St Winifred’s Catholic Primary School
Policy on Looked After Children
Agreed by the Teaching and Learning Committee: November 2021
Review Date: November 2022
At St Winifred’s Catholic Primary School:
- We nourish a happy, safe and supportive school community in which every individual is welcomed, valued and respected for being unique
- We inspire a search for excellence by offering the best possible learning environment
We provide a Christ-centred education, helping our children to develop and grow in faith and teaching them to promote the Gospel values of love of neighbour, fairness and forgiveness, both in school and in the wider community
Children and young people become ‘Looked After’ if they have been taken into care by the Local Authority, or have been accommodated by the Local Authority under a voluntary agreement with their parents. Children who are being looked after have often experienced traumatic situations such as physical, emotional or sexual abuse or neglect. Whatever the reason, a child’s separation from their home and family signifies a disruption in their lives that has impact on their emotional well-being. Nationally, looked after children (LAC) significantly underachieve and are at greater risk of exclusion than their peers.
The Governing Body and staff of St Winifred’s are committed to providing high quality education with the best possible outcomes for all pupils, including those who are looked after.
Through this policy we aim to:
- Promote the educational achievement and welfare of our Looked After Children within a supportive and inclusive school culture.
- Recognise and support the specific challenges faced by Looked After Children, whilst continuing to foster a culture of high expectation.
- Provide access to every opportunity for Looked After Children to achieve their full potential.
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The Governing Body will:
Appoint a named governor with responsibility for LAC who will
- Ensure the school has a clear and effective policy
- Ensure that the school has a Designated Teacher for LAC who has been appropriately trained
- Ensure that the Governing Body receives an annual report on the performance of Looked After Children.
- Ensure that the school takes appropriate steps to address any issues raised within the report.
The Designated Teacher will:
- Ensure a smooth induction to the school for a Looked After Child and their carer
- Ensure there is a Personal Education Plan (PEP) for each child with appropriate educational targets and that this is reviewed at least annually
- Track academic progress, attendance and exclusions, and ensure support is targeted according to need.
- Maintain an up to date record of all Looked After Children on the school roll
- Ensure the school is represented at planning and review meetings and that appropriate reports are provided.
- Ensure that staff are kept informed on a ‘need to know’ basis.
- Report to the Governing Body at least annually on the performance of Looked After Children. This will include information on attainment and progress, attendance, exclusions, interventions to raise achievement or accelerate progress. The report should also include information about extra-curricular activities.
- Ensure the carers, social worker and other relevant parties receive appropriate notification of school based meetings, parent consultations and other events.
- Promote the involvement of Looked After Children in extra- curricular activities and clubs
- Support transition and planning when the child transfers to a new school
- ensuring the prompt transfer of all relevant information
- Be a source of advice for staff.
All staff will:
- Have the same high expectations for Looked After Children as for all children
- Maintain confidentiality and support Looked After Children sensitively
- Respond promptly for requests for information and reports
The Designated Teacher will decide the extent to which information will be shared, and with which staff on a case by case basis
PERSONAL EDUCATION PLANS
Each looked after child is required to have a Personal Education Plan (PEP) which the Social Worker will take the lead in developing. The PEP is required 28 days after the child becomes looked after and is reviewed at specific intervals in line with the statutory timetable.
The school’s contribution to the PEP is crucial and at least one member of staff who knows the child well will attend the meeting and contribute to the setting and reviewing of educational targets.
Children are allowed to attend where appropriate. If they cannot attend the class teacher or other appropriate adult will meet with the child prior to the meeting to seek their views and complete the relevant section of the PEP.
Children in public care (Looked After Children) are prioritised for admission to St Winifred’s Nursery and Reception. See Admissions policies
MONITORING AND EVALUATION
The Governing Body will monitor the effectiveness of this policy through the Headteacher/ Designated Teacher’s termly reports and through visits to the school.
The policy will be reviewed annually by the governing body.
Date: November 2021
Review Date: November 2022