Children in care have been given the highest priority within school admission arrangements. The admission requirements for children in care are set out in the School Admissions Code which applies to maintained schools and academies, including free schools. But simply, a child in care must be given a place in the school chosen irrespective of the current numbers on roll or in a class. The local authority that looks after a child can instruct a school in any local authority to admit a child in care. This includes using their powers of direction in a timely way to avoid delay.
Where a local authority considers that an academy will best meet the needs of any child, it can ask the academy to admit that child but has no power to direct it to do so. The local authority and the academy will usually come to an agreement, but if the academy refuses to admit the child, the local authority can ask the Secretary of State to intervene.School admissions code School Admissions Applications
It is really important that for children in care, many who have experienced gaps in their education are supported to attend school regularly and do not take holiday during term time. We are clear with foster carers and other placements that we expect children to attend school regularly during term time.
Any requests for planned absence form school must be in consultation with the Virtual School. Holidays in term time are not supported.
Please Notify the Virtual school if a part-time timetable or alternative provision is considered to meet the educational needs of a child in care. Any plans to reduce education should only be in consultation with the Virtual School and should be recorded in the young person’s PEP.
All partners including school and social care must be assured that, when using modified timetables/ alternative provisions, any risks are managed and that there is good oversight of the provision and safeguarding of the child.
Modified timetables / specialist learning plans arranged by Wolverhampton schools should also be registered with The Inclusion Team using the following proformas:Attendance Guidance for schools
Schools should be especially sensitive to exclusion issues where looked after children are concerned. Our policy is that permanent exclusion of looked after children should be avoided at all costs. Looked after children are particularly vulnerable to exclusions. The effect on them can be extremely damaging.
Schools need to be proactive, providing support and perhaps alternative educational packages to prevent this from happening. Early dialogue with all involved with the young person is essential and seeking advice and guidance from relevant professionals is key. The PEP can assist in the process giving opportunities for discussion and planning, whilst documenting attempts to support the child giving evidence of completed APDR (Assess-Plan-Do-Review) cycles along the way . The plan should reflect strategies and interventions used to avoid permanent exclusion.
Please notify the Virtual School as early as possible of any concerns around behaviour. Where we can get in early there are interventions we can consider to support schools and prevent the situation from escalating. Children in care should never be sent home unless it is through the formal exclusion process. The Virtual School should be contacted before any proposed exclusion takes place.Exclusion Guidance