Recently, I delivered two separate Education training sessions for foster carers in England and Wales. This was the first time that the training has been separated after hearing feedback from carers who have attended in the past.
These sessions worked much better as there are many differences in the two education systems. For example, Wales has introduced a new system for supporting children and young people with additional needs. Wales and England also have different forms of funding for Children Looked After (CLA).
However, it was also interesting to see the similarities that we have between England and Wales. One example can be seen when we compare the most recent government statistics for both countries as the outcomes for Children Looked After are broadly similar.
Children Looked After in both England and Wales also include a much larger proportion of children with additional needs.
“In England CLA are more than twice as likely than the general population to have a special educational need.”
This, along with many other variables, is important to consider when comparing looked after children’s attainment against that of the general school population.
If you are a foster carer with FCC and have not attended the Education training before or you are a new carer or feel like you need a refresher, it may be worth speaking to your Supervising Social Worker (SSW) about what you feel you need.
In our Education Awareness Training we cover the different school/education meetings you can expect to attend, funding, EHCPs (Education, Health and Care Plan) and IDPs (Individual Development Plan), the support available and what we can do to help overcome any barriers that young people may face.
The next session for FCC foster carers will be held in September for England and another session for Wales will be held in advance of the new academic year. I have also been attending foster carer support groups to discuss the topic of autism in girls and am looking at support and training for foster carers related to ADHD.
If you have any suggestions about other educational topics that will help support you in your foster care responsibilities, please get in touch. I look forward to getting your ideas and providing help with all aspects of school and education.
The Foster Care Co-operative
What is the role of FCC’s Education Specialist? This role is held by a qualified teacher who has had many years’ experience working in the public sector. They are notified when children and young people join our foster care agency and they monitor children’s educational progress throughout the period of FCC care. The Education Specialist liaises with foster carers, placing authorities and individual social workers, promoting educational achievement and assisting where difficulties are present. There is no additional cost for this service. The FCC Education Specialist provides support across England.