In order to fulfil their fundamental duty that the children in their care have the best possible outcomes, social workers and independent reviewing officers will want to ensure that education is a top priority. They need to be in a position to advocate for educational support and to challenge on behalf of their children where necessary. It is necessary for their practice, therefore, that they have an excellent understanding, not only of the education system, but also of the specific needs of their children and the structures already in place to support them.
Our training for social workers and independent reviewing officers is designed to give them the knowledge and understanding of their statutory duties in regards to education, what constitutes excellent education outcomes and how they can judge whether their children are, indeed, making progress in line with their ability.
We would recommend that children’s social workers, including foster carer social workers, and independent reviewing officers train together. Our full day training may be divided into two half-day sessions if required.
Decisions on content will be made through prior consultation and may include:
- Education as safeguarding
- Statutory guidance
- Consideration of the gap in outcomes between vulnerable children and others
- Role of the virtual school head
- School and college systems
- Different pathways and qualifications at different ages
- Assessment and progress
- Role of the designated teacher
- Admission to school, including those with a Statement of SEN/Education, Health and Care Plan
- Promoting attendance and preventing exclusion
- The Personal Education Plan
- Use of Pupil Premium Plus
- The role of the foster carer
- Children with special education needs