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1.30 Education Policy

RELEVANT GUIDANCE

Promoting the education of looked after children: Statutory guidance for local authorities (July 2014)

Mental Health and Behaviour in Schools Departmental advice for school staff (DfE 2016)

AMENDMENT

This chapter was updated in December 2016 when the link to the above statutory guidance was added.


Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Educational Environment in the Foster Home
  3. Meetings
  4. Personal Education Plans (PEPs)
  5. Individual Action Plans
  6. Attendance
  7. Training


1. Introduction

Northumberland Children’s Services recognises that all children and young people in the looked after system should be educated to the best of their abilities and, wherever possible, this should be in mainstream education, following all aspects of the National Curriculum.

It is acknowledged that, for many children and young people who enter the looked after system, it has not been a positive experience and too often they have missed out on some or a lot of education.

It is also recognised that a large number of young people entering the looked after system are of an age that they have started their GCSE courses and that accommodation often disrupts their progress.

It is our intention that Foster Carers will do everything possible to promote positive outcomes in the area of education and encourage the participation of children and young people in plans, which will enable them to achieve their educational potential.


2. Educational Environment in the Foster Home

Foster placements will promote education by encouraging children and young people to read, take part in discussions, join the local library etc.

  • Where space permits, all bedrooms will have desks and bookshelves for children and young people to use. If this is not possible, an alternative quiet area will be identified for homework and studying;
  • There will always be appropriate books and literature available for children and young people to use;
  • Foster Carers are provided with a computer for children and young people to encourage attainment. Please refer to E-Safety Guidance in the Foster Carers Handbook Internet, TV and Film Guidance for safe use and placement of the computer.


3. Meetings

Education advice will be sought at all formal meetings. Invites will always go to appropriate teaching staff e.g. Year Heads, Educational Psychologist, Educational Co-ordinator for Looked after Children etc. All meetings should set a task of examining how the child or young person can maintain or return to mainstream education. It is essential that Foster Carers take an active role in meetings for the child in line with Northumberland County Council’s expectation of foster carers to act as ‘good parents’.


4. Personal Education Plans (PEPs)

All children and young people living in Foster Care must have PEPs which are suitable to meet the educational needs of the individual child or young person.


5. Individual Action Plans

The educational needs and how the Foster Carer responds to them must be included in the child or young person’s IAP.


6. Attendance

It is very important that all Looked After Children have full attendance at school. With this in mind holidays should, where possible, be booked/taken outside of the school term. Where Foster Carers wish to take holidays during the school term, they should discuss this with the child’s Social Worker and their Supervising Social Worker prior to booking. Foster Carers should note that schools would only authorise up to 10 days absenteeism in any academic year for holidays. The number of days absent can further increase due to illness and it is imperative that Foster Carers encourage and facilitate school attendance for Looked After Children.


7. Training

Foster Carers will be offered a number of training courses to increase their awareness of the educational needs of looked after children and young people, the Foster Carer’s role and responsibilities in promoting educational achievement.

End