Many children in care have suffered disruptive learning and may have missed extended periods of school. 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.
Extract from: The role and responsibilities of the designated teacher for looked after children and previously looked after children: Statutory guidance for school governing bodies. (DfE 2018)
Section 20 of the Children and Young Person’s Act 2008 places a duty on the governing body to designate a member of staff (designated teacher) as having responsibility to promote the educational achievement of looked after children and previously looked after children.
The role of the governing body:
- to appoint a designated teacher, who is a qualified teacher and preferably a member of the senior leadership team
- to ensure that the designated teacher undertakes appropriate training
- as a minimum, governors must consider an annual report from the designated teacher which contains the information described in the guidance
Alongside the senior leadership team, the governing body should consider the report and act on any issues it raises so as to support the designated teacher and maximise the impact of the role.
The statutory guidance sets out the role of the governing body and also that of the Designated Teacher in school with regard to:
- developing the personal education plan (PEP)
- listening to the voice of the child
- effective use of pupil premium plus (PP+)
- raising awareness and staff training
- special educational needs (SEND) for our vulnerable children
- understanding social emotional and mental health difficulties
- working in a multi agency forum
- working with carers and parents
- understanding school admissions and school exclusions
The statutory guidance also provides a helpful glossary to help governors and designated teachers understand some of the terms that will be encountered in relation to Children in Care. There is a comprehensive checklist of questions to help develop and review school policy and practice (annex 1, page 36) as well as a list of key documents at the time of publishing the guidance which governing bodies are likely to find most useful.
In addition to the statutory guidance, governing bodies are steered by the ‘Governance Handbook 2020’ and 'School Inspection Handbook 2022'