It is Foster Care Fortnight to help raise awareness of fostering and of children in foster care. I frequently deliver Safeguarding: Basic Awareness training for foster carers and have immense respect for their wisdom, humour and resilience. Children in Care are extremely vulnerable as most have faced abuse, trauma and/or neglect and the support they receive from services must therefore be well-informed, responsive and seamless. This is why the role of the Designated Teacher in schools is so important.
The Designated Teacher (DT) has a leadership role in promoting the educational achievement of Children in Care.The DT should make a positive difference by promoting a culture where the personalised learning needs of every child in Care matters and their personal, emotional and academic needs are prioritised. Broadly, the duties of a DT include:
- support staff to understand the things which can affect how Children in Care learn and achieve;
- contribute to the development and review of policies to ensure that they do not unintentionally put Children in Care at a disadvantage;
- make sure, in partnership with other staff, that there are effective and well understood procedures in place to support the learning of a child in Care;
- promote a culture in which Children in Care are able to discuss their progress and be involved in setting their own targets, have their views taken seriously, are supported to take responsibility for their own learning, and where they can succeed and aspire;
- make sure that Children in Care are prioritised in any selection of pupils who would benefit from one-to-one tuition and that they have access to academic focused study support;
- promote good home-school links through contact with the child’s carer;
- have lead responsibility for the development and implementation of the child’s Personal Education Plan.
For more information on the role of the Designated Teacher:
For more information on the support and resources available for Designated teachers in Bristol: