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The governing body of a school has to designate a member of staff (the Designated Teacher, or DT) as having responsibility to promote educational achievement of children in care and of children have been previously looked after, but have now left care under a special guardianship order, an adoption order or a child arrangements order.

Post 16 – in Further Education (FE) colleges the person is the Designated Person for Children in Care (DP)

The role of the DT:

  • To help school staff understand things which affect the way children in care learn and achieve and to advise staff about teaching strategies.
  • To promote high expectations and aspirations for children in care.
  • To ensure the child has a voice in setting learning targets.
  • To ensure that children in care are prioritised in one-to-one tuition arrangements and carers understand the importance of supporting learning at home.
  • To have lead responsibility for the child's personal education plan (PEP) at school.
  • To help children in care make a smooth transition if they change schools.
  • To manage the way school engages with others (e.g. social workers, virtual school heads) focusing on the way everyone contributes to promoting the child's educational achievement.
  • To ensure school policies (e.g. Home School Agreements) are communicated to social workers and carers.
  • To ensure the school does everything possible to maximise educational stability for the child.

The Virtual School provides regular updates and training to DTs and organises events to help them keep up to date with current thinking.

The DT is expected to liaise regularly and effectively with the Virtual School. The DT provides regular data returns to enable the Virtual School to monitor and track the progress of our children in care.

Schools should also have a named governor for children in care. The DT should report to the governors about the progress of children in care.