Report of Strategic Director, Care Wellbeing and Learning
The Committee received an update of the work by the Virtual School.
It was noted that LAC numbers in and out of borough are increasing – particularly in the last two years. It was further noted from the report that the largest number of LAC within the secondary sector is in year 11 with 34 LAC in 2017.
An overview of LAC in Gateshead Secondary was presented showing that higher numbers attend Joseph Swan, Heworth and St Thomas More – it was also said that around 23% of the total Gateshead LAC population are being educated out of the borough.
It was stated that the attendance figures outlined within the report are drawn down from the Virtual school on a termly basis from EMIS and via school information requests. It was also noted that LAC who achieve 100% attendance are rewarded with a certificate and a voucher from REALAC – low attendance is identified as an emerging issue and is picked up in the PEP or reported by social workers then followed up.
The Committee were advised on the arrangements for the Pupil Premium Grant for Looked After Children for the financial year 2016-17. In March/April 2017, each school (maintained and non-maintained but not private schools) will receive a payment broken down as follows:
· £300 paid for each term
· £500 paid based on 2 completed Personal Education Plans over a 12 month period (statutory requirement) received into the REALAC/Virtual School
· £500 to be retained by Realac/Virtual School to be used for additional support to both Individual Looked after Children and their schools.
It was noted from the report that schools will be expected to use the funding for the following:
· Directly support the achievement and attainment of LAC
· Close the attainment and progress gap between LAC and their peers
· Support underlying issues and interventions for LAC who are at risk of exclusion,
· Non- attendance and other issues that may affect learning
A summary of learning outcomes for LAC in Year 2 was provided to the Committee noting the following:
· 12 out of 15 children gained the expected level in writing
· 12 out of 15 children gained the expected level in reading
· 13 out of 15 children gained the expected level in maths
· 12 out of 15 children gained the expected level in the combined reading, writing and maths
It was noted that there has been a rise in LAC achieving results in reading, writing and maths at Key Stage 1 from 2015-16 to 2016-17. Further information from the report was summarised including an update on teaching staff, a support worker and education psychologist.
An update on post 16 LAC was provided addressing an increase in PEP returns for LAC 3-16 years in primary and secondary school in and out of the borough. It was said that this was largely due to the implementation of the new PEP process and building the capacity within the Virtual School team. Further actions and challenges were highlighted from the report, there were:
· To develop a revised system for improving PEP returns for all Post 16LAC
· To further increase PEP returns for 3-16 LAC both in and out of borough
· To continue to challenge schools to complete PEPs within the given timescales and return all PEPs within 10days
· To increase the number of PEP meetings attended by the Virtual school, focusing particularly on Year 9 and Year 6 in order to flag up any possible difficulties aroundtransitions
A question was asked around the permanent exclusion of LAC – it was noted that the service have a strong relationship with the admissions and exclusions team and that an update to the paperwork has highlighted the use of fair access and inclusion panels. It was further noted that schools have a designated person trained in safeguarding to support LAC.
It was asked whether pupil behaviour is logged for LAC so that should there be a permanent exclusion it can be seen what intervention work has been done. It was said that early intervention work is always logged within the schools.
It was asked whether there were any Section 47 LAC – it was advised that there are lots coming through the system every day.
(i) The Committee noted the contents of the report.