Looked After and Post Adopted Pupils
Mrs McFadden is our designated Teacher at Highfield Middle School.
She works very closely with our Head Teacher – Mr Oades – and all other
members of the senior leadership team to ensure the pupils who are identified
in this category are supported accordingly whilst at school.
Why do schools have a designated teacher for Looked After and Post-
The Department for Education published statutory guidance for designated
teachers in February 2018.
- School governing bodies have a duty to designate a member of staff (the
designated teacher) to promote the educational achievement of looked-
after and previously looked-after children, including those aged 16-18,
who are registered pupils at the school.
- The designated teacher should ensure that all staff are aware of the
particular needs of looked-after and previously looked-after children
over a wide range of issues, and have input into the formulation of
school-wide policies and procedures to ensure those children are not
- When working with looked-after and previously looked-after children,
the designated teacher should be a contact point for parents and
guardians and work closely with them to ensure the best outcomes for
the child, socially, emotionally and educationally.
What is a Designated Teacher?
The designated teacher role recognises that many looked-after and previously
looked-after children have suffered disrupted learning, may have missed long
periods of school and may have special educational needs. Gaps in their
learning and, in many cases, the emotional impact of their experiences are
likely to be significant barriers to their progress. The statutory designated
teacher role is designed to help ensure that excellent practice in supporting
this cohort of children is embedded and becomes universal. However, the role
is not to be seen in isolation, but rather part of a support system including
other professionals, and parents and carers.
Practical duties of the designated teacher role:
- Promote a culture across the school where the personal, emotional and
academic needs of looked-after and previously looked-after children are
- Take lead responsibility for helping other staff to understand the factors
which can affect how looked-after and previously looked-after children
learn and achieve, including the emotional, psychological and social
effects of loss and separation including early life trauma and Adverse
Childhood Experiences (ACEs).
- Making staff aware that trauma and ACEs will continue to affect looked-
after and previously looked-after children and the school will need to
continue to respond appropriately to their needs.
- Ensure that teachers understand the needs of looked-after and
previously looked-after children with regards to, for example, special
educational needs, attendance and exclusions, homework,
understanding and managing challenging behaviour and understanding
the link between emotional wellbeing and being able to make
- Ensure parents and guardians are aware of the requirement to inform
the school if their child is eligible to attract PP+, play a key part in
decisions on how PP+ is used to effectively support looked-after and
previously looked-after children alongside SLT.
- Promote a culture in which looked-after and previously looked-after
children are able to be heard, contribute to discussions through a safe
adult and take responsibility for their learning.
- Work with the virtual school heads (VSH) to access training and keep up
to date on research and good practice.
The new Department for Education guidance emphasises the role of the Virtual
School Head in providing guidance and advice to both schools and parents.
Virtual schools also keep a proportion of the PP+ funding and therefore can
also provide financial support to families directly. For looked-after children this
will be the local authority with whom they are registered. The Virtual School
Head is considered their corporate parent. For previously looked-after children this is Northumberland as they attend a Northumberland school.
Relevant Virtual Schools contact details are listed below.
Newcastle Virtual School – Karl Harms: 0191 277 3616
Northumberland – Jane Walker – 01670 622734