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Looked After Children and Previous Looked After Children Policy_

Looked After Children and Previously Looked After Children Policy

Issue:                 2

        Approved:                AGC1 – 28th September 2023

Review:                September 2026

Looked After and previously looked after children Policy

  1. Rationale

Co-op Academy Failsworth is dedicated to providing a positive, varied and enriched educational experience for all Looked After Children (LAC) and strives to ensure high levels of progress and achievement from our LAC cohort.

LAC and previously LAC are one of the most vulnerable groups in society and it is nationally recognised that there is considerable educational underachievement when compared with their peers. For example, they may experience:

  • A high level of disruption and change in school placements.
  • A high level of disruption in home life.
  • Lack of involvement in extra-curricular activities and experiences

The above may result in:

  • Poor examination success rates in comparison with the general population.
  • Poor attendance rates in comparison with the general population.
  • Underachievement in further and higher education, employment or training.

  1. Aims
  • To promote and support the educational achievement and welfare of LAC and previously LAC
  • To ensure all staff are informed of the specific needs of LAC and previously LAC
  • To ensure equality of opportunity for LAC and previously LAC
  • To achieve continuity and stability for LAC and previously LAC.
  • To involve LAC and previously LAC in their education.
  • To support LAC and previously LAC into appropriate further education, employment or training.

  • Ensure the statutory guidance is implemented:
  • The designated Teacher for LAC and previously LAC sharing guidance on roles and responsibility – guidance February 2018
  • Promoting the education of LAC and previously LAC– guidance February 2018

  1. Definition of Looked After Children

Under the Children Act 1989, a child is looked after by the local authority if he, or she, is in their care or provided with accommodation for more than twenty-four hours by the Local Authority. They fall into four main groups:

  • Children who are accommodated under a voluntary agreement with their parent’s permission. This is called a section 20.
  • Children who are the subjects of a legal care order or interim care order (this is granted whilst court proceedings are finalised).
  • Children who are the subjects of emergency orders for their protection.
  • Children who are compulsorily accommodated – this includes children remanded to the Local Authority or subject to a criminal justice supervision order with a residence requirement.

The term ‘in care’ refers only to children who are subject to a legal care order by the courts under Section 31 of the Children Act 1989. They may live with foster carers, in a Children’s Home, in a residential school, with relatives or with parents under supervision.

Children who are cared for on a voluntary basis are ‘accommodated’ by the Local Authority under Section 20 of the Children Act 1989. They may live in foster care, in a Children’s Home or in a residential school.  All these groups are said to be “Looked After Children

  1. Previously Looked after Children

A previously looked after child is one who is no longer looked after in England and Wales because he/she is the subject of an adoption, special guardianship or child arrangement order.

The Designated Teacher and LAC Co-ordinator will satisfy themselves that the child is eligible for support by asking for evidence of previously looked after status, using the LA or Virtual School Head as needed.

  1. Entitlement of Looked After Children and Previously Looked After Children

All LAC and previously LAC will be entitled to:

  • A dedicated LAC Coordinator who act in the capacity of a key worker, in addition to a Designated Teacher and pastoral support.
  • Priority entry to extra-curricular clubs and activities.
  • Priority access to careers advice
  • Priority places on educational school trips and visits (N.B. not holidays.)
  • Priority for any in school support/tutoring to ensure they are on target.

  1. Responsibilities of the Designated Teacher for Looked After Children

In all academies, a Designated Teacher for LAC and previously LAC will be named. The roles and responsibilities of the Designated Teacher and delegate LAC Co-ordinator are to:

  • Ensure the PEP meet statutory guidelines, ensuring all sections are completed and are accurate (for LAC)
  • Cultivate and maintain a culture of high aspiration for LAC and previously LAC.
  • Be an advocate for LAC and previously LAC within the Academy.
  • Ensure that each LAC and previously LAC has a known and preferred member of staff that they can talk to.
  • Know who all the LAC and previously LAC in the Academy are, including those in the care of other authorities and that their records/PEPs are kept in accordance with Safeguarding procedures.
  • Attend relevant training about meeting the needs of LAC and previously LAC.
  • Act as the key liaison professional for other agencies and carers in relation to LAC and previously LAC pupils.
  • Ensure that LAC and previously LAC receive a positive welcome on entering the Academy.
  • Ensure that all LAC and previously LAC have an appropriate PEP that is completed after their first statutory LAC Review from going into care and ensure that the pupil contributes to the plan.
  • Track and monitor LAC and previously LAC achievement, progress and attendance.
  • Keep PEPs and other records up-to-date and review PEPs at transfer and within relevant timescales according to the accommodating LA.
  • Convene a multi-agency meeting if a LAC is experiencing difficulties or is at risk of exclusion.
  • Ensure confidentiality for individual pupils, sharing confidential and personal information on a need to know basis, bearing in mind the wishes of the individual pupil.
  • Actively encourage and promote out of hours learning and extra-curricular activities for LAC and previously LAC.
  • Ensure a speedy transfer of information, records and coursework, where appropriate, when a LAC and previously LAC transfers to another educational placement.
  • Contribute information to LAC reviews, when required.
  • Report, at least annually, to the Governing body on LAC in the school and inform relevant policy and practice development.
  • To offer all staff advice and strategies to effectively meet the needs of all LAC and ensure high levels of achievement and attendance through a half termly meeting with a LAC’s teachers and support staff.
  • Ensure LAC and previously LAC are a priority for appropriate and quality one-to-one support, if required.
  • The Designated Teacher should ensure that the PEP includes information about how the LAC will benefit the way in which LAC funding is used to raise attainment.
  • If a LAC is excluded the DT will lead the HOY/AHOY in ensuring that the linked social worker and Virtual School Head are both informed.

  1. Responsibilities of All Staff
  • As with all pupils have high aspirations and celebrate the educational and personal achievement of LAC and previously LAC.
  • Be familiar with guidance on the education of LAC and previously LAC and respond appropriately to requests for information to support the completion of PEPs and other documentation needed as part of review meetings.
  • Liaise with the Designated Teacher or their delegate when a LAC and previously LAC is experiencing difficulty.
  • Heads of Subject / Heads of Department should:
  • Track LAC as key cohort.
  • Prioritise LAC and previously LAC for intervention and support.
  •     Keep the Designated Teacher informed on LAC progress.

  • Heads of Year / Senior Leaders and dedicated pastoral support staff should:
  • Provide additional support for LAC and previously LAC, where needed.
  •     Keep the Designated Teacher informed of any pastoral concerns affecting the welfare, achievement and attendance of the LAC.

  • To engage with and put into practice training on attachment and the meeting the needs of LAC and previously LAC.
  • Each LAC will be allocated an academic a key worker if they have SEND. This member of staff will contribute to the PEP review.

  1. Responsibilities of the Governing Bodies
  • Ensure that the admission criteria and practice prioritises LAC according to the latest Admissions Code of Conduct.
  • Ensure all governors are fully aware of the legal requirements and guidance for LAC.
  • Ensure there is a named, Designated Teacher for LAC and previously LAC who is allocated time to fulfil their role.
  • Ensure that the Designated Teacher is a member of teaching staff with appropriate seniority, professional experience and status.
  • Nominate a governor with responsibility for LAC and previously LAC who liaises with the Designated Teacher.
  • Receive regular reports from the Designated Teacher regarding attendance, progress and impact of PP+.
  • Ensure that the Academy’s policies and procedures give LAC equal access in respect of:
  • National Curriculum and public examinations.
  • Out of school learning and extra-curricular activities.

             -    Work experience and careers guidance

  • Ensure the Designated Teacher undertakes relevant training.
  • Review the effective implementation of this policy, preferably annually, and at least every three years.

  1. Admission Arrangements for LAC

On admission, records will be requested from the LAC and previously LAC previous school. LAC coordinator/DT needs to attend year 6 PEP and possibly LAC review once placement is confirmed.

A meeting will be held with carers/parents/social workers, as appropriate, to complete the baseline information to inform the LAC’s PEP. This policy will be shared with carers at the initial meeting so that expectations of all parties are clear.

The DT or their delegate will ensure that the full complement of information about the LAC and previously LAC is submitted including academic and progress data, key safeguarding information and SEND. They will then ensure that relevant and appropriate information is shared with staff.

An appropriate school induction will take place which will include a meeting with the DT or delegate, safeguarding officer, HOY and form tutor.

An academic and learning profile will be completed for each LAC and previously LAC upon admission or becoming LAC and an ‘access to learning plan’ as necessary, written to enable teachers to fully support their learning, social and emotional needs. The ALP will be updated following each PEP meeting.

A clear account of which adults to contact with regard to parent/carer evening attendance and the sharing of academic data will be gathered at the admissions meeting and this information recorded on SIMS.

  1. Allocation of Resources.

The DFE Guidance is clear that the Pupil Premium + Grant (PPG) for LAC and previously LAC, must be used by schools for the benefit of the child’s educational needs and/or social inclusion/personal interest and future career pathway as outlined in their PEP. The impact of the PPG must be measurable and evidenced.

  1. Training

The Headteacher, Designated Teacher and Professional Development Coordinator will be responsible for ensuring all staff are briefed on the latest regulations and practices outlined in good practice and national guidelines documentation.