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W3C Compliance

7.4.1 Education of Looked After Children

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This process applies to all Looked After Children in the London Borough of Merton. It should be read in conjunction with government guidance and other local documents that inform and underpin our work with Looked After Children, such as:

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.

RELEVANT LINK

Virtual School for Looked After Children

RELEVANT CHAPTER

Delegation of Authority to Foster Carers Procedure

AMENDMENT

This chapter was reviewed and updated in May 2017 to reflect the terminology of Merton’s electronic recording system.


Contents

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


1. The Virtual School Roles and Responsibilities

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).

Roles and Responsibilities

What are we?

The Virtual School is not a teaching institution. It is “a model by which the LA can provide services and support for the education of looked after children and a constructive challenge to those providing the services”. It works closely with Social Care so that there is a holistic and comprehensive approach to the support of LAC in all areas of their lives.

What is our purpose?

Our overall aim is to secure high quality provision and help to produce better educational outcomes for Looked After Children by working to ensure they reach their potential by making the best possible progress, achieving appropriate standards and qualifications so that they have better life chances.

We work on behalf of and with looked after children who are of school age and either looked after by Merton or are schooled in Merton and care leavers who are in education and training up to the age of 24.

Who are we?

The Virtual School Team comprises a Headteacher and Advisory Teachers with age/phase specialisms and administrative staff including a Data Support Officer. We sometimes extend our team for additional expertise and support.

Who do we work with?

The Virtual School works in close partnership with carers and other professionals, both within and outside the Local Authority.

How do we work?

Children and Young People

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.

We liaise with the Early Years Team to help ensure that the education and socialisation needs of our very young looked after children are identified and met through integrated care and education provision as appropriate.

We ensure that the educational needs and achievements of children and young people are identified, tracked and met through the Personal Education Plan and The Virtual School’s Information Managements System, including ensuring entitlement to and impact of Pupil Premium.

We give special help through out of school hours tuition to those students who seem to be underachieving and those that need to meet specific targets or ambitions, including music lessons.

We raise expectations and aspirations by making use of initiatives for widening participation in further and higher education and support gifted and talented and students in terms of advice and placement as they leave the last year of compulsory education and to ensure they remain in education, employment or training. This includes help with writing and submitting CVs and application forms.

The Virtual School encourages and supports students to develop their own interests and participate in extra curricular or out of school activities. The Virtual School has established a tradition of holding an annual ‘special event’ to provide Looked After Children with an opportunity to show and celebrate their talents and achievements.

Carers

We work to ensure that carers see the importance of education and provide training and information on admission to school, the curriculum, school related behaviour and attendance and how to help their child achieve their best at school or college. We provide learning materials and training to support their child to study at home.

Social Workers

The Virtual School provides social workers with training, advice and guidance on educational issues, including support to achieve school and placement stability. It is a link to schools and other agencies and. The Advisory Teachers and Administrative Staff monitors attendance and punctuality and supports the process of ensuring timely and quality Personal Educational Plans for each Looked After Child.

Educational Settings includes Early Years Settings, Schools, Academies, Pupil Referral Units and Alternative Educational Providers.

The Virtual School provides support and training regarding policy and practice to understand and meet the needs of children in public care, including advocacy and for Designated Teachers. It can also facilitate communication with other authorities that have a Looked after Child placed in the school/provision.

Advisory Teachers and The Virtual School Administrative staff service, advise and monitor Personal Education Plans. Where appropriate, The Virtual School may be represented at Individual Education Planning meetings, Personal Support Planning meetings, Education, Health and Care Planning and Annual reviews, attendance and exclusion/reintegration meetings.

The Virtual School provides additional support for options/careers advice for Looked After Children.

The Local Authority, Officers and Lead Member

The Virtual School seeks to raise the profile of The Local Authority as Corporate Parent, provides the Local Authority with the information it needs to complete reports, meet inspection needs and to assess our own performance.


2. The Personal Education Plan (PEP)

In addition to the usual school records for all children, every child in care must have a Personal Education Plan (PEP). The PEP sets clear objectives for children and young people relating to academic achievement, and as well as personal and behaviour targets both in and out of school. It identifies, with the child’s parent and/or relevant family member or carer, key worker or Special Guardian, the school’s Designated Named Teacher and the allocated social worker who will be responsible for carrying out actions agreed in the plan, with timescales for action and review.

The PEP also enables information to move quickly with Looked After Children so that they can be placed appropriately and provided with the support and services they need.

In exceptional circumstances when a child has no school placement, The local education department, in consultation with the child, will set out how they intend to meet their educational needs. The Personal Education Plan should be initiated as part of the Care Planning process before a child becomes Looked After and no later than 10 working days after a child comes into care. In the case of an emergency placement, the PEP should be made available for the child’s Looked After Review. This fosters best practice and enables all those working together with the child and their families to show that there is high expectation of learning and education and ensures a coordinated package of support.

Looked After Children of compulsory school age must have PEP and best endeavours will be made to ensure that they have a school place or that another provision is identified such as private tuition to promote their educational needs. In September 2014, the revised statutory guidance for local authorities for promoting the education for looked after children, states children in early years setting should also have a PEP and Merton is working to ensure that these changes are embedded. The Personal Education Plan for most 16/17 and 18 year old is contained within the young person’s Pathway Plan but following consultation with young people a Post 18 PEP is to be introduced as part of Merton’s pledge to Care Leavers.

The PEP provides essential information to ensure that appropriate support is in place to enable all Looked After Children to maximise their potential. It also provides a record of the child's educational achievements while they are in care. The outcome of the PEP should set out clear aims, objectives and targets, which can be reviewed for the child, covering the following areas:

  • A chronology of their education and/or training history which provides a record of the child's educational experience and may indicate extent to which the child's education and progress has been disrupted before entering care or accommodation. The chronology should include any existing arrangements for education and training including special educational need and provision, information about education previously attended and reasons for leaving, attendance, achievement and progress in terms of National Curriculum levels and/or other academic achievements, and behaviour management information;
  • Any planned changes to existing arrangements and provision to minimise any disruption; e.g. secondary transfer or change of of placement;
  • The child's leisure interests;
  • The role of the primary carer and another persons who cares for the child promoting their educational achievements and leisure interests;
  • The effective use of the Pupil Premium for Looked After Children and specific to the child  (Application for bursary should be discussed as part of the PEP Meetings);
  • 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, 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.

Avoidance of Disruption in Education

The Virtual School must be consulted and be a part of the initial planning and approval with the allocated social worker if there is to be a change to a child’s placement.

In exceptional cases where there is an emergency, and a placement is terminated immediately there will be a meeting/discussion with The Head of The Virtual School within no more than 2 working days to discuss how the child’s education will be managed and who will take the lead role to minimise disruption to the child’s education plan.

In these circumstances, Merton will make arrangements to promote the child's educational achievement as soon as reasonably practicable and ensuring that:

  • 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 (wherever possible) and when the child is subject to a Care Order;
  • The educational provision will promote the child’s educational achievement that is consistent with the PEP;
  • The Independent Reviewing Officer has been informed by the allocated social worker;
  • The Designated Teacher at the child's school has been consulted.
Merton has an inclusive approach with their partner agencies for all their children and young people that are Looked After. The aim is to ensure that Looked After Children within education are fully supported to be in either education, training or other identified provision to promote their learning opportunities. The government’s commitment to raising the participation age of young people is fully supported by us and we track our young people who fall within this specific group.


3. When a Child First becomes Looked After

3.1 Notification

Partnership working and a joint approach to information sharing across services is essential to ensure that information is not lost and a child or young person’s education needs are appropriately met.

Wherever possible, prior to becoming Looked After, or immediately a child becomes Looked After to Merton, the allocated social worker must notify the Designated Teacher at the child’s school or education setting, the educational department, Head of Virtual School if the child is placed out of borough and the Virtual School Merton.

If the child has an Education, Health and Care Plan or this is under assessment, the allocated social worker should ensure the relevant SEN case worker within the SEND Integrated Service is informed.

The allocated social worker and the Virtual School will liaise to arrange a First Personal Education Plan meeting with the school and/or educational setting, Regular contact should then be maintained and clearly recorded on the child’s case file.

3.2 The First Personal Education Plan

The first PEP should be initiated as part of the child’s Care Plan within 10 working days of a child becoming Looked After.

The allocated social worker will consult with the Virtual School to convene and attend a meeting to draw up the first PEP. This meeting should include the following attendees: the child or young person, the child’s primary carer, (foster carer, key worker of Special Guardian as appropriate) the social worker, a representative from the Virtual School, and the Named Designated Teacher. For children with special educational needs, it may also include the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO), other education professionals and for those with a Statement of Educational Needs or Education, Health and Care Plans, the named SEN Caseworker. It may also be appropriate for parents to attend a PEP so they are a part of the decision making process, even though their child is not residing with them.

Where a child has a fixed term exclusion from school, the Head Teacher (or other school representative) should also be invited to the meeting. If they are unable to attend the meeting, they should be sent a copy of the PEP with clear expectations of actions to be completed and reviewed.

In exceptional cases, where a child has no school place, the relevant education officer from the borough that child resides will be expected to attend. They will be asked to lead and identify a school place. For children and young people with Statements of Educational Need the named SEN case worker should also be asked to co-ordinate the consultation process to ensure that a child is reintegrated back into education in a timely way.

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 for the next PEP review meeting and how and when the next (full) PEP is going to be drawn up.

The completed PEP should be distributed to the child, if they are age appropriate to understand the information, the parent/s, the primary carer and all others invited to the meeting. A copy should also be sent to the child's Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) so that the IRO is fully aware of the PEP and so that it is included as an essential part of the child’s LAC Review.

Please Note: The provision of education for pupils with Statements of Educational Need or Education, Health and Care Plans can only be changed if this has been amended at an annual/interim/emergency review. Their statement will remain with them regardless of the borough in which they are placed.


4. When a Child Moves to a New Local Authority

Should a child be placed in a different local authority but continue to attend the same school, the procedure outlined in Section 3.2, The First Personal Education Plan applies.

If the child will need a new school, enquiries to obtain a school place should (unless it is an emergency placement) begin BEFORE s/he moves to a new placement. The Virtual School and, if appropriate, the SEN case worker should be provided with a full educational history and asked to assist in the search for a school place. 

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

Where the child does not have a school place - see Section 6, When a Child has No School Place.

Pupils With Education, Health and Care Plans

Where a child has an Education, Health and Care Plan (previously a Statement of Special Educational Needs), the Plan must be transferred.

Ensuring the statutory entitlements for children with a Education, Health and Care Plan can result in a lengthy process of consultation should a new school or education setting be needed. Practitioners considering a change of placement which means that a change of school is needed should be mindful of this and plan as early as possible, to minimise the risk of a child being without a school place.


5. 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.

Looked After children often report that school is a place of consistency and continuity for them so changes of school should be avoided - see Avoidance of Disruption in Education. In exceptional cases when a child needs or joins a new school it is paramount that a plans are made to ensure as smooth a transition as possible.

Choosing and applying for a school place is primarily the allocated social worker's responsibility but should be made in consultation with The Virtual School. In some circumstances it may be shared with other appropriate professionals including the foster carer, parent/s or other appropriate person. Consultation throughout promote partnership and ensure the comprehensive needs of the child are fully met.

All changes to a child’s school records will need to be updated, as a matter of priority on the social care information system and Virtual School Management system (SIMS).

5.1 Notification

The allocated social worker is responsible for informing the key professionals within the school: the Designated Teacher and/or the Head Teacher that the child is Looked After. A copy of the child's current PEP should be provided, as this fosters best practice and it also sets the scene for the school to be able to appropriately plan any additional resources for the child. Other key staff that need to know information should be identified at the initial PEP meeting, taking into account the child’s wishes with regard to confidentiality. If any additional staff become involved they should form a part of the wider professional network for sharing information.

5.2 Pupils with Education, Health and Care Plans

The allocated social worker will ensure that he/she is aware of the current position with regard to the child’s Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), including any additional support provided and by whom. Significant dates such as forthcoming EHCP Reviews and medical appointments if offered within the educational setting should be shared with the school from both the primary carer and the Social Worker. A professional meeting should be convened wherever possible to ensure that there is a clear vision of the educational planning for the child.

5.3 The First PEP in a New School

A new or updated PEP should be in place within the first 20 days of a child joining a new school.

The first PEP in a new school should:

  • Identify the child’s immediate needs (e.g. English as an additional language, literacy support, behaviour management);
  • Establish contact between the child’s primary carer , school staff and allocated social worker and any other professionals working with the child to ensure seamless working together;
  • Identify a named person for the day to day management of the PEP and agree who contacts whom about what;
  • Set out and establish clear boundaries with regard to confidentiality;
  • Share any significant information including the Placement Information Record;
  • Ensure that the child’s view is listened to;
  • Ensure records are forwarded from the previous school and/or carer;
  • Explore the emotional and behavioural management plan and the strategies to support the child;
  • Agree a time/date/venue for the next PEP review meeting and how and when the next full PEP is going to be drawn up. The timing of this next meeting needs to take account of term dates, parents’ evenings, school target setting days, Individual Education Plan reviews, annual reviews of Education, Health and Care Plan etc.). It also needs to align with the Looked After Review cycle so that the PEP is ready before, or at the review.


6. When a Child has No School Place

Unless a child has a Statement of Educational Need, identifying a school place is jointly the responsibility of the allocated social worker and the Virtual School’s and best endeavours will be made to ensure that a place is found. Where a child has a Statement of Educational Need, the Special Needs Caseworker will also need to be included. (See Section 6.4, Pupils with Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP).) In the interim other resources will be explored to promote the child’s educational needs and tuition will need to be provided.

6.1 PEPs

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

6.2 Children Placed within the Local Authority Area

Where the child does not have a school place because one cannot be found, or because mainstream school is not appropriate to his or her current educational needs. The allocated social worker should notify and seek assistance from the education department, via the Virtual School, (and the SEN case worker, as appropriate). The local Education Department should identify a school place within no less than 20 working days. and should be asked to provide alternative education, such as a private tutor whilst a suitable education placement is found.

6.3 Children Placed in a Different Local Authority Area

Where a move to a different local authority area means that the child does not have a school place because one cannot be found, or the child has been placed at very short notice, the allocated social worker should notify the education department in the area where the child is placed.

Assistance should be sought from the local Education Department, and the Virtual School. Unless Section 6.4, Pupils with Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP) applies, the education service local to the placement should identify a school place no less than 20 working days and they should provide alternative education if a school place cannot be found.

6.4 Pupils with Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP)

Applications for school places for pupils with a Education, Health and Care Plans should be planned for as early as possible to avoid delay in secure a school place. They should be made through the special needs department and not directly to the school. Dependent on the care plan, and in most instances, the EHCP Caseworker will request the local Education Department of residence to adopt and maintain the Plan. In all instances the EHCP Caseworker will request the local authority of residence to maintain the plan.

Once the Education, Health and Care Plan has been adopted the local authority in which the child lives is responsible for updating the Education, Health and Care Plan but will be required to consult with Merton Integrated Service Team (SENDIST) if the Education, Health and Care Plan is to be amended.

When the child’s is placed in a school outside of their local authority of residence, the educational authority retains responsibility for updating the Education, Health and Care Plan.


7. Celebrating a LAC Child’s Achievements

The educational (and other) achievements of Looked After Children should be acknowledged at one or more of the following times: at Looked After Reviews; at the PEP and school-based meetings; in school reports; and after exams; within the placement with their carers and at Merton’s Celebrating Success Annual Award Ceremony.

As part of life story work, pictures taken of celebratory moments should be shared and form a part of these achievements

See Life Story Work Procedure.

Recording a Child’s Achievements

Currently all children’s developmental and education progress, from Early Years to the end of Key Stage 4, is assessed, tracked and recorded.

The Virtual School tracks the educational progress and attainment, of all Merton Looked After Children from Early Years to Higher Education, This is to ensure they make good progress in line with their academic potential.

Academic, Vocational or other qualifications and achievements are recorded on the PEP, the social care information system and the Virtual School’s Information Management System.


8. Reviewing and Updating PEP’s

The allocated social worker must ensure PEP review meetings take place as scheduled and in the unforeseen circumstances that this needs to be changed that this is evidenced on the social care information system.

Second and subsequent PEP’s should be co-ordinated alongside the Looked After Review cycle and PEP decisions and recommendations must be available to the Independent Reviewing Officer at the Looked After Review. The Virtual School are involved in developing, reviewing and supporting every Looked After Child’s PEP.

8.1 PEP Decisions

The Personal Education Planning Meeting should agree educational priorities and how best to achieve these. Targets should be set and the participants should agree what action they will each undertake to ensure progress and attainment.

The Virtual School will quality assure these targets to ensure high expectation and progress.

8.2 PEP Recommendations

If there are any significant proposals which change a child’s education arrangements such as a change of provision including a referral to alternative provision or a request for a Education, Health and Care Plan these must be discussed with The Head of the Virtual School who will advise about how to proceed.


9. When a Child is Absent from School 

There is an expectation that All Looked after children should be supported to achieve maximum attendance at school. The Virtual School collects attendance data and is proactive in assisting schools to achieve this.

When a child is unable to attend school, the foster carer or residential placement must notify the school, their supervising social worker and the allocated social worker immediately if the child does not attend school for any reason.

The Virtual School and team managers are alerted to continuous absence of one day or more.

In any case where a child has been absent from school for more than 3 days the social worker should be liaising with the child age appropriately, the school, the placement and their carer and any other relevant persons to invite their views and address, as follows:

  • The reasons for the absence; the social worker should make best endeavours to met with the child alone to ensure that they capture an accurate account from them on their absence from school;
  • How to ensure the child returns to education as soon as possible and how they will be reintegrated;
  • Whether and how the child can be helped to catch up on what s/he has missed and how this will be managed and by whom;
  • Agree discussion and recommendations and upload to the social care information system.

Where necessary, the Children Missing from Care Procedure must be followed - see the Local Safeguarding Children Board's Inter Agency Procedure.

Children who miss school for 20 consecutive days are referred by the Virtual School to the Children Missing Education Panel which meets monthly.


10. School Exclusions

The Virtual School works with other professionals and schools to avoid school exclusion.

Please Note: Where a Looked After Child has a fixed term exclusion or is at risk of exclusion from school, the allocated social worker must inform the child’s Independent Reviewing Officer and the Virtual School immediately.

The Virtual School collects data on the number of and reasons for exclusions for Looked After in order to identify and, if appropriate, challenge any trends.

10.1 Fixed term exclusions

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. Strategies should be explored as far as possible to ensure that they are can be supported to remain in their educational provision.

Where a Looked After Child is excluded from school for a fixed period, the school and the local authority should work together to arrange alternative provision from the first day of the exclusion. At the very least, schools are responsible to providing work for the child for the first five days of the exclusion and the allocated social worker must liaise with the primary carer about the arrangements for supervising the child to ensure the legal requirement that an excluded pupil is not present in a public place during school hours without reasonable justification With effect from the sixth day the school should provide a place for the child to be educated.

The school are expected to outline the reasons for the exclusion to the primary carers, the social worker and the Virtual School. Whoever is identified as the most appropriate one to do so will steer these discussions with the child. The social worker will inform the parents and update them on any changing circumstances.

The social worker, in consultation with the child and parents and The Virtual School must seek independent and/or legal advice as to whether to seek an independent review of the decision to exclude the child, If the child is in primary school and receives fixed term exclusion or is in secondary school and is excluded for more than five days, the social worker should ensure a meeting is held within the five days to discuss his/her return and how best this can be supported, especially exploring if any resources are needed that the educational provision manages this ensure inclusion.

See Merton Council School Exclusions.

10.2 Permanent exclusions

Merton makes every endeavour to support a school to exhaust all options before a permanent exclusion is considered. When a child is permanently excluded but remains in the same placement the social worker must liaise urgently with the education department in which the child resides to identity an alternative school provision. During the first five days of their exclusion from school the education department are expected to provide work and the child should remain at their placement during school hours. From the sixth day the local authority must arrange suitable full-time education for any pupil of compulsory school age.

If appropriate the primary carer or anyone who has Parental Responsibility can request the decision to exclude the pupil to be reviewed by an Independent Review Panel. This request must be made within 15 school days from the date on which notice in writing was given to the carer/social worker. (see Exclusions from Maintained Schools, Academies and Pupil Referral Units in England (DfE 2012)


11. When a Young Woman becomes Pregnant

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

Where a Looked After young woman becomes pregnant, the allocated social worker must ensure she remains in education, training or employment if at all possible.

Arrangements should be made for the expectant mother to receive support from the local authority and other agency partners for the area in which she lives and/or the school she attends.

See Teenage Pregnancy Procedure.


12. School Transport

In order to maintain continuity of school provision those with responsibility for school transport should be approached to provide assistance with transport. 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.

See Transport for Students with a Special Educational Need or Disability Procedure.


13. Children and Young People with Medical Conditions

From 1st September 2014, governing bodes 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 (2014), statutory guidance from the Department for Education.


14. 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.


15. 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.

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