How to give looked-after children the right support

The achievement gap between children in care and their peers may be shrinking, but this vulnerable group still lags far behind. Here, virtual school head Darren Martindale says schools need to prioritise their looked-after pupils, empower them and establish strong links with other support services

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Shaun’s behaviour was deteriorating again. He had been attending a pupil-referral unit for several months, following a permanent exclusion from his primary school. A new school had been identified for him, but was he ready for the transition? The longer that he was out of mainstream education, the harder it would be to get him back. Timing would be critical.

A looked-after child (LAC), Shaun had experienced significant trauma. However, he also had access to extra support via the “virtual school”. So a carefully staged integration was planned, with teams from the new school, PRU and virtual ...

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