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New service! Advice about children's educational needs

Posted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 4:04 pm
by David Roth
Family Rights Group will be launching a new advice sheet soon, which will give advice to family and friends carers about their child's education.

We are also, as from now, answering queries on this forum about the education of the children you are raising.

The advice will cover a whole range of educational subjects: how to arrange a child's admission to school or to change school; school attendance; exclusion from school; education of children with special educational needs or disability; working in partnership with the school to ensure the child's history is properly understood and respected; early years or pre-school education; moving on to further or higher education; and homeschooling.

So please use this thread, or start your own thread in this folder, if you want advice about the education of the child you are raising. You can ask about anything at all connected with education — we realise that family and friends carers may not have dealt with the education system for years, and find that everything has changed, or some may never have had to make arrangements for a child's education before.

Re: New service! Advice about children's educational needs

Posted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 2:47 pm
by David Roth
Hi Irene

The Pupil Premium has just gone up from £1,200 to £1,900 per pupil who is looked after, or who left care to be adopted or under a Special Guardianship Order or a Residence Order. Smaller Pupil Premiums are payable for pupils who are eligible in other ways, e.g. because they have ever qualified for free school meals, or because they are 'service children', i.e. the children of armed forces personnel. The amount paid for these children varies.

For looked after children, the person who decides how the Pupil Premium will be spent is the Virtual School Head - have you heard of this post? It is a post that should exist in every local authority. The Virtual School Head has responsibility for promoting the education of all the local authority's looked after children, regardless of where they're placed. However, they don't have responsibility for the children under SGO or RO who were formerly looked after.

Although the total Pupil Gremium grant is calculated by working out the number of eligible children, there isn't a set amount that has to be spent on each child. The Virtual School Head could decide to use £2,900 of the funds to promote the education of one child, and then only £900 to promote the education of another. The money is supposed to be allocated according to the needs of the child.

For this reason, if you want to ensure that funds from the Pupil Premium are spent on the educational needs of the child you are raising, you will need to make sure that the person who decides how the funds are spent is aware of your child's needs. For looked after children, this will be the Virtual School Head, so if you want to contact them you should make enquiries of your local authority about who they are and how to contact them. If the child you are raising went to SGO, RO or adoption from care, then the funds go to the school. In this case, I would suggest that you contact the school, to ensure (1) that they are aware that your child qualifies for them to receive the Pupil Premium, and (2) of any particular educational needs of the child that you feel the Pupil Premium could be used to promote.