In February 2018 two key pieces of new Statutory Guidance were published by the Department for Education.
- The Designated Teacher for Looked After and Previously Looked After Children
- Promoting the Education of Looked After and Previously Looked After Children (LAC)
The guidance applies to Maintained schools and Academies. It defines Previously LAC as a child “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.”
The aim of the Guidance is to give specific support to Previously LAC (in addition to LAC) because they are highly likely to have had disrupted learning, may have missed extended periods of school and many of them have Special Educational Needs (SEN). The gaps in their learning and, in many cases the emotional impact of their experiences, are likely to have become significant barriers to their progress.
- designate a member of staff to have responsibility for promoting the educational achievement of previously looked-after pupils – at both Sibertwold and Eythorne Elvington Schools, the designated teacher is Mrs Whannell (the SENCo).
- ensure the designated person undertakes appropriate training.
The PP+ Grant
Additional financial support for Post LAC is available for schools through the PP+ Grant and in the financial year 2018-19 the amount is £2300 per eligible child. This goes directly to schools if the eligible child is entered as such on the January Census – and the school is responsible for evidencing an effective spend with good impact.
Advice for schools on supporting previously LAC and their parents can also be found at websites such as Adoption UK, the Post Adoption Support Team at KCC and Stonewall which gives information on developing an inclusive curriculum, resources and examples of storybooks to use in the classroom.
Virtual School Kent (VSK) acts as a local authority champion to promote the progress and educational attainment of children and young people who are or who have been in care so that they achieve educational outcomes comparable to their peers. Ensuring that they receive a high quality education is the foundation for improving their lives. The school does not exist in real terms, or as a building. Children do not attend it – they remain the responsibility of the school at which they are enrolled. VSK is simply an organisation which has been created for the effective co-ordination of educational services at a strategic and operational level which mainstreams schools can access for support and guidance.
Click here for the VSK website: https://www.virtualschool.lea.kent.sch.uk/