CiC - the Role of the Designated Teacher

The role of the Designated Teacher within the school

The designated teacher should have lead responsibility for helping school staff understand the things which affect how looked after children learn and achieve.  The designated teacher should promote a culture of high expectations and aspirations for how looked after children learn; make sure the young person has a voice in setting learning targets; be a source of advice for staff about differentiated teaching strategies appropriate for individual children and in making full use of Assessment for Learning; make sure that looked after children are prioritised in one-to-one tuition arrangements and that carers understand the importance of supporting learning at home and have lead responsibility for the development and implementation of the child’s personal education plan (PEP) within the school.

The role of the designated teacher in developing the personal education plan (PEP)

All looked after children must have a PEP as part of their overall care plan. The current PEP should be sent to the designated teacher when the child joins the school.  Social workers should make urgent arrangements for an initial PEP to be produced if a child becomes looked after whilst at your school. The PEP is a shared document which includes the information that everyone needs to help their conversations, planning and the delivery of strategies required to make sure the child gets the support and provision needed to succeed. The designated teacher leads on how the PEP is used as a tool in school to make sure the child’s progress towards education targets is monitored. S/he makes sure that it is updated and available in time for the local authority review of the child’s wider care plan. For each statutory review of the care plan the PEP must include any new information about progress towards education targets since the last PEP review and information about what has not been taken forward. The designated teacher has a key role in helping looked after children make a smooth transition to their new school or college, including making sure there are effective arrangements in place for the speedy transfer of information.

The relationship of the designated teacher to others beyond the school

The designated teacher has a key role in making sure there is a central point of initial contact within the school who can manage the process of how the school engages with others (e.g. social workers, independent reviewing officers, virtual school heads), and works in a joined up way to minimise disruption to the child’s education.

The designated teacher should make sure:

There is an agreed process in place for how the school works with others in focusing on how everyone contributes to promoting the child’s educational achievement; school policies (e.g. around Home School Agreements) are communicated to social workers and carers; the school does everything possible to maximise educational stability for the child, especially by finding ways of sharing information through the PEP and in providing advice to the local authority about the impact of disrupting education.