School governors at educational placements have a duty and responsibility to ensure their school makes the education of looked after children a high priority. They are also required under the Children and Young Persons Act 2008 to appoint a designated teacher to promote the educational achievement of looked after children in their school. In addition, governors should:
- ensure that the designated teacher undertakes appropriate training
- as a minimum, receive an annual report from the designated teacher
- act together with the school leadership team on any issues raised in the report
- ensure that resources (including Pupil Premium Plus) are allocated to match the priorities of children in care
- monitor the number of looked after children in their school and how they are performing compared with their peers
- make sure the school has considered including raising the attainment of children in care in its improvement plan.
The governing body should also ensure that:
- children in care are at the top of the admissions over-subscription criteria
- the school has an overview of the educational needs and progress of looked after children
- school policies have been reviewed from the point of view of children in care
- there is a clear professional development policy for all staff in contact with these and other vulnerable children
- the school has safeguards in place for sharing sensitive information about looked after children with relevant staff members
- there are procedures for liaising with carers, residential children’s homes and social services so the school can access relevant information about a child’s care history
- they know how the child’s achievements are effectively communicated to the carer
- procedures are in place for all looked after children to have up-to-date PEPs.
For more information on training opportunities for school governors, please call or email us.