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The role and responsibilities of the designated teacher for looked after children – Statutory guidance for school governing bodies

Publication date:
Nov 2009
Governor, Headteacher, Local authority staff, Teacher
Guidance, Leadership


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Many looked after children have suffered disrupted learning and may have missed extended periods of school. The complexity of this fragmented educational experience needs careful assessment and planning.

This DCSF guidance is intended to provide a helpful framework which schools should use in order to make sure the role of designated teacher is effective in helping looked after children to succeed. The role of the designated teacher needs to be understood as part of the wider statutory responsibilities on local authorities for looked after children, both in terms of arrangements for their care and the particular duty on local authorities under the Children Act 1989, to promote the educational achievement of the children they look after.

Excellent practice in supporting looked after children already exists in many schools. Making the designated teacher role statutory is intended to help ensure that effective practice becomes universal.

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