The role of schools in supporting children in care
Clearly, there is a need for all schools to prioritise and support children in care. Schools across the country are required to nominate a Designated teacher for children in care, who will act as a champion for these children on roll in their schools.
The Virtual School is responsible for promoting the working relationship with designated teachers and ensuring they receive appropriate training, guidance and support. Designated teachers are responsible for monitoring the progress of children in care and identifying any issues that may affect their positive engagement in school and learning.
Attendance at planning meetings and reviews should be a priority for schools and there is an expectation that schools will release staff to attend meetings for these vulnerable young people. The designated teacher in each school should maintain close links with carers and social workers and should seek the advice of the Virtual School if they are experiencing difficulties.
Schools have a responsibility to enhance the understanding of their staff about children in care and promote involvement in extracurricular activities and clubs. Young people should have the opportunity to take part in educational activities that will enrich their educational attainment.
Schools should keep foster carers informed by:
- Making regular contact
- Having a clear plan for introduction and integration of a young person into school
- Having a proactive approach to problems
- Sharing concerns at an early stage
- Jointly managing and writing a young person’s personal education plan.