The role of the social worker is to take the lead with all adults working with the child in creating a culture where the child is expected and encouraged to achieve as well as they possibly can.
You need to
- Tell the child’s school and the Virtual School as soon as a child goes into care
- Ensure the PEP is completed in time for the first review i.e. within 20 working days.
- Complete sections 1 and 2 of the PEP and forward it to the school prior to the PEP meeting. You will need to make a professional judgment about what information the school needs to know about the child, agree this with the foster carer and record it on the PEP form
- Keep the school informed about changes in the child’s care arrangements and ensure these are updated on the PEP form for each PEP meeting.
- Seek the advice of the Virtual School on education planning and provision if you are unsure about something
- Encourage foster carers to be actively involved in the promotion of the education of the children they care for
- Ensure that education is given equal priority at LAC reviews as other aspects of a child’s provision
- Work with other professionals to ensure there are good support systems around the child’s education.
How the Virtual School can support you
- Advise you on how to work with the school to support the child’s education and produce good quality PEPs
- Explain school systems and qualifications, which can be confusing
- Attend PEP meetings and SEN reviews of complex cases, or cases where you would like our input
- Provide extra support beyond the Pupil Premium
- Support transitions to new schools if school placements change.
- Provide induction for new social workers, regular training and networking
- Get involved quickly if there are problems with a school placement
A word about PEPs and schools
Schools in Bath and North East Somerset will take the lead in chairing PEP meetings and completing the PEP forms, although some schools will be more experienced in working with children in care than others. Many schools also have to use different PEP systems depending on which local authority the children are in care to.
Some schools outside of Bath and North East Somerset work differently, for example they will be used to social workers taking the lead on chairing PEP meetings and producing the finished document. You will need to take the lead in working with the designated teacher in these schools to agree how the PEP will be undertaken in these cases. The Virtual School can advise and support you on this.
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