Issue - meetings
Looked After Children in Flintshire
Meeting: 30/06/2022 - Joint Education, Youth & Culture and Social & Health Care Overview & Scrutiny Committee (Item 7)
- Webcast for 30/06/2022 - Joint Education, Youth & Culture and Social & Health Care Overview & Scrutiny Committee
For Members to actively engage as Cooperate Parents for looked after children, promoting awareness and challenging provision within Flintshire educational settings.
For Members to actively encourage all educational staff to promote the educational welfare of looked after children within Flintshire establishments at a ‘whole school level’.
The Senior Manager (Inclusion and Progression) provided an overview of the highlights for the key stages and the links with social care. An outline of the percentage of pupils with special education needs in this co-hort was provided together with the number of pupils with Individual Development Plan (IDPs) that the authority had responsibility for, as this had changed. The Additional Learning Needs (ALN) Officer with responsibly for children who were looked after has mapped out and provided a timeline for these children to ensure the authority was assessing their needs under the new ALN legislation. She reported on the role of the Vulnerable Learning Co-ordinator and Service Manager who worked with children who were looked after, schools, and foster carers to ensure these children accessed their education. Most children who were looked after were educated in mainstream schools within Flintshire with a small minority requiring more specialist provision.
For those children who left school last year Welsh Government (WG) had not requested outcome data to be collated but destination data had been recorded and she provided information on this. The Senior Manager (Inclusion and Progression) provided detail on the Steering Group and the funding available to support these children and the virtual school model being considered by WG.
The Chair commented on the effect of funding being provided directly to looked after children leaving care, as announced by WG and asked whether officers felt this would be a positive change or if they thought it would have a negative effect on the young people. The Senior Manager (Children and Workforce) suggested that a report be presented to the Joint Committee in 12 months to outline challenges and positive working from the pilot and how young people were being supported.
In response to a question from Councillor Andrew Parkhurst on the percentage of looked after children with special educational needs, the Senior Manager (Inclusion and Progression) indicated that it was difficult to determine whether children became looked after because of their special needs or whether they developed special needs due to being looked after and it was likely to be a mix of both factors. She agreed to speak to colleagues in the Educational Psychology Service who may be aware of research into this. She provided reassurance that there were lots of services across education and social care who assist children and that the support would differ from child to child.
The recommendations, as outlined within the report, were moved and seconded by Councillor David Mackie and Councillor Bill Crease
(a) For Members to actively engage as Cooperate Parents for looked after children, promoting awareness and challenging provision within Flintshire educational settings.
(b) For Members to actively encourage all educational staff to promote the educational welfare of looked after children within Flintshire establishments at a ‘whole school level’.