Support for children aged 0-25 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Education support for looked after children and young people with SEND

The Virtual School and College for BCP Council has a statutory duty to monitor and oversee the quality of education provision for children in care and is committed to raising the educational attainment of all children and young people in care including those with special educational needs and disabilities.

This is achieved through:

  • the early identification of special educational needs
  • assisting schools to ensure that the correct level and type of intervention is in place for each young person in care
  • ensuring that this support is effectively meeting the child’s special educational needs.

Children and young people in the care system have a range of special educational needs, from SENSENSpecial Educational Needs is a term which refers to children who have learning difficulties or disabilities that make it harder for them to learn than most children of the same age. Support level to those with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCPEHCPA legal document that describes a child or young person's special educational, health and social care needs. It explains the extra help that will be given to meet those needs and how that help will support the child or young person to achieve what they want to in their life.). As such, education will be provided in a range of mainstream and specialist settings. The Virtual School and College works with all education settings and other departments in the council and health, to help schools fulfil their duties set out in the Equality Act 2010Equality Act 2010The Equality Act 2010 legally protects people from discrimination in the workplaceand in wider society. It replaced previous anti-discrimination laws with a single Act,making the law easier to understand and strengthening protection in somesituations. It sets out the different ways in which it’s unlawful to treat someone., the Children and Families Act 2014Children and Families Act 2014The act came into force on 1st September 2014. Part 3 of the Act sets out the law on Special Educational Needs and DisabilityDisabilityA physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term negative effect on an individual’s ability to do normal daily activities.. The Act is supported by the SEND Regulations 2014 and the SEND Code of PracticeCode of PracticeA document that explains the duties of local authorities, health bodies, schools and colleges to provide for those with special educational needs under part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014.  : 0 – 25 Years. and the SEND Code of PracticeCode of PracticeA document that explains the duties of local authorities, health bodies, schools and colleges to provide for those with special educational needs under part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014.   2015. We do this through:

  • engagement with Lead Teacher for Inclusion
  • SEND advice: professional development that includes training, videos, workshops, SEND forums and presentations
  • targeted support
  • offering advice and challenge

The Virtual School and College wants to ensure that all Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole schools feel supported and have an inclusive culture.

The Virtual School and College fosters relationships with other agencies working within the field of SEND, including local groups and national organisations.

When a child or young person with SEND comes into care, the Virtual School and College liaise with the Designated Teacher and SENCOSENCOSpecial Educational Needs Coordinator is a qualified teacher with special training who ensures the day-to-day operation of the school's SEN policy and practice. in the education provision and the social worker to arrange a meeting to complete the first Personal Education Plan (PEP) as part of the Care Plan within 10 working days and to be available in time for the first Children in Care Review.

Children in Care with Complex Health and DisabilitiesDisabilitiesA physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term negative effect on an individual’s ability to do normal daily activities.:

The Child Health and DisabilitiesDisabilitiesA physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term negative effect on an individual’s ability to do normal daily activities. Team (CHADCHADThe Child Health and DisabilityDisabilityA physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term negative effect on an individual’s ability to do normal daily activities. (CHAD) team provides tailored, focused support for families where there is a child with a severe disability, to empower the family to function effectively.) are a specialist team of Social Workers and Family Support Practitioners whose core purpose is to provide a service to children and young people with complex health needs and disabilities (from 0 to 18 years of age). A child or young person is disabled if 'he/she has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his/hers ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities' (the DisabilityDisabilityA physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term negative effect on an individual’s ability to do normal daily activities. Discrimination Act (DDA 1995) and are lifelong life limiting. The service, which sits within Children and Families Services in the local authority, aims to ensure that every child in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole with a complex health need and disability benefits from child-centred, high-quality, flexible and responsive services to help them live a successful and fulfilling life.

There are times when children being supported by the CHADCHADThe Child Health and DisabilityDisabilityA physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term negative effect on an individual’s ability to do normal daily activities. (CHAD) team provides tailored, focused support for families where there is a child with a severe disability, to empower the family to function effectively. Team come into the care of the LA under Section 20 or a Care Order. This is when they move into foster care or a residential placement subject to parents signing section 20.

When a young person with complex health needs and disabilities becomes looked after to the LA, the Virtual School will monitor and support the child and their education provision as detailed previously. However, although the statutory requirement for PEP meetings is relevant, in carrying out their role, the Virtual School are mindful of the pressures that families of children and young people with complex needs face and make every effort to minimise the number of meetings required by combining meetings with those requested by other professionals.