6.20 One case study looked at the role of an education support officer funded at LA level who was responsible for arranging alternative curriculum provision and visits to colleges and learning events for LAC and previously LAC. Teachers felt they would be difficult to organise themselves as they did not have the necessary strategic oversight or the time to arrange visits and chase the return of consent forms for all pupils. The post-holder also conducted a lot of work with foster carers, ensuring that they were informed and aware of support being offered and ensuring they were upskilled to better support their child with their education; liaised closely with social services and mental health services to ensure the wider needs of children were met; and contributed to the evaluation and monitoring activities undertaken by the LACE coordinator’s team on individual LAC.
4.3.5 The policy context in relation to the educational experience of lookedafterchildren and young people in Scotland has a history of about 10 years, beginning with the commissioning of a detailed review of research (Borland, Pearson, Hill, & Bloomfield, 1998) which in turn helped to inform a highly influential inspection report of provisions for childrenlookedafter away from home (Her Majesty’s Inspectors of Schools and Social Work Services Inspectorate, 2001). These publications prefaced a period of considerable activity aimed at raising awareness among professionals, notably as a result of the formation of networks concerned with the education and the health of lookedafterchildren, the development of materials to support the education of professionals and the publication of self-evaluation indicators for auditing the support arrangements for lookedafterchildren and young people in schools and care settings (Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Schools, 2003). 4.3.6 Current policy is outlined in Lookedafterchildren & young people: We can and must do better 9 , a report structured around five themes - working together, becoming effective lifelong learners, developing into successful and responsible adults, being emotionally and physically healthy, feeling safe and nurtured in a home setting - and outlining a prospectus for development through 19 key actions (Scottish Executive, 2007). Most recently, HMIE has published the report, Count us in: Improving the education of our lookedafterchildren, based on visits conducted in 15 local authorities, Careers Scotland and four voluntary sector agencies (Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Schools, 2008). An appendix to the report highlights nine ‘signposts for improvement’: corporate parenting; partnerships; strategic planning and review; assessing and meeting needs; education placements and curriculum flexibility; participation and advocacy; transitions; home-school links; training and development.
evaluation). Two were officially faith schools. School locations included inner- city Bristol, “leafy suburb” areas, the “commuter belt”, and those described as “rural”. In terms of pupil demographics, these were mixed. Some of the schools were known to be in areas of high deprivation, with many pupils from low economic bac kgrounds, whilst others were much more varied, “from the very poorest families to some of the most well off”. A number of schools described their in - take as “very much white British” or “not very diverse really”, whilst one had a large proportion of students for whom English was an additional language, originally “coming from various different countries... so a teacher in any average lesson could be expected to have children of five different languages all in the same room”. Ofsted results also varied, from those in ‘special measures’ or requiring
6. Rigorous target-setting and monitoring of progress made by lookedafterchildren, especially at Key Stages 3 and 4, focused on academic progress as well as behaviour and attendance. Schools were adamant that the academic progress of lookedafterchildren should be determined and monitored in the same manner as for other students in the school. Students valued such an approach since they did not wish to be treated differently. They welcomed challenge in lessons and worked hard to achieve targets that they reviewed regularly with teachers to measure their progress.
James is currently head teacher at Williamwood High School, East Renfrewshire. He is a Graduate of Glasgow University (Mathematics) and Jordanhill College. He taught in Riverside Secondary School Glasgow and eventually became Head Teacher Dumbarton Academy in 1990. Whilst at Dumbarton Academy he chaired the Scottish Office Working Party on “Computer Ethics and Internet”. James was appointed Head Teacher in Williamwood High School East Renfrewshire in 1996. His particular interests are in Pupil Support and Social Inclusion and the use of ICT in Learning & Teaching. James was seconded for 18 months to the core design team for the PPP school building project of which a new Williamwood High School (opening 2006) was the major constituent. Outwith school, James was a member of the Royal Naval Reserve for 24 years and served from 1986 to 1996 as Commanding Officer of an ocean going minesweeper. Hugh Mackintosh, OBE
and Young People’s Plans must set out the overarching vision and strategic direction of the Children and Young People’s Partnership, its aspirations and priorities. The most recent plans, for 2011-2014 have a range of formats with some being incorporated with other strategic plans. There is also considerable variation in the content of the plans. Three of the 22 Plans give detailed information about their targets for lookedafterchildren and the dedicated resources that are available to achieve them. By contrast, two of the Plans do not refer to lookedafterchildren at all. Only five Plans refer to corporate parenting. Only six Plans include indicators for the education of lookedafterchildren or refer to specific resources for them. It is possible that authorities and their partners have chosen to focus on indicators that apply to larger numbers of children and young people, such as attainment for all pupils or those eligible for free school meals. However, our review of the Plans suggests that despite the the statutory duty placed on them, for many local authorities the education of lookedafterchildren is not being identified as a key strategic priority that requires effective corporate parenting, specific targets and monitoring and dedicated resoures.
K arrived in the UK as an unaccompanied asylum-seeking child when she was 13. Having no guardian or customary caregiver in Scotland, she became cared for by her local authority. She enjoyed school and was on track to gain good grades in Highers. K’s claim for asylum had initially been refused, and so she had lodged a number of appeals and further claims for asylum. She was offered a place at university, but still had not received a decision from the Home Office on her case. This meant that she was still an asylum seeker and so was classed as an international student (her claim was lodged after the December 2006 cut-off point). She could not afford to attend university, and was not entitled to work. She was too embarrassed to confide in her friends as to why she could not attend university.
Minnis et al. (2006) suggest that the main gap in service provision relates to delivering effective interventions to children whose mental health problems are already identified, but which are persistent, disabling and hard to manage. In some later research (2013), Minnis suggests a new concept which she calls ‘maltreatment associated psychiatric problems (MAPP)’. She describes this as ‘a syndrome of overlapping complex neurodevelopmental problems in children who have experienced abuse or neglect in early life’ (Ibid.:1). Minnis suggests that parents of this group of children, who experience extreme deprivation, abuse or neglect in their early years, may not access services. As such, these children are a ‘hidden population’ whose access to services, in their early years, to assess concerns about development and possibly neurodevelopmental clinical assessments may be very limited. Moreover, even if a child is referred, the complexity of the difficulties might prove overwhelming both in terms of description and response. However, Minnis (2013) concludes that children with complex neurodevelopmental problems are being denied interventions which ‘could radically change their developmental trajectories for the better’, and suggests that we need to develop new ‘models of assertive outreach and preventative and intervention services’ (Ibid.: 3). Other studies have suggested that the barriers to accessing services include limited capacity, long waiting times for CAMHS assessment, and reluctance of young people to become involved with services which add to their sense of stigmatisation and/or feelings of lack of control of their lives (Stanley, 2007).
Abstract: Over the past fifty years, public care for children in England has undergone a significant transformation moving almost exclusively towards foster care as the preferred mode of delivery. The most recent data from the Department for Education for the year ending 31 March 2018, reported that 73% of all LookedAfterChildren (LAC) were placed in foster care with just 8% in residential placements. Compared to an almost even split of 45% of children in Foster Care (or ‘boarded out’) and 42% of children in residential care in 1966, the scale of this shift becomes apparent. This transformation has taken place in the context of a social policy discourse promoted by successive governments, which has privileged foster care as the most suitable place for children needing out-of-home public care. The main argument in this article is that the rationale for the state’s growing interest in children (in particular those children who are considered a social problem) and the emerging social policy solutions, i.e., foster care, are driven by particular political and economic agendas which have historically paid little attention to the needs of these children and young people. This article explores the relationship between the state, the child and their family and the drivers for this transformation in children’s public care making use of a genealogical approach to identify the key social, political and historical factors, which have provided the context for this change. It examines the increasing interest of the state in the lives of children and families and the associated motivation for the emerging objectification of children. The role of the state in locating the family as the ideal place for children’s socialisation and moral guidance will be explored, with a focus on the political and economic motivations for privileging foster care. Consideration will also be paid to the potential implications of this transformation for children and young people who require public care.
This grant program increased the capability of community dentists in Northern Virginia to treat patients with developmental disabilities by providing a lecture and interactive dental workshop for dental professionals regarding special needs and how to treat patients with special needs, particularly those with developmental disabilities. In addition, the grant program provided a free dental outreach for patients with developmental disabilities where dentists who had attended the previous workshop could volunteer and gain practical hands-on experience with this population. Twelve of the dentists who participated in the workshop agreed to volunteer to treat patients at the free outreach. Responses from the dentists at the conclusion of the program were favorable. A hard copy of the on-line survey responses from dentists will be included in the packet mailed to VBPD.
Interviewees in almost two-thirds (31) of the LEAs commented on the fact that block funding enabled authorities to allocate funding according to local needs, in terms of which groups required funding, and to what level. Benefits included not only the ability to target identified areas of need, but also to be able to respond to changing local circumstances which emerged over time, for example, local political issues, the introduction or withdrawal of other funding streams, or demographic changes. Whilst DfES guidance (DfES, 2004) highlighted that the VCG should not be used to ‘replicate the previous series of grants for specific groups’, it was notable that some LEAs had ‘nominally’ ring-fenced an amount of the grant for each group, which could then be redirected as necessary: ‘It’s ring-fenced and yet I can transfer it between groups if I need to … it’s not, ‘I must keep it there and then I mustn’t spend it’’(Pupil Support Service Manager, Outer London Borough). This flexibility was also felt to aid strategic planning, for example, in that LEAs could ‘map’ the funding strategically around core budgets and other funding streams, target VCG at areas not in receipt of other grants, and use it to address locally determined strategic priorities. Additionally, it was noted in two LEAs that the introduction of the VCG – the guidance on which explicitly refers to asylum seekers – had resulted in the ‘freeing up’ of financial resources in other funding streams, namely the Ethnic Minorities Achievement Grant (EMAG) and SEN, which had previously been supporting this group: ‘We were supporting asylum seekers from our SEN budget, so it offset some of our expenditure on that’ (Head of Service for Learners and Young People, Metropolitan LEA).
Describe how the project was implemented. Provide information on who was responsible for implementation, the timeline upon which the project was completed, the methods used during implementation. Provide sufficient detail that another chapter could replicate the project, including factors that may be unique to your chapter. Letters, announcements, emails and other sample documents should, to the extent possible, be included in an appendix so that other chapters can use these materials.
vocational qualifications and also introductory courses to acquaint students with college life, develop core skills in literacy, numeracy and IT, and build softer skills in self-presentation, time management and independence. The report pointed out the importance of having skilled staff and providing good continuing professional development opportunities. In relation to lookedafter young people and care leavers the report highlights the importance of collaborating with local authorities to improve the educational attainment of this group. The principal role of colleges is in assisting young people to gain vocationally relevant qualifications but even for these students, and particularly for some students who have been socially and educationally disadvantaged, there is an equally important function in providing a safe haven in which to form good relationships, to feel happy and to develop personal confidence. This point is supported by evidence from a small study of 700 learners
The first point to make is so simple that it is often overlooked. There is a strong link between attendance at school and attainment. For example, a large scale study of schools in Ohio, USA found significant positive relationships between attendance and attainment, highest in the ninth grade when academic expectations are apparently particularly high (Roby, 2004). Figure 1 below highlights the particular problem of absence from school of childrenlookedafter ‘at home’ in Scotland. Whilst the rate of exclusion from school is significantly high for lookedafterchildren, it is also highest for the at home group. An obvious, if simplistic, conclusion is that concentrating efforts on improving the attendance at school of this group might produce substantial benefits in relation to the average attainment of lookedafterchildren.
CELCIS policy colleagues frequently shared and explained our emerging findings to government and senior sources. In this way they were able to use our findings to begin to shape the development of the emerging Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 – this process continues as guidance is produced. After the study, Barnardo’s also produced a set of policy recommendations; their strong advocacy undoubtedly gave
The general atmosphere of the unit and the expectations of carers appear to be crucial factors in both influencing and supporting the educational aspirations of lookedafter young people. Although it is a major challenge to overcome years of disadvantage, a stable home life can make a huge difference. Who Cares? Scotland and Save the Children (Ritchie, 2003) surveyed the perceptions of young people on their educational experiences while in care. While they found that most of the children aged under12 surveyed were positive about the help they received from residential care staff, older young people were more variable in their experiences of support. The discrepancy is largely unexplained but may be due to older children presenting greater social and educational challenges for care staff. Nevertheless, the contrasting experiences illustrated below in the words of the young people themselves, begs the question that if some lookedafterchildren can describe supportive actions should these conditions not be available to all (ibid.: 34)?
Integrative approaches to the study of desistance (i.e., those that aim to capture the interplay of agency and structure) and the importance of reflexivity and personal identity (e.g., Farrall et al., 2011; Weaver, 2011), provide a useful framework for research and practice in this area. Of course the interplay between structure and agency and debates about the relative significance of each is not new (e.g., Giddens, 1984). However, in our reading of the research on the intersection of lookedafter populations and criminal justice systems, we note that insufficient attention is paid to both macro (such as social security provisions) and micro level factors (such as young people’s sense of identity) and the interactions between these domains. With an over- emphasis on individual risk factors there has been limited attempt to bridge the divide between structure and agency. Even where structure is explored, this has tended to be at the cursory level of system characteristics (e.g., placement types and number of placement moves). This occludes attention towards the wider social policy context in which the care system operates, where comparative analysis highlights significant variation – e.g., in the rates of children in care and the range of welfare entitlements and supports available to families (Carr, 2014; Munro, Stein & Ward, 2005; Stein & Munro, 2008; Stein, 2014). Of course a similar point can be made in respect of demographic patterns in criminal justice systems (Cavadino & Dignan, 2005).
Part of the interviews focused on virtual schools as schools. In practice most VSHs used the term ‘schools’ but felt that they were actually not schools in most respects. One, working in a small geographical area, said that she felt like a head in that class teachers would often phone her with problems (‘What am I going to do about Julie in Year 9?’), although it sounded more like an advisory teacher as she had no resources and no administrative support. However, she emphasised that it was valuable to consider lookedafter pupils as one group. Another VSH remarked that she considered her base as a school in that she approached lookedafter pupils as a community of learners. It was rare to hear reference, for example, to a virtual school deputy head or to a bursar and most VSHs did not have a senior management committee to whom matters could be delegated, as would many schools. Some VSHs had their own SIPS, or considered OFSTED-type inspections or had undertaken related self-assessment activities (‘Problem is once you call something a school everybody thinks you have to inspect it.’).