For looked after children in Luton who are of school age and require a place at an education provision, the virtual school assists social workers with securing a suitable place.
It is imperative that the social worker informs the education coordinator from the virtual school as soon as they are aware of any imminent or necessary moves in order that the school placement can be identified at the same time as the foster placement, to avoid unnecessary drift and delay and minimise disruption to the child’s education.
In the case of an emergency placement, a suitable new education placement should be secured within 20 school days.
An education setting which is best suited to the child’s needs should:
- be a full time place
- be a provision that is judged Ofsted ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’
Consideration is given to schools judged ‘requires improvement’ and there will be evidence to ensure that the school provides high quality support to vulnerable pupils. Unless there are exceptional evidence-based reasons, looked after children should never be placed in a school judged by Ofsted to be ‘inadequate’.
- be based on what any good parent would want for their child, based on evidence that the setting can meet the educational needs of the child and help them make maximum progress
- take into consideration the child’s wishes and feelings and the suitability of the education setting tested by arranging an informal visit with the child.
Stability and continuity in education is important at all stage, but particularly so at key stage 4.
Admission authorities of all mainstream schools must give the highest priority in their oversubscription criteria to looked after and previously looked after children, as defined in the school admission code. This code applies to maintained schools and academies, including free schools.
Children who are due to start primary school or transfer to high school need to have application submitted to the relevant school admissions authority by the national closing dates:
- 15 January for primary schools (including infant schools, junior schools, lower schools and middle schools)
- 31 October for secondary schools (including upper schools)
Please contact us for further advice, guidance and support on the admissions processed or transitions: