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Looked After Children

Volume 450: debated on Wednesday 25 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will introduce national regulations on the process of placement and funding of educational support where a looked after child with additional educational needs is placed in another local authority area. (96686)

All looked after children have a care plan which includes an education plan based on their assessed needs. Local authorities are required through statutory guidance to ensure that the identified educational needs of any child placed out-of-authority will be met effectively in the proposed placement before it is agreed. This process must involve statutory notification of, and discussion with, all relevant bodies where the child would be living.

The proposals in the Green Paper “Care Matters: Transforming the Lives of Children and Young People in Care” include piloting budget holding by lead professionals to offer greater freedom to social workers in meeting the needs of looked after children. In particular, we propose to make available a personalised annual budget of around £500 for social workers to spend on each child in order to support their education. We also propose in a number of trailblazer authorities to pilot the introduction of a ‘virtual head teacher’ who will work with schools to raise standards for all looked after children being educated in a local authority area regardless of whether they are looked after by another authority.