Since September 2009, the Governing bodies of maintained schools have had a statutory obligation to appoint a Designated Teacher to promote the educational achievement of Children in Care on the school roll. Many Children in Care have suffered disruption to their learning. Gaps in their learning and the emotional impact of their experiences are likely to have become significant barriers to their progress. Many children also suffer from attachment disorders, which can affect how they react in stressful situations.
The Designated Teacher provides a central point of contact within the school and should have lead responsibility for helping school staff to understand the things which affect how Children in Care learn and achieve. The Designated Teacher should:
- promote a culture of high expectations and aspirations for how Children in Care learn; ensuring that the pupil premium plus money is spent to support them to meet the targets set at their PEP meeting
- make sure the young person has a voice in setting learning targets;
- ensure that staff have the training they need to plan and use differentiated teaching strategies including assessment for learning and behaviour management strategies appropriate for individual looked after children
- make sure that Children in Care are prioritised in one to one tuition arrangements and that carers understand the importance of supporting learning at home;
- have lead responsibility for the development and implementation of the child's Personal Education Plan (PEP) within the school;
- make sure there is an agreed process in place for how the school works with others.
- focus on how everyone contributes to promoting the child's educational achievement;
- ensure school policies are explicit in how to support looked after children, having behaviour and exclusion policies that take into account trauma related behaviour . They should communicate school policies (e.g. around Home School Agreements) to social workers and carers;
- ensure the school does everything possible to maximise educational stability for the child, especially by finding ways of sharing information through the PEP: working in partnership with the foster carer, social worker and Virtual School.
Attachment Aware Schools
Attachment Aware Schools is a partnership between Bath Spa University, Bath and North East Somerset Council, the National College for Teaching and Leadership, a range of third sector organisations, attachment specialists and schools.
The website provides resources, advice and guidance for schools and can be found at http://attachmentawareschools.com/