Head.

The Virtual School Head should promote a culture that takes account of the child’s views according to age and understanding in identifying and meeting their educational needs.


2. The Personal Education Plan (PEP)

The Personal Education Plan (PEP) allows the social worker, residential staff/carer and Designated Teacher at the child's school or, where the child has no school place, the education service, in conjunction with the child, to set out what needs to happen to meet the educational needs of the child.

The Personal Education Plan should be initiated as part of the Care Plan before the child becomes Looked After (or within 10 working days in the case of an emergency placement), and be available for the first Looked After Review meeting.

All Looked After Children of compulsory school age must have a PEP, whether or not currently in education. It provides essential information to ensure that appropriate support is in place to enable the child to achieve the targets set. It is also a record of the child's leisure interests and achievements along with educational achievements.

The Designated Teacher leads on how the PEP is developed and used in school to make sure the child’s progress towards education targets is monitored, with the Virtual School Head having a quality assurance role.

All of those involved in the PEP process at all stages should involve the child (according to understanding and ability) and, where appropriate, the child’s parent and/or relevant family member.

The PEP is an evolving record, and arrangements for the flow of information to develop, review and update the PEP should be in place to ensure the VSH, Designated Teacher, carer and, where appropriate, child and parent have a copy of the latest version of the document. Virtual School Heads should make arrangements for PEPs to be reviewed each school term.

The PEP should set clear objectives and targets for the child, covering the following:

  • Chronology of education and training history which provides a record of the child's educational experience and progress in terms of attainment, including information about educational institutions attended and the reasons for leaving, attendance and conduct record, academic and other achievements, any special educational needs, an indication of the extent to which the child's education has been disrupted before entering care;
  • Existing arrangements for education and training, including details of any special educational provision and any other provision to meet the child's educational or training needs and promote educational achievement;
  • Any planned changes to existing arrangements and provision to minimise disruption;
  • The child's leisure interests;
  • Role of the appropriate person and any other person who cares for the child in promoting the child's educational achievements and leisure interests;
  • Any transition plans between key stages;
  • A record of work experience;
  • Roles of different agencies e.g. Health;
  • How Pupil Premium will be used to promote the educational attainment of the child;
  • Details of who will take the plan forward, with timescales for action and review.

The PEP should:

  • Identify developmental (including any related to attachment) and educational needs (short and longer term) in relation to skills, knowledge, subject areas and experiences;
  • Include SMART short-term targets, including progress monitoring of each of the areas identified against development and educational needs;
  • Include SMART longer-term plans for educational targets and aspirations. These should, according to age and understanding, typically focus on public examinations, further and higher education, managing money and savings, work experience and career plans and aspirations;
  • Identify actions, with time scales, for specific individuals intended to support the achievement of agreed targets and use of any additional resources (e.g. the pupil premium) specifically designated to support the attainment of looked after children;
  • Highlight access to effective intervention strategies and how this will make/has made a difference to achievement levels.

The PEP must include the contact details of the Virtual School Head for the authority that looks after the child.

Post 16 PEPs are required for all looked after young people in further education.


3. Avoidance of Disruption in Education

The Nominated Officer (Head of Service) must approve of any change of placement affecting a child in Key Stage 4, except in an emergency/where the placement is terminated because of an immediate risk of serious harm to the child or to protect others from serious injury.

In those circumstances, the Local Authority must make appropriate arrangements to promote the child's educational achievement as soon as reasonably practicable.

  • The child's wishes and feelings have been ascertained and given due consideration;
  • The wishes and feelings of the parent(s) have been ascertained where the child is accommodated (where possible) and where appropriate where the child is subject to a Care Order);
  • The educational provision will promote educational achievement and is consistent with the PEP;
  • The Independent Reviewing Officer has been consulted;
  • The Designated Teacher at the child's school has been consulted.

Please see Appendix 1: Nominated Officer Agreement to the Placement of a Child at Key Stage 4 Where Placement Change is Likely to Disrupt Education

Other than in Key Stage 4, where the Local Authority proposes making any change to the child's placement that would have the effect of disrupting the arrangements made for education and training, they must ensure that other arrangements are made for education or training that meet the child's needs and are consistent with the PEP.


4. When a Child First becomes Looked After

4.1 Notification

As soon as a child becomes Looked After), the Review and Protection Team must notify the VSH and the Education for Looked After Children Manager.

If the child is known to have an Education, Health and Care Plan or be under assessment, the social worker should ensure the relevant SEN adviser is informed.

The child's social worker must also inform the Designated Teacher at the child's school within 48 hours of the child becoming looked after and a Personal Education Plan meeting should be initiated within 10 working days so that a PEP is completed for the first Looked After Review. Regular liaison should then be maintained. The Designated Teacher should be informed by the social worker of all contact arrangements.

4.2 The First Personal Education Plan

The first PEP should be in place within the first 20 working days of a child becoming Looked After or

  • A change of school;
  • Any other major change.

The child's social worker should arrange a meeting within 10 working days of the child becoming looked after to draw up the first PEP which should include the Designated Teacher at the school (where the child has a school place), the residential staff/carer and any other relevant professionals; and should involve the child and parents as far as is appropriate and possible.

Where the child is excluded from school, the Head Teacher should be invited.

Where the child has no school place, the relevant education officer should be invited and asked to assist in the search for a school place. The SEN adviser should also be asked to assist as appropriate.

The first PEP should:

  • Identify the educational and social factors that may have caused or may cause in the future a detrimental effect on the child's educational achievement;
  • Identify the support required to reduce the impact of these factors;
  • Identify the child's immediate and priority needs and targets, (e.g. to maintain the current school place, make transport arrangements, find a new school, obtain short-term interim education);
  • Incorporate any Individual Education Plan or other school-based plan;
  • Identify a named person for the day to day management of the PEP and establish lines of communication between the staff/carer, school/education staff and social worker - the basis of a working partnership;
  • Establish boundaries of confidentiality;
  • Agree a date within the next 6 months for the next PEP review meeting and how and when the next PEP is going to be drawn up.

The completed PEP should be distributed to the child, parents, staff/carers and all others invited to the meeting. A copy should also be sent to the child's Independent Reviewing Officer.

N.B. The provision of education for pupils with statements of SEN can only be changed if the child's statement has been amended at an annual review.


5. When a Child Moves to a New Local Authority

If a child is placed in the area of a different local authority but continues to attend the same school as before, the procedure outlined in Section 4.2, The First Personal Education Plan applies.

If the child is to be placed in the area of a different local authority and will need a new school, efforts to obtain a school place should (unless it is an emergency placement) begin well BEFORE s/he moves to a new placement. The relevant Education Officer and, if appropriate, the SEN adviser, should be provided with a full educational history and asked to assist in the search for a school place.

Independent Reviewing Officers will ensure that a Personal Education Plan is in place and up to date when chairing all Looked After Reviews, including for those children and young people educated and living outside of the borough.

Whenever possible a child should not be moved to a new placement until s/he also has a school place.

Where the child does not have a school place - see Section 7, When a Child has No School Place.

Special Education Needs: Pupils with Education, Health and Care Plan

Where a child has an Education, Health and Care Plan (previously a statement of special educational needs), the Plan must be transferred – see Children and Young People Aged 0-25 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Procedure.

The local education service where the child lives (unless in residential accommodation) is responsible for the placement and provision of education to a pupil who has an Education, Health and Care Plan.


6. When a Child Needs or Joins a New School

The choice of school requires skilled working between relevant people. It should be based on a discussion between the child’s social worker, their carers and, if appropriate, birth parents. The VSH should normally be consulted to avoid choosing a school that is unlikely to meet the child’s needs. Looked After children have been given the highest priority within school admission arrangements. VSHs, working with education settings, should implement pupil premium arrangements for looked after children.

Schools judged by Ofsted to be ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ should be prioritised for Looked After children in need of a new school. Unless there are exceptional evidence-based reasons, Looked After children should never be placed in a school judged by Ofsted to be ‘inadequate’.

The child’s wishes and feelings should be taken into account and the suitability of the education setting tested by arranging an informal visit with the child.

The planning of all changes of placement, whether planned or emergency, must include the child's/young person's educational needs and arrangements. Changes of school should be minimised to avoid disruption to the child's education and should not take place in the middle of a school year or in years 10 and 11, unless this is unavoidable - see Section 3, Avoiding Disruption of Education.

School details will need to be amended on the electronic record.

6.1 Notification

At least one member of staff in the school - the Designated Teacher or the Head Teacher - must be informed by the social worker within 48 hours that the child is Looked After and be provided with a copy of the child's current PEP. Other members of staff who need to know should be identified at the PEP meeting, taking into account the child's wishes concerning confidentiality.

6.2 Pupils with Statements of Education Health and Care Plans

A change of school at any time needs the agreement of the relevant local education service maintaining the EHC Plan. This needs to be planned for as early as possible as it can cause long delays.

The child's social worker should ensure that he/she is aware of the current position with regard to the EHC Plan, including any additional support provided and by whom.

6.3 The First PEP in a New School

A meeting should be held at the new school as soon as practicable.

A new or updated PEP should be in place within the first 20 school days of a child joining a new school. Subsequent PEP's should be completed termly in the first half term of every term.

The first PEP in a new school should:

  • Identify the child's immediate and priority needs (e.g. English as an additional language, literacy support, behaviour management);
  • Establish contact between residential staff/carer, school staff and social worker - the basis of a working partnership;
  • Identify a named person for the day to day management of the PEP and agree who contacts whom about what;
  • Establish boundaries of confidentiality;
  • Share important information - perhaps including the Placement Information Record;
  • Ensure records are forwarded from the previous school and/or carer;
  • Agree a date for the next PEP review meeting and how and when the next full PEP is going to be drawn up (this needs to take account of the Looked After Review cycle because the PEP has to be ready before or at the Review; but also term dates, parents' evenings, school target setting days, Individual Education Plan reviews, annual reviews of Education, Health and Care Plans.)

The completed PEP should be distributed to those invited to the meeting and the child's Independent Reviewing Officer.


7. When a Child has No School Place

Finding a school place is primarily the social worker's responsibility but may be delegated to or shared with others.

7.1 PEP’s

Children without a school place should still have an up-to-date PEP. It should address immediate the child's educational needs and longer-term planning.

7.2 Children Placed within the Local Authority Area

Where a Looked After Child/young person has no school place, for whatever reason, the social worker should complete a Children in Our Care Admissions Form and submit it to the Admissions Manager (and the SEN adviser, in appropriate cases). The choice of school being one that is 'good' or 'outstanding' unless there is an exceptional reason not to do so.

The local education service should identify a school place within 20 working days at the latest; and should be asked to provide alternative education if a school place cannot be found immediately or is not appropriate.

If the child does not have a Statement of Special Educational Needs / Education, Health and Care Plan or has not been excluded, the Admissions Manager will advise the social worker of places available at the preferred school/s.

If the preferred school is full in the relevant year group, then the social worker will be advised about the appeals procedure.

The Admissions Manager will check the availability of other school places within the borough.

The Admissions Manager will make application to the selected school.

If the child requires a place following a permanent exclusion, then the Admissions Manager will inform the social worker that the Exclusion Manager will handle the case. This will be discussed at the In Year Fair Access meeting where a placement will be identified.

7.3 Children Placed in a Different Local Authority Area

Where the child does not have a school place because one cannot be found, or the child has been placed at very short notice, the child's social worker should notify the education service in the area where the child is placed and request that a school be identified for the child as soon as possible. The assistance of the local education service (and the local SEN adviser if appropriate) should also be sought. Unless Section 7.4, Pupils with Education and Health Care Plans applies, the education service local to the placement should identify a school place within 20 working days at the latest; and should be asked to provide alternative education if a school place cannot be found immediately or is not appropriate.

7.4 Pupils with Education and Health Plans

If the child has an Education, Health and Care Plan, the Admissions Manager will advise the social worker to contact the Local Authority's SEN Statutory Assessment Team.

Applications for school places for pupils with an Education, Health and Care Plan should be made through the special needs section of the local education service maintaining the statement, not directly. This needs to be planned for as early as possible as it can cause long delays.


8. Celebrating a Child’s Achievements

Children's educational (and other) achievements should be acknowledged at one or more of the following times: at Looked After Reviews; in the PEP, at school-based meetings; in school reports; and after exams.

Recording a Child’s Achievements

A Looked After Child's educational attainments at Key Stages 1-3, GCSE, A Level and GNVQ should be recorded, including on the electronic record and in the PEP.


9. Reviewing and Updating PEP’s

The child's social worker must ensure PEP review meeting take place on time.

Second and subsequent PEP's should correspond with the Looked After Review cycle and PEP decisions and recommendations must be available to the child's Independent Reviewing Officer at the Looked After Review.

9.1 PEP Decisions

The participants should agree what action they will each undertake to achieve the improvements in the child's education that they have identified through the consultation/preparation process.

9.2 PEP Recommendations

Proposals that would lead to significant changes in arrangements (e.g. a change of school, a request for an Education, Health and Care Plans assessment) and/or to increases in expenditure (private tuition, a jointly-funded placement) should also be made in the form of recommendations to the Looked After Review.

The child’s social worker should work with the child’s school between Looked After Reviews (involving the VSH if necessary) to ensure that up-to-date PEP information is fed into those reviews, and ensure that all relevant information about the child’s educational progress and support needs is up-to-date and evidenced before the Looked After Review.

IROs should ensure that the PEP’s effectiveness is scrutinised in sufficient detail as part of the Looked After Review and at other times if necessary. Where a child has Special Educational Needs, the IRO should ensure that the PEP review is linked with any review of those needs.

The IRO should raise any unresolved concerns about a child’s PEP or education provision with social workers and the VSH.

9.3 Care Leavers

A Pathway plan will follow on from the Personal Education Plan. The Leaving Care Personal Advisor will complete the Pathway Plan with the young person. The Pathway and Assessment Plan will be initiated during the Looked After Child's 15th year. Personal Education Plans are required until the age of 18.

For further details please see Leaving Care Team Operational Policy and Procedures.


10. When a Child is Absent from School 

The residential staff/carer must notify the school and the child's social worker immediately if the child does not attend school for any reason.

When a child is not attending school regularly the Designated Teacher will:

  • Inform the VSH or the Education Manager for Children in our Care of any absences on the first day;
  • Discuss with the child and the carer, the reasons for irregular attendance;
  • Devise strategies for improvement;
  • Inform the social worker and the school's nominated Educational Welfare Officer.

If the problem persists, the Designated Teacher will call an education planning meeting to review the Personal Education Plan.

In any case where the child has been absent from school for more than 10 days, the social worker should liaise with the school, the child, residential staff/carers and any other relevant person to address:

  • The reasons for the absence;
  • How to ensure the child returns to education as soon as possible;
  • Whether and how the child can be helped to catch up on what s/he has missed.

Where necessary, the Children and Families Who Go Missing Procedure must be followed - see the Pan Lancashire Policy and Procedures for Safeguarding Children Manual, Children and Families who go Missing.

Considering Applications For Discretionary Leave Of Absence During Term time In Exceptional Circumstances – Children In Our Care

Good school attendance is vital for all children and EVERY SCHOOLDAY COUNTS AND EVERY DAY IS IMPORTANT, therefore leave of absence during term time will not normally be agreed. Where there are exceptional circumstances additional processes apply when the request for discretionary leave of absence during term time is made for a child who is looked after by the Local Authority. Any application must first be approved by Service Leader - Children in Care and Children with Disabilities and the Headteacher. The following process must be followed:

  1. Formal request made by the child’s social worker to their Service Leader prior to any arrangements being made by foster carers/parents. The decision will be recorded on the child’s file;
  2. If request is approved, the child’s social worker must follow the school process as outlined in their attendance policy to apply for discretionary leave of absence during term time prior to any arrangements being made by foster carers/parents. The child’s social worker must ensure that the Headteacher is given a copy of the confirmation of the decision by their Service Leader as part of the application process. The Headteacher must notify the child’s social worker of their decision and the child’s social worker must record the decision on the child’s file and notify the foster carers/parents of the outcome.


11. School Exclusions

Where a school has concerns about a Looked After child’s behaviour, the VSH should be informed and, where necessary, involved at the earliest opportunity. This is to enable the VSH, working with others, to:

  • Consider what additional assessment and support (such as additional help for the classroom teacher, one-to-one therapeutic work or a suitable alternative placement) needs to be put in place to address the causes of the child’s behaviour and prevent the need for exclusion;
  • Make any additional arrangements to support the child’s on-going education in the event of exclusion.

Where a Looked After Child is excluded from school, the child's social worker must inform the child's Independent Reviewing Officer.

11.1 Fixed Period Exclusions

Headteachers should, as far as possible, avoid excluding any looked after child. Exclusion from school should be a last resort for children who are looked after, therefore it is important to work with the school and carers to intervene as soon as a child's behaviour becomes a cause for concern.

Schools are required to inform the Exclusion Manager of all exclusions of children in our care immediately. For a fixed period exclusion of more than five school days, the governing body (or local authority in relation to a pupil excluded from a pupil referral unit) must arrange suitable full time education for any pupil of compulsory school age. This provision must begin no later than the sixth day of the exclusion.

Whilst the statutory duty on governing bodies or Local Authorities is to provide full-time education from the sixth day of an exclusion, there is an obvious benefit in starting this provision as soon as possible. In particular, in the case of a Looked After Child, schools and Local Authorities should work together to arrange alternative provision from the first day following the exclusion. 

If the duration of the exclusion exceeds 15 school days the school governors must convene a meeting to determine whether the pupil should be reinstated before the end of the exclusion/to uphold the exclusion.

Where a child is excluded from school for a fixed period, and it has not been possible, or appropriate, to arrange alternative provision during the first five days of exclusion, schools should take reasonable steps to set and mark work for pupils. The social worker must liaise with the residential staff/carers about suitable arrangements for supervising the child doing the schoolwork during the day and ensuring the child does not go out during school hours. The school will communicate the reasons for the exclusion to the residential staff/carer and the social worker. Whoever is the most appropriate one to do so will discuss this with the child. The social worker should inform the parents, if appropriate.

The social worker, in consultation with the child and parents, must seek advice as to whether to make ‘representations’ against the decision to exclude the child.

11.2 Permanent Exclusions

Where a school has concerns about the behaviour, or risk of exclusion, of a Looked After Child, it should, in partnership with others, (including the Local Authority as necessary) consider what additional support or alternative placement may be required.

When a child is permanently excluded but is remaining in the same foster or residential placement, the social worker will liaise urgently with the local education service in which the child is living to find an alternative school placement. Again, for the first five days of the exclusion the school will provide work and the child must not be out in public during school hours. From the sixth day the local authority will arrange for a place for the child to be educated.

Provision does not have to be arranged by either the school or local authority for pupils in the final year of compulsory education who do not have any further public examinations to sit.

In the case of permanent exclusion a meeting of the Discipline committee of governors will be held within fifteen days to review the decision. If the committee decides to uphold the decision to permanently exclude, parents/carers will have the right to make an application for a review of the decision to an Independent Review Panel. This application will need to be made within fifteen school days. The application form can be completed by anyone who has Parental Responsibility for the child.

Reintegration

If the Discipline Committee has decided not to reinstate the child following permanent exclusion, the interim provision at the Pupil Referral Unit will continue.

The Exclusions Manager, with support of staff at the Pupil Referral unit, will continue to monitor the child's attendance, behaviour, attitude and willingness or ability to conform to school rules.

This will provide an opportunity for either a Reintegration Plan or a Transition Plan to be produced in conjunction with the Personal Education Plan/Care Plan to identify the reintegration process to be followed.

If it is considered that reintegration into another school should be pursued, the Exclusions Manager will liaise with the carer(s), social worker, parents where appropriate and identified school.


12. When a Young Woman becomes Pregnant

Becoming pregnant is not in itself a reason to stop attending school, nor to cease education.

Where a young woman becomes pregnant, the social worker must ensure that the young woman remains in education if at all possible and arrange for her to receive support from the education authority for the area in which she lives and/or the school she attends.


13. School Transport

Where transport is required to maintain continuity of school, the social worker should present the case to the Commissioning Panel. Where a change of school occurs due to an emergency, the Head of Service should be approached to approve funding for transport pending the Commissioning Panel outcome.

A decision will be made taking into account the child's age and the distance from the child's address to the nearest suitable school.


14. Children and Young People with Medical Conditions

From 1 September 2014, governing bodies have a statutory duty to make arrangements to support pupils at school with medical conditions. The Designated Medical Officer can support schools with these duties. For more information see Supporting pupils at school with medical conditions (2015): Statutory guidance from the Department for Education.


15. Training for those Involved in the Care and Education of Looked After Children

The VSH should ensure that there are appropriate arrangements in place to meet the training needs of those responsible for promoting the educational achievement of Looked After children. This includes carers, social workers, Designated Teachers and IROs.

Such training, among other things, should include information about school admission arrangements; Special Educational Needs; attendance and exclusions; homework; choosing GCSE options; managing any challenging behaviour in relation to education settings; promoting positive educational and recreational activities and supporting children to be aspirational for their future education; training and employment, and the importance of listening to and taking account of the child’s wishes and feelings about education and the PEP process.

The VSH should ensure that school governing bodies understand the importance of specific professional development for, as a minimum, their senior leaders and Designated Teachers in supporting the achievement of Looked After children.


16. Information Sharing

VSHs should have access to a secure email account that enables them to exchange information securely with other VSHs in whose area they have placed children.

Arrangements for sharing reliable data must be in place, particularly in relation to the tracking and monitoring of attainment data and notifications of where children, including those placed out-of-authority, are being educated, and must set out:

  • Who has access to what information and how the security of data will be ensured;
  • How children and parents are informed of, and allowed to challenge, information that is kept about them;
  • How carers contribute to and receive information;
  • Mechanisms for sharing information between relevant local authority departments and schools;
  • How relevant information about individual children is passed promptly between authorities, departments and schools when young people move. Relevant information includes the PEP, which as part of the looked after child’s educational record should be transferred with them to the new school.


Appendix 1: Nominated Officer Agreement to the Placement of a Child at Key Stage 4 Where Placement Change is Likely to Disrupt Education

Click here to view Appendix 1: Nominated Officer Agreement to the Placement of a Child at Key Stage 4 Where Placement Change is Likely to Disrupt Education.

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