Designated Teacher for Previously in Care

(Also referred to as previously looked after or post-LAC)

The statutory guidance for roles and responsibilities of Designated Teacher for children in care and children previously in care:

The designated teacher for looked-after and previously looked-after children - Feb 2018.pdf 

Who are the children who were previously in care? 

This refers to a child who is no longer looked after in England and Wales because he/she is the subject of:

  • an adoption order
  • a Special Guardianship order
  • a child arrangement order which includes arrangements relating to with whom the child is to live, or when the child is to live with any person

Parents, carers and guardians would need to self-declare if their child or children were previously in care and provide evidence of their previously in care status.  Evidence could be a copy of the relevant order made by the court or a confirmation from a seniour social worker on an appropriate letter head.  Where parents are unable to provide clear evidence of their child's status, the designated teacher will need to use their discretion.

Designated Teacher for previously looked after must:

  • be responsible for promoting the educational achievement of previously looked after pupils
  • undertake appropriate training
  • have regard for any guidance issued by the Secretary of State

Duties of the Designated Teacher for previously looked after children:

  • Ensure that the school has an accurate record of who the children are and that their status has been checked using evidence produced by the parent or guardian – this will link into your PP+ requests.
  • Ensure that they are given the same priority in all school policies as with current children in care
  • Ensure that there are no barriers to admission
  • Monitor their attainment and progress, attendance and exclusions as a discreet group
  • Ensure that their SEN and mental health needs are met through timely access to appropriate services
  • Ensure that the school’s behaviour policy is sufficiently flexible to respond to the challenging behaviour and in the most effective way for the child.
  • Raise the awareness of parents and guardians of PP+ and other support, encourage their involvement in deciding how the PP+ is to be used and ensure that there is sufficient rigorous monitoring of the impact of PP+
  • Discuss with parent/guardian if a child is at risk of exclusion before seeking advice from the VSHT on avoiding the exclusion
  • Understand the importance of involving parents or guardians in decisions affecting their child’s education
  • Be a point of contact for parents or guardians who want advice or have concerns about their child’s progress at school
  • Ensure that they are prioritised for 1:1 tuition, and that they have access to academic focused study support
  • Ensure that they are able to discuss difficult issues (SEN, bullying, attendance etc.) in a frank manner with a sympathetic end empathetic adult
  • Have responsibility for ensuring that all staff understand the impact of trauma and attachment issues and the needs of previously looked after children
  • Work with senior leaders, parents and guardians put mechanisms in place for understanding the emotional and behavioural needs of previously looked after children – the SDQ could be used if the parent/guardian supports this.

PP+ Grant for Children Previously in Care

PP+ grant is available for children who were previously in care.  This grant goes directly to schools (not the Virtual School) if the eligible child is entered on the January Census and the school is responsible for evidencing impact of spending of the grant.

Support from the Virtual School 

The Virtual School does not keep a list of all children who were previously in care and has no involvement in the way that PP+ for those previously in care is spent in schools.

The Virtual School can only provide information and advice to parents/guardians, and designated teachers on meeting the needs of children who were previously in care. 

IMPORTANT:  Designated teachers much seek consent from parents or guardians before approaching the Virtual School Head or Virtual School Team with specific details around children who are previously looked after.