Virtual School FAQs
- How do I find a child a school place?
- Who do I speak to at the school if I have a concern ?
- How can a child or young person be supported to do well in education?
- When can I take my child on holiday?
- Why shouldn’t a child go on holiday in term time?
- What is an exclusion?
- What happens when a pupil is excluded from school?
- Why are out of school activities important?
- Who are designated teachers?
- Who is the Designated Teacher in my school?
- What is the role of a school designated CiC Governor?
- What is a personal education plan (PEP)?
- Is a child/young person expected to attend a PEP meeting?
- At what age do children require a PEP?
- What is Welfare Call?
- What is a CAF?
- My child has a statement of SEN - what is it?
- What is the difference between a section 20 and a section 31?
- In which local authority is my child’s school?
- How can I meet other Foster Carers?
Haringey admissions department prioritise the admission to school of all children in care. Haringey’s In Year Fair Access Panel facilitates the prioritisation of children in care in cases where a school needs to admit over numbers. We support the admission process through working with social workers and foster carers to secure education provision outside of Haringey.
Each school has a statutory obligation to have a designated teacher for children in care who should be the first contact point. They may however delegate the responsibility to a head of year who would know the student better. If there are any difficulties contact the head teacher so they can assist and guide you.
- Education progress is monitored
- Attendance is above 97%
- They arrive at school on time
- They have appropriate targeted support, if required
- Is supported with homework
- Has access to resources and opportunities
Holidays should only be taken during school holidays periods.
It has been proven that children who miss a lot of school do less well in their education. See the attendance page for more details and information about holidays in term time.
An exclusion occurs when the head teacher has decided that as a result of a pupil’s behaviour he/she can no longer attend the school either permanently or for a specified period of time (fixed term exclusion). The exclusion has to be in accordance with the school’s behaviour policy and national guidance on exclusion.
In most cases exclusion, be it fixed-term or permanent, will be the last resort after a range of measures to improve a pupil’s behaviour have been tried. A school can only permanently exclude:
- in response to serious breaches of the school’s behaviour policy; and
- if allowing the pupil to remain in school would seriously harm the education or welfare of the pupil or others in the school
If you are concerned that a child is at risk of exclusion, or the school have not put any strategies in place, contact Haringey Virtual School on 020 8489 3767.
Where a looked after pupil is excluded for a fixed period of time, it is recommended that the LA should ensure alternative educational provision is made from day one of the exclusion and copies of any paperwork should also be forwarded to their Social Worker.
Where a pupil is permanently excluded, the authority where they live is responsible for their education and to allocate a new school or education provision, full time.
Exclusion of children in care should be an absolute last resort. It is vital that schools and social workers work together in partnership with other professionals, trying every practicable means to maintain them in school. It may be necessary to review their Personal Education Plan. Children in care should only be excluded in the most exceptional circumstances. Before excluding, schools, in conjunction with the local authority, should first consider alternative options for supporting the child or young person in care. No child in care should be excluded from a school without discussion with the local authority to ensure that there is suitable alternative provision available elsewhere.
Haringey Local Authority contacts for exclusions:
- Inclusion Manager, Lead on exclusions - Deborah Tucker: 020 8489 5086
- Pupil Placement Officer - provides advice for schools and clerks on procedures, timelines and papers for exclusion hearings - Marie Baker: 020 8489 3873
Extraction from “Improving behaviour and attendance: guidance on exclusion from schools and Pupil Referral Units - 2007 Guidance”.
Out of School hours learning offers young people the time to 'find out more', to build up knowledge, and to review, reinforce and practise skills.
Extension clubs that focus on homework and revision for particular subject areas have been shown to be highly effective in improving classroom performance.
Young people and children participating in informal enriching activities did better than expected in their GCSEs, by an average of three and a half grades, or by one or more A-C pass. They also had a better attendance and improved attitudes to school than those who did not attend additional activities.
Taken from: "Taking part - Making out of school hours learning happen for children in care."
It is a statutory requirement for each school to have a teacher with responsibility to make sure children in care within the school are supported. The designated teacher in the school must hold a complete list of children in care and have oversight of their progress in school. Haringey Virtual School of Children in Care maintains an up to date list of designated teachers in schools across the country wherever our children and young people are educated. Support groups and training are held for Designated Teachers in September and February.
A list of Designated Teachers for in and out of borough schools is held by the Virtual School.
Phone Haringey Virtual School - 020 8489 3767
Each school should have a designated Governor for children in care. Governor Guidance (external link) in regards to the role of the school and designated teacher for children in care is available from the DfE website.
Every child in care must have a current personal education plan which states the specific educational targets for the individual. The social worker is responsible to initiate the PEP working in partnership with the designated teacher.
A PEP consultation takes place every half term with relevant professionals to support monitoring and evaluation.
Yes. They should be supported by a member of the school staff to complete the ‘Child/Young Person’ section of the PEP before the meeting and supported to discuss at the meeting.
All children of statutory school-age are required to have a PEP as part of their Care Plan. Regardless of whether or not they are attending school.
Younger children who attend nurseries and young people in education education aged 16 and over should also have a PEP. The purpose of the PEP is to promote and acknowledge progress, this is relevant at all stages from Nursery to University.
We commission Welfare Call, a telephone attendance tracking service to contact all educational provisions every day and report back to us on our children and young people’s attendance. If a child is not at school Welfare Call contact the carer and inform them, and phone/email social workers.
The CAF Common Assessment Framework is a shared assessment and planning framework for use across all children's services and all local areas in England. It aims to help the early identification of children's additional needs and promote a co-ordinated service provision to meet them.
If concerns about a child’s development and educational needs are raised in school ask if the school have completed a CAF. If not ask them to complete a CAF or to use local referral system to obtain support from outside agencies.
Some children have a statement of special educational needs (SEN), if they have been assessed by the local authority as having persistent and complex needs (through the statutory assessment process). A statement of special educational needs sets out the child's needs and the support they should have in school. It is reviewed annually (at the annual review) to ensure that any extra support given continues to meet the child's needs.
- Year 5 Summer Term Secondary school should be discussed at annual review
- During Year 9 the annual review is a transition review where future career opportunities are discussed and considered
A school, a parent, or a social worker can request formal assessment, usually through the CAF process.
For pupils with a statement, any changes in school placement must be managed by the SEN department in the LA where the child lives.
Guidance on this process can be sought from Haringey Virtual School 020 8489 3767 or Haringey SEN Caseworker for Children in Care: Janis Cornelius - 020 8489 1913.
'Children in care' (LAC) means children in public care, who are placed with foster carers, in residential homes or with parents or other relatives.
Children (under 18) may be 'looked after' by local authorities (eg London Borough of Haringey) under a number of legal arrangements:
Children in care subject to some form of legal order:
- All children who are subject to a care order (Children Act 1989, section 31 - external link), interim care order (Children Act 1989, section 38 - external link) or emergency protection order (Children Act 1989, section 44 - external link) where the local authority has parental responsibility for that child
- Children under a (criminal law) supervision order with a residence need to live in local authority accommodation
- Children who have appeared in court and have been bailed to reside where the local authority directs - and are being provided with a local authority funded placement
- Children who are remanded to the local authority where release on bail has not been granted
- Children under a court ordered secure remand and held in council accommodation
- Children who are subject to a secure accommodation order where the local authority is funding the cost of the secure placement. They are not looked after if the young person is in secure accommodation due to their offending, and the cost of the placement is funded by the Home Office
- Children accommodated under the Children Act 1989 (external link)
- Children in a placement that is either directly provided by the local authority or by an approved agency on behalf of the local authority
Unaccompanied asylum seeking children:
Following LAC (2003) 13 Guidance and the Hillingdon Judgement there is a clear legal need to respond to unaccompanied asylum seeking children as 'children in care' under Section 20 of the Children Act 1989 (external link).
Follow link to Direct Gov website: Find the local authority (external link)
See our Fostering page.
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