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Time out of school will disadvantage a child in care, place increased pressure on the foster placement and have a negative impact on attainment.
The School Admissions Code is clear that children in care take priority for school admissions.
The following duties are placed on local authorities:
It is the responsibility of the person with parental responsibility to submit a school application, usually in the case of a child in care, the social worker.
The local authority will often provide the admissions service for schools in its area, but if the school is an academy, it may be necessary to apply direct to the school. Please refer to the school's own website for details.
When a child or young person is taken into care, every effort should be made to enable them to remain in their current school to provide them with continuity of learning, friendships and pastoral support from their school.
It is important that the social worker is always closely involved in the application process for any school place, to ensure that the school place being applied for is appropriate and that all of the relevant information about the young person is made available to the new school.
Whenever a school place is being applied for the social worker must always consider the current Ofsted judgement of the school. Statutory guidance states that we should only be placing Looked After Children in schools which have been judged to be good or better.
If it is thought that a school move is required, the young person’s social worker should always consult with Derby Virtual School before progressing plans. All school change planning should be recorded within each young person’s PEP.
Please note, if your foster child has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), the Vulnerable Learners Service (VLS) Team will be responsible for consulting with schools to identify which is best to meet the child's needs, though parental preference will be taken into consideration. They are also responsible for commissioning places where a child's EHCP states that a special school is required.