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Child Looked After Policy

Available as pdf 

Countess Anne School

A Church of England Academy

 

 

MODEL SCHOOL POLICY

FOR CHILDREN LOOKED AFTER adopted by Governors of Countess Anne School: A Church of England Academy – 11/03/19

 

 

 

 

PUBLICATION SCHEDULE NUMBER:

 

CSF4093

PUBLICATION DATE:    AUGUST 2017

 

ISSUE NO: 8

AUTHORISING OFFICER:

 

Jenny Coles

AUTHORISING OFFICER’S SIGNATURE:

 

 

 

AUTHOR OF PUBLICATION:

 

Felicity Evans

POST:

 

Virtual School Head

UNIT:

 

The Virtual School: Children’s Services

 

REVIEW DATE:

 

September 2019

TARGET AUDIENCE:

 

School Head Teachers, Designated Teachers and School Governors

 

PUBLISHED BY Hertfordshire Children‘s Services

 

 

  

Model School Policy for the Education of Children Looked After (CLA) by Hertfordshire and Previously Looked After Children (PLA)

 

 

Policy Objective:

 

To promote the educational achievement and welfare of Children Looked After (CLA) and Children Previously Looked After (PLA) on the roll of this school

 

Name of the Designated Teacher for CLA and PLA

 

David Lodge

 

Name of the Designated School Governor for CLA and PLA

 

Murray Gifkins

 

At Countess Anne School we will create an environment where children looked after (CLA) and children previously looked after (PLA) have access to excellent educational provision and are prioritised for additional support through school-based interventions, in accordance with the ‘DfE Designated teacher for looked-after and previously looked-after children Statutory guidance for local-authority-maintained schools carrying out duties for looked-after and previously looked-after children. 28th February 2018.

 

We recognise that our school plays a vital role in providing a stable base for CLA and in promoting their academic, social and emotional development. We promote staff training in their specific needs, so that all adults are sensitive to the barriers to learning that CLA experience and feel able to support the children discretely and confidentially, as needs arise.

 

Our school community aims to champion the needs of CLA to ensure they make rapid progress during their period in care.

 

  1. This policy is designed to be read in conjunction with the school ‘Guidance for Children Looked After and Previously Looked After’ which provides the detail of school provision for CLA.

 

 

Our Aims for CLA:

 

  • to provide a safe and secure environment where education is always central to the planning and all adults understand the specific needs of CLA and PLA
  • to narrow the gap between the attainment of CLA and PLA and their peers, ensuring accelerated and rapid progress
  • that they benefit from school-based interventions, including ‘Making Good Progress 121 Tuition’, even if they do not meet the criteria for that intervention (DfE Designated teacher for looked-after and previously looked-after children Statutory guidance for local-authority-maintained schools carrying out duties for looked-after and previously looked-after children. 28th February 2018) and to use the allocated Pupil Premium Plus (PP+) to ensure effective impact
  • for all CLA to have a minimum of three Personal Education Planning (ePEP) meetings in an academic year and for the joint planning to actively impact on each child’s learning on a daily basis, to ensure accelerated and rapid progress (DfE Designated teacher for looked-after and previously looked-after children Statutory guidance for local-authority-maintained schools carrying out duties for looked-after and previously looked-after children. 28th February 2018)
  • for all adults to provide discreet, sensitive, child-led support, with one key adult identified who will form a strong relationship and take a special interest in daily life at school
  • that school systems facilitate discrete support, as appropriate
  • CLA will be advantaged within school policies and procedures, with their needs explicitly considered and provided for (DfE Designated teacher for looked-after and previously looked-after children Statutory guidance for local-authority-maintained schools carrying out duties for looked-after and previously looked-after children. 28th February 2018.)  Links to other relevant school policies that reference CLA and PLA may be found within our Core Safeguarding Policies.
  • CLA and their foster families will feel part of the school community; they will be actively welcomed into the community in recognition of the particular needs of this group (DfE Designated teacher for looked-after and previously looked-after children Statutory guidance for local-authority-maintained schools carrying out duties for looked-after and previously looked-after children. 28th February 2018).

 

Educational Planning for Children Looked After

 

Personal Education Plans (ePEP) and CLA Self Evaluation Forms (CLASEF):

 

The school will ensure that every CLA on roll has a Personal Education Planning (ePEP) meeting that is reviewed termly, within the statutory care planning framework, and in collaboration with the social worker, carer and other relevant professionals. The school will complete the CLASEF to inform the Hertfordshire Virtual School of the school’s policy and practice, to account for the efficient and effective spend of the PP+ funding and to inform the school Governing Body as the annual report.

 

Roles and Responsibilities:

 

The Headteacher and Governing Body are committed to promoting improved educational life chances for CLA and PLA. They will ensure that the Designated Teacher for Children Looked After has qualified teacher status, appropriate seniority in the leadership team and time and experience to fulfil this statutory role. They will monitor the role of the Designated Teacher to ensure that all CLA and PLA make accelerated and rapid progress and that the whole school staff receives appropriate training. 

 

The Designated Teacher for Children Looked After and Children Previously Looked After is David Lodge. He is a qualified teacher, and will promote improved educational life chances for CLA and PLA by:

  • ensuring that the CLA or PLA has access to quality first teaching
  • tracking the progress of CLA and PLA across the curriculum using data, teacher reports and book looks
  • ensuring that the PP+ is used effectively and efficiently
  • performing a coordinating role with school staff and outside agencies
  • ensuring effective communication with the school’s assigned Education Adviser from the Virtual School
  • developing expertise in the field of CLA
  • providing and attending training and offering advice to the whole school staff
  • promoting a school culture which is supportive and has high expectations for CLA and PLA
  • regularly reporting to the Head and Governing Body on the attainment of CLA and PLA and school resource and staff training needs for working with this group
  • prioritising CLA for school-based additional support, even when the young person does not meet the criteria (DfE Designated teacher for looked-after and previously looked-after children Statutory guidance for local-authority-maintained schools carrying out duties for looked-after and previously looked-after children. 28th February 2018).
  • ensuring that CLA and PLA are not overlooked for positions of student responsibility within the school because of their care status
  • completing the annual Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) of each CLA as requested, to inform their annual CLA health review.

 

 

All staff will promote improved educational life chances for CLA and PLA by:

  • reading the ‘school policy’ and ‘school policy guidance document’ for CLA
  • attending training, as appropriate
  • providing accurate information and data when asked by the Designated Teacher
  • referring to the Designated Teacher for advice
  • playing their part in creating an attachment and trauma–informed ‘CLA-friendly’ culture and securing rapid progress for CLA by ensuring that they benefit from any additional school-based support available

 

 

Attendance:

 

School attendance procedures reflect the specific needs of CLA and PLA to ensure good school attendance. Where there is a concern about attendance or punctuality the school contacts the carer, social worker and other professionals including the Virtual School, as an early intervention, as outlined in the attendance policy. 

 

Admissions/ Transitions:

 

School procedures to support CLA during admission and transition include:

  • prioritising CLA and PLA at the point of admission
  • the swift transfer of information between schools that may include school visits and at times of transition, teaching at the previous school
  • early identification of staff mentor and peer buddy
  • additional support and planning for CLA and PLA at times of transition
  • structured activities to ‘say goodbye’, in recognition of the impact of broken attachments and loss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Additional Educational Needs:

 

All staff endeavour to secure accelerated and rapid progress for CLA and PLA with additional educational needs by:

  • having high expectations
  • ensuring that they are prioritised for additional school-based support, even if they do not meet the criteria (in line with the DfE Designated teacher for looked-after and previously looked-after children Statutory guidance for local-authority-maintained schools carrying out duties for looked-after and previously looked-after children. 28th February 2018).
  • ensuring that planning is coordinated, appropriate interventions identified and teaching to the plan is systematic; ensuring that any work undertaken by non-teaching staff has teacher over-sight (in line with the Lamb Report, Dec ’09)
  • ensuring that progress is regularly monitored and reviewed, against the expectation of progress each academic year, as agreed in the termly Virtual School visit, ePEP and CLASEF

 

 

Special Educational Needs:

 

All staff endeavour to secure accelerated and rapid progress for CLA who have special educational needs by:

  • having high expectation of minimum levels of progress each academic year (in line with the expectation set out in the ePEP and CLA-SEF)
  • ensuring that they are accessing school-based targeted support which is ‘additional to and different from’ the universal and additional needs provision (in line with the SEN Code of Practice)
  • ensuring that all plans are coordinated, appropriate interventions identified, and teaching to the plan is systematic
  • ensuring that progress is regularly monitored and reviewed, in line with the SEN Code of Practice
  • ensuring that any work undertaken by non-teaching staff has teacher over-sight

 

 

Safeguarding:

 

School staff will be vigilant for any safeguarding issues which can impact particularly on CLA by: familiarising themselves with the ‘School Policy Guidance for Children in Care’ and following the school’s child protection policy and the ‘DfE: Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (All staff) September 2018, if there are any safeguarding concerns. 

 

Alternative Provision:

 

We will make every effort to ensure that any arrangements for provision alternative to daily attendance at school will be:

  • a plan that will retain the CLA on the roll of the school or clarify in writing which educational establishment will be responsible for essential reporting and accountable for the PP+
  • an agreed part of the overall ePEP for the student
  • full time (25 hours) or contribute to full time attendance and be of high quality
  • meet the educational needs of the CLA or PLA
  • will provide the opportunity to make rapid progress in the course of study provided by the setting
  • will be monitored regularly and that ePEPs will include the school and the alternative provider

 

Exclusion:

 

We have reviewed the school behaviour policy in line with the statutory guidance published in February 2018 (DfE Designated teacher for looked-after and previously looked-after children Statutory guidance for local-authority-maintained schools carrying out duties for looked-after and previously looked-after children. 28th February 2018). We will make every effort to avoid excluding a CLA, in recognition of the increased risk this poses in terms of them quickly disengaging from the school, due to their early experience of broken attachments and loss. Before acting, we will discuss the rationale for exclusion with the assigned Education Adviser from the Virtual School.   If there is no option other than exclusion, then we will make every attempt to reduce the number of days of the exclusion. School procedures are in place to reduce the risk of exclusion of CLA and PLA. CLA and PLA with special educational needs should have exclusion as a behaviour management action as a last possible resort (Regulation 4(1)(c) of the Equalities Act 2010 which means that a head teacher could only lawfully exclude a child for a reason relating to their disability, even a disability that results in the child having a tendency to physical abuse, if reasonable adjustments have been made).

 

Multi-Agency Working:

 

School staff will make every effort to engage with colleagues from other agencies and facilitate their work. This will enable colleagues to successfully perform their roles and positively impact on the education and wider needs of CLA and PLA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Headteacher, Designated Teacher and Governing Body will ensure that all staff are briefed on the regulations and practice outlined in this policy.

 

Date 11-03-19

 

Review date March 2020 at full governing body meeting

 

 

The Hertfordshire Virtual School for Children Looked After

 

 

  • Twitter: @VS_HCC

 

 

  • Phone: 01992 556915

 

September 2018