Applying corporate parenting principles to looked-after children and care leavers

Location: England

Author: Department for Education

Year: 2018

Summary:

This guidance is for local authorities and their ‘relevant partners’ (as defined in section 10 of the Children Act 2004) and others who contribute to services provided to looked-after children and care leavers.

It is designed to help local authorities consider the kinds of services that may be offered with regard to the corporate parenting principles.

Allowances Report 2019-20 for England

Location: England

Author: The Fostering Network

Year: 2019

Summary:

In the summer of 2019, The Fostering Network conducted a survey of local authorities in England via freedom of information (FOI) requests. The purpose of the survey was monitor whether local authorities who have previously set their allowances below or at the NMA level are meeting the NMAs set by the Department for Education. This report includes the data from fostering services who have set their allowances below or at the NMA level over the past five years, including this year. 58 local authorities met this criterion.

The local authorities were asked the following question:
1) Please could you tell me your 2019-20 weekly foster care allowances for all age bands, NOT including any fee/reward element for foster carers?
In addition, we asked all local authorities in England the details of the allowances given to former foster carers in Staying Put arrangements and the foster care allowance level for 16-18 to make comparisons of any changes post-18. The results from these questions will be published in a separate forthcoming Staying Put report.
Even though FOI requests should be a reliable way of gathering information, we became aware that some of the information that was given to us was not correct. Where we have become aware of inaccuracies we have sought for clarification and used the updated, accurate figures in the tables below rather than the figures obtained via the FOI request. In each of these cases we have sought clarification direct from the local authority. Given the difficulty in sometimes gathering accurate information about foster care, it highlights the need to make clear and publicly available all foster care allowances set by fostering services.

Surveillance and monitoring in residential childcare settings

Location: England

Author: Ofsted

Year: 2019

Summary:

This information is for providers and managers on the use of surveillance, including CCTV, in their residential childcare settings and how Ofsted will evaluate its use.

This guidance relates to the following residential settings in which inspectors will expect that the remit-specific regulations and guidance are being followed:

  • children’s homes
  • residential family centres
  • secure children’s homes

For residential accommodation in schools, inspectors will evaluate the arrangements against the best practice principles set out in this guidance.

Designated teacher for looked-after and previously looked-after children

Location: England

Author: Department of Education

Year: 2018

Summary:

This statutory guidance is for:

  • governors
  • headteachers
  • teachers
  • local authorities

It applies to maintained schools.

It relates to the duty of governing bodies of all maintained schools to appoint a designated teacher for looked-after and previously looked-after children on the school roll.

Promoting the education of looked-after and previously looked-after children

Location: England

Author: Department of Education

Year: 2018

Summary:

This is for:

  • local authorities
  • virtual school heads (VSHs)
  • directors of children’s services
  • social workers
  • independent reviewing officers
  • officers who are responsible for the education of looked-after children

It details the duty local authorities and VSHs have to promote the educational achievement of the children they look after.

Statutory guidance sets out what local authorities must do to comply with the law. You should follow the guidance unless you have a very good reason not to.

Virtual school heads (VSHs) are in charge of promoting the educational achievement of all the children looked after by their local authority they work for.

Principles to guide higher education providers on improving care leavers access and participation in HE

Location: England

Author: Department for Education

Year: 2019

Summary:

This is for senior leaders, widening participation and student support teams in higher education providers. The guiding principles will support Higher Education (HE) providers to develop their offer for care leavers to help them access and succeed in higher education.

It includes advice on how to

  • identify and support care leavers before they enter HE
  • offer financial and practical support
  • support care leavers to grow their own networks

Evaluation of the Implementation of the Pupil Development Grant for Looked After Children: Final Report

The Pupil Development Grant was introduced in 2012 to provide additional funding to schools to help mitigate disadvantages for pupils on free school meals and LAC. In 2015, it was decided to separate the funding provided for children eligible for free school meals (eFSM) and LAC through two separate grants. Allocations for the PDG for LAC were made to the four regional education consortia (RECs), rather than directly to schools, with the aim of facilitating a more strategic approach to using the funding across regions. The allocation amounts to a little under £4 million a year.
The grant is expected to support school improvement to reduce inequities facing LAC:

  • There are around 6,000 LAC with considerable variation in the numbers between LAs and schools. LAC’s prior experiences and their experience of being in care can have profound effects on their educational progress and attainment which impact on their vocational training and employment prospects.
  • While the trend over time shows LAC’s attendance and attainment (up to 2016) has generally improved, there is a large gap in attainment between LAC and other pupils at all stages of education, critically at Key Stage 4 which has a great effect on progression. This is found to varying degrees in all REC areas.

Care experienced children and young people

This week the National Assembly for Wales issued a report on care experienced children and young people.  This report is especially important as Wales now has double the amount of children in care as it did twenty years ago.  

The report takes into account lived experiences of those who have been in care and those who support them.  It also addresses financial concerns and transparency in services and funding in services that are necessary for care experienced young people.