Looked After Children Policy

LOOKED AFTER CHILDREN APRIL 2016
Meadow High School
Policy Name: Looked After Children Policy
Policy Number:
Date of Approval: May 2010
Effective Date: May 2010
Revised Date: April 2016
Review by Date: April 2017
Policy/Procedure Author: Mr Ross Macdonald
Policy/Procedure Owner: Meadow High School Governing Body
Approved by: Senior Management Team
Governor Committee (where appropriate)
Approved By:
For Action By:
For Information to:
Approval requested to upload on Meadow
High School Website:
Date of Policy Equality Impact Assessment:
Impact Assessment was carried out by:


LOOKED AFTER CHILDREN APRIL 2016

MEADOW HIGH SCHOOL
LOOKED AFTER CHILDREN POLICY


Aim
 To provide a stable and secure base for every child but particularly those who are ‘Looked After’.
 To promote and prioritise the achievement, attendance and general well-being of a ‘looked after’ child.
 To provide each child with a Personal Education Plan (P.E.P.)
 To ensure discretion and sensitivity at all times.
 To develop systems of communications and protocols.

Statement of Policy
This Policy provides a framework whereby Meadow High School will promote the education; achievement and welfare of looked after children within a supportive and inclusive school culture. To ensure this we will:
 Enable staff to play a positive and active role in the life of ‘Looked After’ children.
 Appoint a designated teacher and governor with immediate responsibility for a ‘looked after’ child, who will meet regularly to monitor progress.
 Work with all appropriate agencies in the development of the PEP.
 Facilitate discussion, if deemed appropriate, with the child and/or any relevant adults.
 Organise regular and relevant training for the designated teacher and/or governor.
This policy will be implemented in accordance with the principles of the School Mission Statement and will be reviewed annually.

Guidance
Under the Children Act 1989, a child is looked after by a local authority if he or she is in their care or is provided with accommodation for more than 24 hours by the authority.
Looked after children fall into four main groups:
1) Children who are accommodated under a voluntary agreement with their parents;
2) Children who are the subject of a care order or interim care order;
3) Children who are the subject of emergency orders for the protection of the child;
4) Children who are compulsorily accommodated.
Furthermore, the term ‘looked after’, which is widely used in social services is synonymous with the term ‘in public care’, which has been adopted by the DCFS in their publication, ‘The Education of Young People in Public Care’.


Legal Responsibilities
Recent legislation and guidance from the Department for Education (DfE) and the Department of Health (DH) requires schools to have effective policies for supporting and promoting the education of looked after children.

The named Governor should be satisfied that:
 The school has a coherent policy for looked after children
 The school’s policies and procedures are reviewed in the light of social inclusion guidance and joint DH/DfES guidelines
 The designated teacher has received appropriate training
 Looked after children have equal access to all areas of the curriculum
 The Governing Body receives an annual report

The Head Teacher will:
 Be responsible for all systems to support looked after children
 Be the named point of contact for colleagues in social services and education
 Report to the governing body on an annual basis on the following:
- the number of looked after pupils in the school
- an analysis of test scores as a discrete group, compared to other pupils
- the attendance of pupils, compared to other pupils
- the level of fixed term and permanent exclusions, compared to other pupils
- the number of complaints

The Designated Teacher will:
 Ensure that any ‘looked after child’ is made to feel welcome and valued
 Ensure information is shared on a strictly ‘need to know’ basis
 Ensure that all staff, through appropriate training, are aware of the difficulties and educational disadvantages faced by looked after children and understand the need for positive systems to support them, whilst maintaining high expectations for their educational achievements.
 Act as an advocate for looked after children in order to allow them equal access to educational opportunities and support with important decisions affecting future life chances.
 Be responsible for contacting and forwarding educational records to new schools to facilitate a smooth and speedy transfer.
 Monitor the educational progress of all looked after children and intervene, in co-operation with other agencies if required, if there is evidence of underachievement, absence from school or internal truancy, or other similar concern.
 Build positive home-school relationships between parents/carers with regular opportunities for dialogue.

Personal Education Plans will consider:
 The child’s strengths and weaknesses
 Interests, both in and out of school
 Developmental and educational and pastoral needs
 Future plans, and how these can be supported
 Issues arising for the child
It will also identify targets that will be reviewed during the next P.E.P. meeting.

Admission Arrangements
Looked after children are a priority for admission and, as such, we will follow the school’s published admission criteria.

Complaints
If a young person, parent or social worker wishes to complain about the provision or policy, they should in the first instance raise it with a designated teacher, who will try to resolve the situation.
If the issue cannot be resolved within 10 days, the young person, carer or social worker can submit a formal complaint in writing to the head teacher. The head teacher will investigate the complaint and respond within 10 working days.

Any issue that remains unresolved at this stage should be addressed through a meeting in order to assess the impact of any such complaint upon the young person’s education. This meeting may include the name governor and any other outside agency that both parties deem necessary to attend. This meeting should normally be held within 10 working days of the head teacher’s response.