Foster Carers - How Can You Support Education?

Carers should always have the primary interest to promote education for children.

The Fostering National Minimum Standards 2011(NMS) outlines how carers can promote education, including pre-school and providing a learning environment outside of education settings for the child/young person (NMS 8.1)

Children in Care (CIC) may have experienced disrupted education due to various reasons, such as; lack of previous attendance; the impact of abuse/neglect upon learning and behaviour in school; or changes of placements, areas and schools once becoming Looked After. This will have an impact on how well they do in school, their behaviour and how they feel about themselves. It is vital that a child's educational arrangements and needs are discussed with the child's social worker and the supervising social worker, before the placement starts.

Foster Carers play an important role. They:

  • Help the young person to express their concerns or aspirations and advocate on their behalf (NMS 8.6).

  • Attend open evenings and any school meetings needed (NMS 8.6).

  • Help children to access a range of education resources to support their learning, and have opportunities beyond the school day to engage in activities which promote learning" (NMS 8.2).

  • Liaise with the school and other agencies including the child's social worker if non-school attendance is an issue.

  • Support a child/young person to achieve their education or training goals (NMS 8.4).

  • Ensure all homework is done, liaising with the school as necessary .Very young children should have books shared, be read to daily or as part of their nightly routine; Primary aged children heard read daily and where needed, be read to, as well as helping to learn spellings and completing set homework; Secondary pupils need encouragement to complete all homework and coursework.   

  • Encourage the young person to meet expectations of attendance (NMS8.3); punctuality; uniform and to keep school informed of any challenges the young person has in meeting these.

  • Have up to date information about progress and attendance (NMS 8.7).

  • Contribute to the on-going assessment of the child's educational needs and progress including the support of the Personal Education Plan (PEP).

  • Record any relevant information with regards to the child/young person's achievements and praise to encourage further progress.

  • Speak to the child's social worker or supervising social worker of any concerns.

What if you have concerns about School or Provision?

  1. Discuss with school, the child's social worker and your Supervising Social worker

  2. Request a joint meeting between carer / social worker / supervising worker and child (where age appropriate) or a "Team around the Parenting" meeting

  3. Ask the Fostering Service if there are any resources available that may be helpful for your school to access

What to do if you have concerns over the educational progress of your Foster Child?

  1. Contact the School Designated Teacher

  2. Contact the Head Teacher

  3. Contact the Social Worker

  4. Contact the Virtual School Head (VSH) representative or VSH on 01609 532169

Should you not get the answer to your question, please contact the Independent Reviewing Officer.

Useful downloads

Lets Learn Together: A Guide for Parents and Teachers of Adopted Children

Education of Looked After Children - Frequently Asked Questions