As a social worker you have overall responsibility for the child's care plan, including their personal education plan. Because of this, it's crucial that you're familiar with the statutory guidance, Promoting the education of looked after children and previously looked after children February 2018.
This guidance underpins the education planning process for children in care. It recognises the social worker as lead professional, supported by the Virtual School, in developing and monitoring robust personalised plans to support educational outcomes.
Role of a child's social worker
When children and young people come into the care of the local authority, they are allocated a social worker. The social worker acts and exercises the local authority’s corporate parental responsibility. Their responsibilities include ensuring that the child/young person’s needs are met, they act in the best interest of the child and encourages them to develop to their full potential.
The virtual school and social care work in partnership to ensure the child’s education is prioritised, alongside their care.
Role of the child's independent reviewing officer (IRO)
The Independent Reviewing Officer’s (IRO) has a quality assurance responsibility to ensure that the wishes and feelings of the child/young person’s is taken into full consideration within the care planning and review process. It is important for the IRO to develop a consistent relationship with the child/young person to achieve this. The virtual school works with the IRO by offering support, advice and guidance to promote positive outcomes for the child/young person.
The social worker should, in consultation with all those to attend, arrange a date and time for the PEP meeting. The school, carers, child, parents if appropriate and other education personnel involved in child's education should be invited to attend the PEP meeting. The Designated Teacher for LAC is usually the first point of contact in schools and meeting usually takes place at the educational setting.