Education whilst in care
Your education is very important.
We want you to get the most from it.
Sometimes being at school is not easy if you are in care. You may feel that the other kids and even the teachers treat you differently.
Perhaps you are being bullied?
Perhaps you have had frequent changes of school?
In May 2000 the Government published Guidance called "The Education of Children and Young People in Public Care". It tells the people who look after you (your local council) what they can do to get the most out of your education.
Here are the main points covered.
Your local council will: -
- Listen carefully to what you have to say
- Make sure you have a suitable education
- Make sure every school appoints a Designated Teacher to help you if you wish to speak to them. She or he will know about the care system and how it can affect your education
- Keep better records of your education and praise you when you are successful
- Make sure that you have a Personal Education Plan (PEP)
Now to explain more about these…..
Personal Education Plan also known as PEP
Your social worker will help you draw up this plan, with your Designated Teacher, your carer and your parent(s).
Your PEP is about the following:
- Keeping a record of any kind of success you have
- Identifying the skills, knowledge and experiences you need to gain
- The things you want to achieve in the near future
- Your progress and your career plans
The Plan will be reviewed and will change with you.
Every school should have a teacher who understands about being in care and how it might affect your education.
He or she will make sure that:
- You have all the help you need
- The school believes you can do well, and helps you to achieve your best
- You have someone in school to talk to if you need support
- You have a PEP and a Home – School agreement
- Information that a school needs about you (e.g. your progress and the support that you need) is passed on quickly when you move schools.
You might already have a good relationship with someone else in school that you trust, for example your tutor or Head of Year. This is fine – the Designated Teacher won't want to take over from them.
Your council has a person your social worker, carers or teachers can contact for help with your education
In Norfolk there are five qualified teachers who take a special interest in the education of children looked after.
It's their job to make sure that
- You get the best out of school
- They will be there to help you
- You are advised what should happen if things go wrong for you at school
- You get encouragement to help you do better at school and praise you when you are successful
- You get any extra support you need
- You are encouraged to attend school, as this is really important if you want to do well
- When you are given a new care placement, they are involved in the decisions in choosing the school, which will suit you best
- They help you settle into a new school environment
How the local council is supposed to help you with your education is in the Guidance on 'The Education of children and young people in public care' (2000). A summary of the Guidance prepared for young people in care, called 'In the Know', is available free from DH publications, PO Box 777, London SE1 6XH Fax 01623 – 724 – 524