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In February 2018 two key pieces of Statutory Guidance were published by the Department for Education for maintained schools and Academies:
- The Designated Teacher for Looked After and Previously Looked After Children
- Promoting the Education of Looked After and Previously Looked After Children (LAC)
This Guidance defines Previously LAC as a child “who is no longer looked after in England and Wales because s/he is the subject of an adoption, special guardianship or child arrangements order which includes arrangements relating to with whom the child is to live, or when the child is to live with any person, or has been adopted from ‘state care’ outside England and Wales.”
The aim of the Guidance is to give specific support to Previously LAC (in addition to LAC) because they are highly likely to have had disrupted learning, may have missed extended periods of school and many of them have special educational needs (SEN). The gaps in their learning and, in many cases the emotional impact of their experiences, are likely to have become significant barriers to their progress.
Key Actions for schools are to:
- Designate a member of staff to have responsibility for promoting the educational achievement of previously looked-after pupils
- Ensure the designated person undertakes appropriate training
Key actions for the Virtual School Head (VSH) are to:
Be a source of advice & information to help parents of previously LAC at schools in the area to advocate for them as effectively as possible. VSHs are not acting as part of the Corporate Parent role in these circumstances, but are there to promote the educational achievement of these children through the provision of advice & information to relevant parties
The PP+ Grant
Additional financial support for Post LAC is available for schools through the PP+ Grant and in the financial year 2018-19 the amount is £2300 per eligible child. This goes directly to schools (not the Virtual School) if the eligible child is entered as such on the January Census - and the school is responsible for evidencing an effective spend with good impact.
VSK offers advice, information and training and more details can be found on our website. Examples of this are:
- EPAC (Education Plan for Adopted children)
- Designated Teacher Update Training
- Nurture Group Project
- Free Attachment training for schools/settings
Advice for schools on supporting previously LAC and their parents can also be found at websites such as Adoption UK, the Post-Adoption Support Team at KCC and Stonewall which gives information on developing an inclusive curriculum, resources and examples of storybooks to use in the classroom.