Our Lady Immaculate Catholic Primary School

Approved by the governing body 29th June 2023
Date of next review: Summer term 2024
Statement of intent
Educational achievement and subsequent life chances for CLA and previously CLA are of real
concern. Pupils who are looked after often require additional support and attention in order to
improve their situation.
Our Lady Immaculate Catholic Primary School, endeavours to provide positive experiences
and offer stability, safety, and individual care and attention for all our pupils. With this in mind,
we aim to:
• Encourage pupils to reach their potential and to make good progress in relation to their
professional, social and emotional development.
• Ensure that pupils enjoy high quality teaching and a curriculum, which meets their
needs and the requirements of legislation.
• Plan support for CLA realistically and use the school’s resources efficiently to ensure
the school meets their needs.
• Promote a positive culture in all aspects of school life.
• Help pupils develop their cultural, moral and social understanding.
Legal framework
We believe this policy should be a working document that is fit for purpose, represents the
school ethos, enables consistency and quality across the school and is related to all relevant
legislation and statutory guidance including, but not limited to, the following:
▪ Children Act 1989
▪ The Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) Regulations 2010
▪ Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000
▪ Children and Young Persons Act 2008
▪ Children and Families Act 2014
▪ Children and Social Work Act 2017
▪ DfE (2018) ‘Promoting the education of looked-after children and previously looked
after children’
▪ DfE (2018) ‘The designated teacher for looked-after and previously looked-after
▪ DfE (2021) ‘Exclusions from maintained schools, academies and pupil referral units in
▪ DfE (2021) ‘Keeping children safe in education 2021’
▪ DfE (2018) ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’
▪ Dealing with Allegations of Abuse against Teachers and other Staff: Guidance for Local
Authorities, Headteachers, School Staff, Governing Bodies and Proprietors of
Independent Schools (DfE)
▪ Equality Act 2010: Advice for Schools (DfE)
▪ Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0 to 25 Years. Statutory
Guidance for Organisations Who Work With and Support Children and Young People
with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (DfE) and (DoH)
“Looked-after children (CLA)” are defined as:
▪ Children or young people who are the subject of a Care Order or Interim Care Order
under the Children Act 1989.
▪ Children who are placed in foster care, children’s residential homes, with relatives or
friends, in semi-independent or supported independent accommodation.
▪ Children subject to a Care or Interim Care Order whilst placed with a parent, where the
LA has parental responsibility.
▪ Children who are not subject to an order, but are accommodated by the LA under an
agreement with their parents.
“Previously CLA (PCLA)” are defined as:
▪ Children who are no longer looked after by an LA in England and Wales because
they have either been adopted or are the subject of an adoption, special
guardianship or child arrangements order.
▪ Children who were adopted outside England and Wales from ‘state care’ (care that is
provided by a public authority, religious organisation, or other organisation whose
main purpose is to benefit society).
We understand that children or young people who have been taken into care by the
local authority or who have a voluntary care arrangement are known as ‘Looked After’.
This is because of family breakdown, abuse, neglect or social need. Looked After
Children will either be living in foster homes, children’s residential homes, living with a
relative or with their natural parent(s).
We are committed to providing quality education for all our pupils including Looked After
Children. It is nationally recognised that Looked After Children significantly
underachieve and are at greater risk of exclusion when compared with their peers.
Therefore, we believe we have a duty ‘to safeguard Looked After Children, to promote
their educational achievements and to ensure they are able to achieve and reach their
full potential’. (Children Act 2004).
Roles and responsibilities:
We believe it is essential that this policy clearly identifies and outlines the roles and
responsibilities of all those involved in the procedures and arrangements that relates to
this policy.
We as a school community have a commitment to promote equality. Therefore, an
equality impact assessment has been undertaken and we believe this policy is in line
with the Equality Act 2010.
We have a duty to:
▪ Ensure Looked After Children are never refused a service, including mental health,
on the grounds of their placement.
▪ In the event of oversubscription to give priority to Looked After Children.
▪ Ensure Looked After Children are involved in planning and decision making in regard
to their education.
▪ Act on any issues as highlighted in the annual report from the designated teacher.
▪ We have a duty to safeguard children, young people and families from violent
extremism. We are aware that there are extremists’ groups within our country who
wish to radicalise vulnerable children and to involve them in terrorism or in activity in
support of terrorism. Periodic risk assessments are undertaken to assess the risk of
pupils being drawn into terrorism. School personnel must be aware of the increased
risk of online radicalisation, and alert to changes in pupil’s behaviour. Any concerns
will be reported to the Designated Safeguarding Lead.
We are aware that under the ‘Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015’ we have the duty to
have ‘due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism’. This duty is
known as the Prevent duty and we believe it is essential that school personnel are able to
identify those who may be vulnerable to radicalisation or being influenced by extremist
views, and then to know what to do when they are identified.
We provide a safe environment where we promote pupils’ welfare. Within this environment
we work hard to build pupils’ resilience to radicalisation and extremism by promoting
fundamental British values and for everyone to understand the risks associated with
terrorism. We want pupils to develop their knowledge and skills in order to challenge
extremist views.
The governing body is responsible for:
▪ Ensuring the school has a coherent policy for CLA and PCLA.
▪ Reviewing the school’s policies and procedures in conjunction with legislation and
statutory guidance.
▪ Ensuring the designated teacher for CLA and PCLA has received the appropriate
▪ Ensuring that appropriate staff have the information they need in relation to each
looked after child’s:
o Legal status (i.e. whether they are looked after under voluntary arrangements
with consent of parents or on an interim or full care order) and contact
arrangements with birth parents or those with parental responsibility.
o Care arrangements and the levels of authority delegated to the carer by the
▪ Ensuring that staff have the skills, knowledge and understanding to keep CLA and
PCLA safe.
▪ Ensuring that there are clear systems and processes in place for identifying and
reporting possible safeguarding or mental health concerns amongst CLA and PCLA.
▪ Ensuring CLA and PCLA have equal access to all areas of the curriculum and that
reasonable adjustments are made, if necessary.
▪ Reviewing the annual report produced by the designated teacher to evaluate the
progress of CLA in the school.
▪ Ensuring they receive feedback from the Headteacher regarding the effectiveness of
the policy on an annual basis.
▪ Responsibility for the effective implementation, monitoring and evaluation of this
Nominating a link governor to:
▪ Visit the school regularly;
▪ Work closely with the Headteacher and the Designated Teacher;
▪ Ensure this policy and other linked policies are up to date;
▪ Ensure that everyone connected with the school is aware of this policy;
▪ Attend training related to this policy;
▪ Report to the Governing Body every term;
▪ Annually report to the Governing Body on the success and development of this
The Governing Body receives an annual report that outlines the following:
• the number of Looked After Children in the school
• an analysis of test scores, as a discrete group, compared to other pupils
• attendance figures compared to other pupils
• the level of fixed term and permanent exclusions compared to other pupils
• the number of complaints
• the destinations of Looked After Children pupils when they leave the school.
The virtual school head (VSH) is responsible for:
▪ Monitoring the attendance and educational progress of the children their authority
looks after; this includes children who have left care through adoption, special
guardianship or child arrangement orders, or who were adopted from state care
outside of England and Wales.
▪ Ensuring that arrangements are in place to improve the education and outcomes of
the authority’s CLA, including those placed out-of-authority.
▪ Building relationships with health, education and social care partners, as well as
other partners, so they and the designated teachers understand the support available
to CLA and PCLA.
▪ Working with the school to ensure all CLA in attendance are fully supported in
reaching their full potential.
▪ Acting as the educational advocate for CLA.
▪ Acting as a source of advice and information to help parents of PCLA as effectively
as possible.
▪ Managing the school’s allocation of pupil premium plus (PP+) for CLA.
▪ Ensuring there are effective systems in place to: – Maintain an up-to-date roll of the CLA who are in school settings, and gather
information about their educational placement, attendance and progress. – Inform the Headteacher and designated teacher if they have a pupil on roll
who is looked after by the LA.
– Ensure social workers, schools, designated teachers, careers and
independent reviewing officers understand their role and responsibilities
regarding a pupil’s PEP. – Ensure that up-to-date and effective PEPs that focus on educational
outcomes are maintained for all CLA. – Avoid delays in providing suitable educational provision. – Ensure the education achievement of CLA is seen as a priority by everyone
who has responsibilities for promoting their welfare. – Report regularly on the attainment, progress and school attendance of CLA
through the authority’s corporate parenting structures.
The Headteacher is responsible for:
▪ Appointing the designated teacher for CLA and PCLA.
▪ Allowing the designated teacher the time and facilities to succeed in carrying out their
▪ Overseeing this policy and monitoring its implementation, feeding back to the
governing body annually on the following: – The number of CLA and PCLA in the school – An analysis of assessment scores as a cohort, compared to other pupil
groups – The attendance of CLA and PCLA, compared to other pupil groups – The level of fixed term and permanent exclusions, compared to other pupil
▪ Ensuring all members of staff are aware that supporting CLA is a key priority.
▪ Ensuring PP+ for PCLA is managed effectively.
▪ Promoting the advantages of actively challenging negative stereotypes of CLA.
The designated teacher for CLA and PCLA is a strong advocate for Looked After
Children and will ensure that:
▪ All Looked After Children and their carers receive a positive and smooth induction
into the school.
▪ Procedures are in place to provide confidentiality for all Looked After Children and
that access to information is on a need-to-know basis, use of CPOMS.
▪ Strong and positive home/school relationships are in place.
▪ Building relationships with health, education and social care partners and other partners
so that they and the VSH understand the support available to CLA and PCLA. Urgent
multi agency meetings will be convened if a Looked After Child is experiencing
difficulties or at risk of exclusion.
▪ Looked After Children have full access to the National Curriculum.
▪ Promoting the educational achievement of CLA and PCLA at the school; this includes
those that left care through adoption, special guardianship or child arrangement orders or
were adopted from state care outside England and Wales.
▪ Acting as the main contact for social services and the DfE. Each Looked After Child has
an identified fully trained member of staff, other than the Designated Teacher, that
they can talk to and who regularly contacts them through the week.
▪ Promoting a culture of high expectations and aspirations.
▪ Ensuring CLA are involved in setting their own targets. Realistic but challenging
educational and personal targets should be set in consultation with the child.
▪ Advising staff on teaching strategies for CLA.
▪ Ensuring that CLA are prioritised for one-to-one tuition and support.
▪ Ensuring that Looked After Children are included in all areas of school life. Out of
hours learning and extra-curricular activities are always promoted for Looked After
▪ Looked After Children are not bullied in any form by actively monitoring and
preventing bullying by raising awareness through the school’s anti-bullying policy.
▪ An appropriate Personal Education Plan is completed within 20 days of Looked After
Children joining the school or entering care.
▪ Leading on how the child’s PEP is developed and used in school to ensure the child’s
progress towards targets is monitored. All Looked After Children receive the necessary
support from within the school. Additional support may be sought from the VSH.
▪ Liaising with the SENCO to ensure all pupil needs are met. Academic progress,
attendance and behaviour is regularly tracked with appropriate support given.
▪ Working with the child’s VSH and social worker to develop and implement their PEP.
▪ Working with the VSH to discuss how funding can be used to support the child’s progress
and meet the needs identified in their PEP.
▪ All information is transferred quickly and efficiently when Looked After Children move
to another school or phase.
▪ Being vigilant in observing any potential safeguarding concerns that could arise
surrounding CLA and PCLA due to their increased vulnerability to harm, and reporting
these to the DSL as soon as they arise.
▪ Working with the Headteacher to submit an annual report to the governing body, which
details the progress of all CLA and PCLA.
▪ The nominated Governor is kept up to date.
The DSL is responsible for:
▪ Keeping up-to-date records of CLA’s respective social worker and VSH.
▪ Promoting amongst staff the importance of recognising and reporting safeguarding
concerns surrounding CLA and PCLA as soon as possible due to their increased
vulnerability to harm.
▪ Where a child ceases to be looked after and becomes a care leaver, keeping up-to
date contact details of their LA personal advisor and liaising with the advisor as
necessary regarding any issues of concern affecting the care leaver.
The SENCO is responsible for:
▪ Ensuring they are involved in reviewing PEP and care plans for CLA and PCLA.
▪ Liaising with the class teacher, designated teacher, specialists and parents when
considering interventions to support the progress of PCLA.
Staff are responsible for:
All teaching and Learning Support Staff will:
▪ Be made aware of and will be familiar with the Guidance on Looked After
▪ Work in partnership parents and carers keeping them up to date with their child’s
progress and behaviour at school.
▪ Accept a request to be a Looked After Child’s named person to whom they can
speak with when they feel it necessary.
▪ Maintain high standards of ethics and behaviour within and outside school and
not to undermine fundamental British Values.
▪ Liaise with the Designated Teacher to enable Looked After Children to achieve
stability, success and to overcome any problems they may experience.
▪ On request provide relevant information for Personal Education Plans and review
▪ Encourage Looked After Children to achieve their full educational and personal
potential which will be celebrated at weekly achievement assemblies and Prize
▪ Constantly endeavour to promote their self-esteem and encouragement.
▪ Being vigilant for any signs of bullying towards CLA and PCLA.
▪ Report and deal with all incidents of discrimination.
▪ Being vigilant for any signs of safeguarding concerns surrounding CLA and PCLA
due to their increased vulnerability to harm, and reporting any concerns to the DSL
as soon as possible.
▪ Preserving confidentiality, where appropriate, and showing sensitivity and
▪ Ensure Looked After Children and PCLA are supported sensitively.
▪ Be aware of all other linked policies and implement them.
▪ Attend appropriate training sessions on equality and diversity.
▪ Report any concerns they have on any aspect of the school community, use of
Role of Parents/Carers
Parents/carers will:
▪ Be aware of and comply with this policy.
▪ Comply with this policy for the benefit of their children.
▪ Work in partnership with the school.
▪ Be asked to take part periodic surveys conducted by the school.
▪ Support the school Code of Conduct and guidance necessary to ensure smooth
running of the school.
Looked After Children will be encouraged to:
▪ Be confident about themselves and to understand that they are able to achieve
and reach their full potential.
▪ Participate in discussions concerning their progress and attainment.
▪ Work in partnership with the school by making decisions and exercising choice in
relation to their educational programme.
▪ Discuss improvements to this policy during the school year.
▪ Review the effectiveness of this policy with the Governing Body.
Raising Awareness of this Policy
We will raise awareness of this policy via:
▪ The School Handbook/Prospectus.
▪ The school website.
▪ The Staff Handbook.
▪ Meetings with parents such as introductory, transition, parent-teacher consultations…
▪ Meetings with school personnel and through staff meetings.
▪ Communications with home such as weekly newsletters and of end of half term
▪ Reports such annual report to parents and Headteacher reports to the Governing
Personal education plan (PEP)
All CLA must have a care plan; PEPs are an integral part of this care plan.
The PEP is an evolving record of what needs to happen for a pupil to enable them to make
the expected progress and fulfil their potential. The PEP will reflect the importance of a
personalised approach to learning which meets the identified educational needs of the child.
The school with other professionals and the child’s carers will use the PEP to support the
child’s educational needs, raise the child’s aspirations and improve their life chances. All
relevant bodies, such as the LA, the designated teacher and carers, will involve the child in
the PEP process at all stages.
The PEP will address the pupil’s full range of education and development needs, including:
▪ Access to nursery provision that is appropriate to the child’s age.
▪ On-going catch-up support, which will be made available for children who have fallen
behind with work.
▪ Suitable education provided by the LA, where the child is not in school because of
suspension or exclusion.
▪ Transitional support where needed, such as if a child is moving to a new school.
▪ School attendance and behaviour support, where appropriate.
▪ Support to help the child meet their aspirations, which includes:
o Support to achieve expected levels of progress for the relevant national key
stage and to complete an appropriate range of approved qualifications.
o focus upon the child’s strengths, capabilities and the outcomes they want to
o Out-of-school hours learning activities, study support and leisure interests.
The VSH and the designated teacher will ensure that information is included within a CLA or
PLAC’s PEP surrounding how they are benefitting from any use of PP+ funding to improve
their attainment.
Any interventions supported by PP+ will be evidence-based and in the best interests of the
Working with agencies and the Virtual School Head (VSH)
▪ To promote the educational achievements of Looked After Children by
ensuring they are able to achieve and reach their full potential.
▪ To help children who are looked after make positive life choices.
▪ To give priority consideration to Looked After Children in the school’s
oversubscription criteria.
▪ To protect children from the risk of radicalisation and extremism.
▪ To ensure compliance with all relevant legislation connected to this policy.
▪ To work with other schools and the local authority to share good practice in
order to improve this policy.
The school will ensure that copies of all relevant reports are forwarded to the CLA social
workers, in addition to carers or residential social workers.
The school will coordinate their review meetings; for example, hold their annual review of
CLA with their statutory care review.
The school will work with other agencies to exchange information, such as changes in
circumstances, exclusions or attendance issues, taking prompt action, where necessary, to
safeguard CLA and PCLA.
Behaviour management strategies will be agreed between the VSH and the school, to
ensure challenging behaviour is managed in the most effective way for that individual child.
The designated teacher for CLA and PCLA will communicate with the VSH and child’s social
worker to facilitate the completion of the PEP.
Through the designated teacher, the school will work with the VSH, social worker and other
relevant agencies to monitor any arrangements in place so that actions and activities
recorded in the child’s PEP are implemented without delay. The designated teacher will
communicate with the VSH and agree on how PP+ can be used effectively to accommodate
the child’s educational attainment and progress.
PP+ for PCLA will be allocated directly to, and managed by, the school. The school will work
with the VSH to manage allocation of PP+ for the benefit of our cohort of CLA, or PCLA, and
according to their needs. If deemed necessary, the school will allocate an amount of funding
to an individual to support their needs.
The designated teacher will ensure consistent and strong communication with the VSH
regarding CLA who are absent without authorisation.
The school will share their expertise on what works in supporting the education of CLA and
The designated teacher and other school staff involved in the education of CLA and PCLA
will receive the appropriate training, including information about the following:
▪ School admissions arrangements
▪ Attendance
▪ Exclusions
▪ Homework
▪ Managing and challenging behaviour
▪ Promoting positive educational and recreational activities
▪ Supporting pupils to be aspirational for their future education, training and
▪ Safeguarding
All training will ensure staff are equipped with the skills, knowledge and understanding
necessary to keep CLA and PCLA safe.
The school recognises that many CLA and PCLA have experienced trauma, abuse or
complex family circumstances that have led to them being placed in care and will ensure that
all staff are aware that experiences of adversity such as these can leave pupils vulnerable to
further harm or exploitation.
All staff will be trained to recognise signs and indicators of safeguarding concerns and will
ensure that extra vigilance is practiced in observing and identifying these indicators amongst
CLA and PCLA as soon as possible.
Where a CLA or PCLA has a social worker, this will inform decisions about safeguarding,
e.g. responding to unauthorised absence or missing education where there are known
safeguarding risks.
The Headteacher will implement appropriate pastoral support services in place throughout
the school to ensure that the welfare of CLA and PCLA can be adequately protected to the
extent that reflects their increased vulnerability.
Staff will be encouraged to report to the DSL any concerns they have over CLA or PCLA in
line with the processes outlined in the Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy.
Staff will be regularly encouraged to look for signs of bullying and report to the designated
teacher if they believe a CLA or PCLA is being bullied, as this can have a particularly
negative impact on pupils who have early experiences of rejection or abandonment.
Pupil mental health
CLA and PCLA are more likely to experience the challenge of social, emotional and mental
health (SEMH) issues which can impact their behaviour and education. The designated
teacher will have awareness, training and skills regarding a child’s needs and how to support
them in relation to behaviour management and mental health.
The designated teacher will work with the VSH to ensure the school is able to identify signs
of potential mental health issues, understand the impact issues can have on CLA and PCLA,
and knows how to access further assessment and support, where necessary.
The school understands that the increased frequency of mental health problems amongst
CLA and PCLA may present a barrier to adequately identifying when mental health problems
are indicative of a safeguarding concern. For this reason, the designated teacher will ensure
that they, and all staff who maintain regular contact with CLA or PCLA are vigilant
surrounding any changes in the mental health, behaviour, social inclination or mood of these
A strengths and difficulties questionnaire will be used on a termly basis to help social
workers and other relevant professionals to form a view about CLA and previously- CLA’s
current emotional wellbeing. Teachers will complete their element of the questionnaire to
assist social workers in their assessment.
The school’s senior mental health lead will work alongside the designated teacher to
promote the wellbeing and mental health of CLA and previously- CLA, and will always either
be a member of, or be supported by the senior leadership team and could be the pastoral
lead, SENCO, or DSL.
The school’s SEMH Policy will be adhered to when dealing with all potential or explicit
mental health issues that CLA or PCLA may face.
Past experiences of CLA and PCLA will be considered when designing and implementing
the school’s Behaviour Policy.
The school will have regard to the DfE’s statutory guidance ‘Exclusions from maintained
schools, academies and pupil referral units in England’ and, as far as possible, avoid
excluding any CLA.
Where the school has concerns about a child’s behaviour, the VSH will be informed at the
earliest opportunity. As far as possible, the school will engage proactively with the social
worker or carer of a CLA to provide appropriate support for underlying issues that may be
causing poor behaviour and improving this behaviour.
Exclusion will only be used as a last resort, after the school and VSH have considered what
additional support can be provided to prevent exclusion, and any additional arrangements to
support the pupil’s education in the event of exclusion.
The school will inform parents that they can seek the advice of the VSH on strategies to
support their child to avoid exclusion.
Permanent exclusion will only occur where there has been serious and/or persistent
breaches of the school’s Behaviour Policy or where allowing the pupil to remain in school
would seriously harm the education or welfare of others.
Pupils with SEND
Support for CLA with SEND, who do not need an EHC plan, will be covered as part of the
child’s PEP and care plan reviews.
The SENCO, class teacher, designated teacher and specialists will involve parents when
considering interventions to support their child’s progress. If appropriate, the VSH will be
invited to comment on proposed SEND provision for PCLA.
The designated teacher and the SENCO will ensure that CLA and PCLA with SEND are
supported in line with the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Policy, with
extra consideration given to the fact that some of the usual procedures for supporting pupils
with SEND may lack applicability for CLA, e.g. where CLA are in residential care and, thus,
will have their EHC plans taken care of by the LA rather than the general stipulation of the
place where they are ordinarily resident.
Information sharing
Appropriate and specific arrangements for sharing reliable data are in place to ensure that
the education needs of CLA and PCLA are understood and met. The arrangements set out
▪ Who has access to information on CLA and PCLA and how data will remain secure.
▪ How pupils and parents are informed of, and allowed to challenge, information that is kept
about them.
▪ How carers contribute to and receive information.
▪ Mechanisms for sharing information between the school and relevant LA departments.
▪ How relevant information about individual pupils is passed between authorities,
departments and the school when pupils move.
Monitoring and review
This policy will be reviewed on an annual basis or as need arises, by the designated teacher
the Headteacher and nominated link governor.
All changes to this policy will be communicated to all relevant stakeholders.