It’s been a very busy term for the Education Service – what a way to end 2023! With collating exam results, chasing in PEPs (Personal Education Plans) directly with Virtual Schools and direct case work where children and young people are experiencing difficulties with their education – it has been non-stop for the team. This term alone we have been working directly with over 160 cases! We have provided a range of support, including (but not limited to!):
- Challenging exclusions.
- Supported young people into apprenticeships.
- Attended PEPs.
- Supported a number of young people to apply to university via 1:1 personal statement session, and to secure funding through streams such as local authority but also charity scholarships.
- Helped to broker packages of alternative provision and bespoke timetables.
Being able to work directly with foster carers, staff across TACT and of course, our children and young people, to help make a difference and support their education means so much to each and everyone of us in the Education Team. It is so rewarding to be able to offer our expertise and guidance and help overcome some of the challenges that our young people face.
What else have we been doing?
We have recently joined some national groups to strengthen sharing of best practice and increase our network – including the National Association of Virtual School Heads (NAVSH), NNECLS (National Network for the Education of Care Leavers) and ARC (The Attachment Research Community). This will allow us to keep up to date with recent developments, training and opportunities for young people, as well as build relationships with care professionals across the UK.
We have also improved the way we are tracking and recording our casework, so we have a better understanding of the needs of the whole cohort. The team have also begun their Annual Education Case Review meetings with individual Supervising Social Workers – we have now completed the London & South East, Wales and East Midlands teams, moving onto Scotland and Yorkshire & North East after Christmas.
We continue to use our budget to support children and young people in creative ways, complementing Virtual School use of the Pupil Premium grant. Some of the things we have spent our money on this year have included laptops, revision packs, tuition, reward vouchers, bikes, gymnastics club fees, courses such as ASDAN and music production and staff training.
What are we looking forward to in 2024?
Looking forward to 2024, we have some bigger projects in the pipeline! One of our key priorities is to launch an Employment Service to support our young people into workplace opportunities. We are also looking to offer a package of training to social workers and foster carers as well as schools, to support our trauma informed journey as an organisation. We look forward to sharing more about the Education Team and the positive work we have been doing.