Foster Carers & Residential Staff
The role of the carer is paramount in supporting the education of looked after children. Carers should ensure that the child has appropriate access to learning and is encouraged to make best use of it and fulfil their potential. Though not always explicitly stated in the placement agreement this should include:
working closely with the child’s school or other educational placement.
taking an active interest in the child’s homework.
encouraging a child to value learning.
supporting a child’s attendance at school.
advocating for the child’s individual needs.
The REES Centre, based at The University of Oxford, carry out research about the role of foster carers and the education of looked after children. The Fostering Network also have resources on their website.
All schools must have a designated teacher, who is ideally a member of the senior leadership team. The designated teacher is responsible for championing the educational needs of looked after children in their school and ensuring they have good quality PEPs. They should be the main author and champion of the PEP within the school context. The designated teacher is often the main point of contact for looked after children in schools and they will usually attend care team meetings and reviews. In some larger schools parts of the role may be delegated to a pastoral member of staff such as a head of year or a mentor.
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