Children and Young People in Care Education Team (CYPiC Education)
The Children's Act 2004 placed a duty on the local authority to promote positive educational opportunities, attainments and achievements for its looked after children and so this is the main responsibility of our team. We work closely with social workers and foster carers to maximise attendance, encourage participation in extra- curricular activities and liaise with teachers in the process towards improved outcomes for our children.
Marie Holmes is the CYPiC Education Strategy Manager and leads the team in trying to 'narrow the gap' between those in care and the others who are not looked after. She takes the role of a head of a virtual school where the children in care are the pupils and so she is responsible for their educational welfare, progress and attainment. She also has the important task of training and reporting to other professionals across the authority and with other authorities.
There are two teachers on the team who track the progress of the children and young people and check that they are getting the help they need to do as well as they can in school. Often they will require extra support to make up for problems they have had in earlier life, school that they have missed or difficulties with behaviour. The teachers work with schools and social care to ensure that the young people have good quality Personal Education Plans in place and will advise the designated teachers in their school on how to nurture them and look after their needs.
We also have two learning mentors who work one-to-one in schools with the young people. Among other things, they will help with keeping the children on task in lessons, make sure they are up-to-date with coursework and homework and will assist in teaching them to be organised and ready to learn. They develop a close relationship with the children and this helps their emotional and social development.
Our admin support worker assists in our communication with schools, the maintenance of our databases and the production of training materials as well as many other tasks.
As a team we believe that education is vital for the young people to be able to leave the issues from the past behind and to be successful in making their own way in life. We aim to do everything we can to advocate for them in school and work proactively on their behalf so that they can achieve their potential.