Regulation 5 – Engaging with the Wider System to Ensure Each Child’s Needs are Met

The Education Standard

The Enjoyment and Achievement Standard

The Care Planning Standard


This Chapter should be read in conjunction with Education of Children in Public Care.


This chapter was slightly amended in October 2011 in regard to Director.


  1. Introduction
  2. Our Responsibilities
  3. Refusal to Attend School

1. Introduction

The care, education and treatment model at all Childhood First Communities is relationship-based; our daily care for children involves keeping them safe, showing them warmth and love, and providing the stimulation needed for their development to help them achieve their full potential, within a stable environment where they experience consistent guidance and boundaries.

Childhood First communities are committed to promoting and supporting children's education and learning. This aspect of children's lives is regarded as essential to children's welfare and development and all staff in the communities are expected to be actively involved in children's learning.

Childhood First communities educational programmes are provided in different ways according to the home.

  • By our own schools on site;
  • By local authority short term school on site;
  • By mainstream and special schools run by other providers.

Where for any reason these options are not immediately available, the community will work with the placing authority to secure appropriate full-time educational provision for the child and in the meantime will provide an educational programme at the community.

In all circumstances the principle prevails that the partnership between educational staff and care staff in the community is a pivotal factor in enabling children to engage with the opportunities available to them.

Whichever the mode of provision, children are provided with:

  • A high level of integration between home and school;
  • Full access to educational facilities including the National Curriculum at school and in further/higher education as appropriate;
  • An individualised learning programme;
  • An educational programme appropriate to academic level;
  • An educational programme delivered in a manner which is sensitive to the child's stage of emotional development;
  • Staff support to:
    • Arrive at school on time, prepared and equipped to attend all lessons;
    • Help the child manage the transition between school and home supporting teachers to understand any particular difficulties for the child in this area;
    • Ensure all existing channels for communication are fully used (e.g. home-to-school books) as well as facilitate extra liaison as needed;
    • Facilitate the transition to and from school effectively;
    • Provide learning opportunities within the home including help with homework, access to computers, books and the library;
    • Support learning at school with the provision of appropriate leisure interests;
    • Attend parents evenings where parents are unable to or require support;
    • Attend extra curricular activities, clubs and school trips;
    • Inform and include parents (and social workers) about school.

2. Our Responsibilities

We recognise the importance that education plays in the future experiences and life chances of the young people in our care. We believe that every young person has a right to access education of the highest quality and at a level appropriate to their individual ability and circumstances.

We believe that in order to maximise educational opportunities it is essential that teaching and care staff work co-operatively in an attempt to provide meaningful and relevant 24 hour curriculum. Education is not limited merely to the classroom, education is a continuous process which occurs throughout the waking day and there are many educational activities which occur naturally in our work with young people.

It is however important that staff work co-operatively and that care staff liaise on a regular basis with teaching staff or with external schools and the child's Local Authority, to ensure that educational programmes are appropriately differentiated. key/linkworkers have regular contact with teachers and co-operate with reviews of key Plans e.g.

  • Individual Care and Education Plans (ICEP's), ensuring that education and placement/care plans are consistent or complement each other;
  • Individual Education Plan (IEP);
  • Behaviour Management Plan (BMP) these co-ordinate with the house BMP’s;
  • SMART Targets.

Key/Linkworkers must ensure that Children have adequate opportunities and support to complete homework and take part in extracurricular activities.  

Children should be encouraged to join a library and have opportunities to access a range of educational support material, including books and specialist educational software

Each Child or young person must have a Personal Education Plan (PEP), which addresses the appropriateness of the Child's educational placement and any special educational needs that the child has. The plan also details the arrangements for monitoring school attendance, and arrangements for parental or social work involvement in the education of the child.

Key/Link Workers, in the absence of parents, must attend all school events that would usually be attended by parents such as open days, school plays etc.

Any child person of statutory school age who is not attending school (or a short term school) would be provided with an appropriate and differentiated educational programme delivered under the supervision of a qualified teacher during normal school hours. Staff from the community would work closely with the placing authority to secure a school placement as quickly as possible.

Prior to a placement with Childhood First many of the children and young people will have had difficult experiences at school, some of whom will have been permanently excluded. Therefore before a placement commences equal thought is given to their school induction as their home induction. This ensures they have the best opportunity to attain academically, grow in confidence and be the equal of their peers.

3. Refusal to Attend School

On rare occasions children may unable to attend school, this decision would be taken by the Team Leader and school informed of the reasons. Conversely there may be occasions when school deem it appropriate that a child needs to go home, sometimes with the possibility of them returning later. A close working relationships established between care staff and school based staff ensures all are aware of any difficulties the child is experiencing or causing within the educational setting and react accordingly. At this stage care staff from the  will liaise closely with school staff in order to provide additional support to the child during this period of difficulty. All action taken at this time will be recorded in the child’s individual records and the Personal Education Plan (PEP) will be amended to reflect the changed circumstances.

There may be occasions when an alternative programme would be delivered under the supervision of a qualified teacher and would be appropriately differentiated. For children attending education provision outside Childhood First there is the possibility of exclusion. If this occurs close liaison will be maintained with the school to enable the return to school to be managed smoothly, and work provided during this time will be completed with appropriate supervision.