Within an educational setting it is the designated teacher (DT) who takes the lead in ensuring the following:
- act as the central point of contact within their school for all links with Children in Care and Previously Looked After Children
- ensure the young person’s voice is represented during decision making about them
- help and encourage staff to understand the needs of Children in Care and Previously Looked After Children
- help carers to promote a positive learning environment at home
- take the lead in implementing Personal Education Plans (PEPs) within their setting
The Role of the Designated Teacher in Developing the Personal Education Plan (PEP)
All Children in Care must have a PEP as part of their overall care plan.
When a Child in Care enters your school the social worker should make arrangements for an initial PEP meeting to take place within 20 working days (10 days for an emergency case).
Within Cheshire West and Chester it is the designated teacher’s responsibility to ensure that, where possible, the PEP form is completed and sent back to the social worker at least three days before the meeting.
During the meeting, the form is amended jointly by the DT and social worker taking into account the child’s voice. After the meeting the DT should work with other members of staff to ensure progress is being made by the young person in line with the targets discussed.
Each time a new PEP meeting is held the PEP must include any new information, assess progress against the targets since the last PEP, and review the other information including effective use of Pupil Premium Plus funding. During a period of transition (e.g. Year 6 to Year 7) the designated teacher has a key role in helping to make this as smooth as possible for the young person, including making sure there are effective arrangements in place for the passing over of key information.
The Role of the Designated Teacher beyond the school
Designated teachers are responsible for working with other professionals (e.g. The Virtual School, social workers, independent reviewing officers) in such a way that there is minimal disruption to the young person’s education.
As a Virtual School we also offer support, guidance and training opportunities for designated teachers.