Mrs Claire Robert - Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Coordinator (SENDCo) and Designated Teacher for Children in Care (DTfCiC).
“Children in care (CiC) / Looked after children (LAC)” are defined as:
- Children or young people who are the subject of a Care Order or Interim Care Order under the Children Act 1989.
- Children who are placed in foster care, children’s residential homes, with relatives or friends, in semi-independent or supported independent accommodation.
- Children subject to a Care or Interim Care Order whilst placed with a parent, where the local authority has parental responsibility.
- Children who are not subject to an order, but are accommodated by the local authority under an agreement with their parents.
“Previously-Children in Care / Looked after children (LAC)” are defined as:
- Children who are no longer looked after by a local authority in England and Wales because they have either been adopted or are the subject of an adoption, special guardianship or child arrangements order.
- Children who were adopted outside England and Wales from ‘state care’ (care that is provided by a public authority, religious organisation, or other organisation whose main purpose is to benefit society).
All maintained schools, academies and free schools are required to appoint a designated teacher to champion the educational attainment of children in care and previously children in care, and act as a source of information and advice about their needs.
Virtual school head (VSH):
As of 2014, all local authorities are required to appoint a member of staff to promote the educational achievement of the children it looks after as if they were in a single school. They work strategically across the authority and with schools to monitor and support the educational achievement of children in care.
Most local authorities have a virtual school model to support the VSH’s role. The virtual school is a very important partner for the designated teacher and provides an invaluable source of support and advice to designated teachers both about individual children and the education of children in care more generally.
More information the Doncaster’s Virtual School is available here; https://www.doncaster.gov.uk/services/schools/virtual-school-for-children-and-young-people-in-care-education-service
Addition Provision for Children in Care at The Levett School:
In addition to the SEND Provision at The Levett School we can also provide personalised provision for children in care as follows:
Our lead SENDCo is also the designated teacher for children in care and works collaboratively with the student, carers, social worker, virtual school and any other external agencies to apply the graduated response to all our children in care to ensure they are receiving the most effective personalised provision to meet their needs. This provision is reviewed whenever a student’s needs/behaviours indicate a review is needed; for example, for some students we have reviewed at multi-agency meetings fortnightly and sometimes weekly if needed. Some of the provisions that we have been able to implement for our children in care are:
- Weekly one to one sessions with SENDCo / DT for CiC to provide the student with an opportunity to share their views, wishes and feelings.
- Weekly exclusive CiC student group sessions led by the SENDCo/DT for CiC where they can discuss their views, wishes and feelings as a group and how they would like to further shape provision for CiC at The Levett School and beyond.
- Half termly support group sessions for the carers of our children in care led by the SENDCo/DT for CiC. This group provides an opportunity for the carers of our students to get together in an informal setting (with refreshments provided!) to share their experiences, views, wishes and feelings with other carers and our SENDCo/DT for CiC. Based on the wishes of our carers, we are then able to invite external professionals into school to deliver sessions and further signpost our carers.
- Additional student monitoring and support undertaken by the SENDCo/DT for CiC including; discussions with staff, attendance, SEND provisions, academic progress, SEMH progress, physical wellbeing, coaching of staff who support student.