Education

For Looked After Children moving into Lincolnshire, social workers are asked to contact our authority as soon as possible to discuss securing a school place. When selecting a school for your Looked After Child, you should follow statutory guidance.

All of our schools, academies and colleges work in partnership and have a collective responsibility to ensure that all of the county’s young people have access to the best possible learning opportunities so that they can attain good education outcomes. Each school in Lincolnshire has a Designated Teacher for LAC to promote the educational achievement of LAC who are on the school roll.

For looked after children without a Statement of Special Educational Needs, or an Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP) moving into Lincolnshire, social workers are asked to contact our Admissions Team as soon as possible to discuss the application process.

They can be contacted on 01522 516708 or emailed schooladmissions@lincolnshire.gov.uk, between 09.00 - 17.00 Monday to Friday. Looked After Children placed out of their home authority for care, education or both are particularly vulnerable. The principles, below, have been adopted by The Lincolnshire Virtual School for Looked After Children Head Teacher to safeguard these young people.

We will support and challenge other Local Authorities, our own organisations and Virtual Schools outside of Lincolnshire to adhere to these principles.

Terminology

  • Home authority: authority to which the Looked After Child is in care, also known as responsible or placing authority
  • Receiving authority: authority in which the Looked After child is living and/or educated, also known as area authority
  • Virtual Head - or equivalent statutory role if given a different title in the LA

Principles

Home Authority Virtual Head

  • Continues to carry the statutory responsibility to promote the education of children in care and the corporate parenting responsibility for the Looked After Child’s education on behalf of the Director of Children’s Services wherever the child lives or is placed for education.
  • Makes every effort to ensure that, through the home authority processes, where a Looked After Child may move into a new authority, there is notice to and consultation with the Virtual Head in the receiving authority beforehand, or in an emergency, within 5 working days.
  • Provides a PEP and other information necessary to ensure the right education is provided, including information about any completed or partially completed SEN/EHCP assessments, with the assurance that this information will only be used by the receiving authority to help provide appropriate education.
  • Makes every effort to ensure that the appropriate person from the home authority attends education meetings to support the provision, or maintenance of education.
  • Makes every effort to ensure that, where non mainstream, specialist education has been provided, without being funded through a statement or EHCP, by the home authority that:
  • this is made clear to the Lincolnshire Virtual Head at the outset, and, if it is agreed by the home and Lincolnshire Virtual Heads, that it needs to be maintained:
  • If the funding for this is controlled by the home Virtual Head, this funding ‘follows the child’ and is maintained by the home authority
  • If the funding is not controlled by the home Virtual Head, they will ensure with home authority fund holders that funding is maintained by the home authority
    Receiving Authority

The Lincolnshire Virtual School (receiving authority) will Act as a good corporate parent to Looked After Children from other Local Authorities by:

  • Ensuring that full time appropriate education is provided in a timely manner and that an at least good service is provided, within the resources available.
  • Providing every assistance to the Virtual Head in the home authority to adhere to the principles above, through open sharing of information, invitations to meetings, signposting of services and other direct communication.

Special Educational Needs

If the Looked After Child/young person has a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an EHCP, it is important that social workers contact the Lincolnshire Special Educational Needs Service on 01522 553351

The Virtual School

Lincolnshire has a Virtual School for LAC which challenges and supports schools, carers and social workers to ensure that all LAC and young people in Lincolnshire are supported, encouraged and challenged to attend school, engage in their education and attain good education outcomes. The Virtual School maintains a register of all LAC and young people aged 3 - 18 years placed within Lincolnshire including those who are placed in here by other local authorities.

The Virtual School Head teacher works collaboratively with respective colleagues in other local authorities and the virtual school team will advise and support (as per above Principles) schools in Lincolnshire with queries relating to children on their roll who may be placed in Lincolnshire by another local authority.

For more information you can contact The Virtual School on VirtualSchool@lincolnshire.gov.uk.

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Last updated: 30 October 2015

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