Our commitment to the young people we care for, whether or not we provide the formal educational placement is that young people will be supported to fulfil their potential.
Lack of educational achievement is one of the biggest barriers for looked-after young people to realise their potential. The educational attainment of looked-after young people is below that of the general population and the attainment gap has been widening at Key Stage 4, with only a quarter of looked after young people achieving five or more GCSE grades A*-C compared to three-quarters of all pupils.
There are a number of explanations for this lower level of attainment: instability of care and school placements; inadequate levels of targeted support, low expectations and aspirations; lower starting levels because of earlier adversities or repeat trauma; poorly informed teachers and social workers; and carers not sufficiently engaged in the child or young person’s education.
Placement stability, in particular, is correlated with attainment; the more moves a child or young person experiences the less likely they are to achieve than those in a single placement. It is, therefore, for Lawrence House School part of our commitment that we work closely with care and therapy staff to maintain placement stability and share information to work together proactively around each young person. Having an individual education plan (IEP) and avoiding disrupting education is an integral part of our care planning process. The IEP is not a static document but is regularly reviewed and updated. We also ensure the Education Health Care Plan where in place is followed. If we believe a young person needs an EHCP we will raise that with the relevant professionals.
Lawrence House has a number of commitments to young people:
- We will assess (with a range of tools with our clinical psychologist) where each young person currently is, not as a limitation, but to identify potential and starting points.
- We will provide a bespoke curriculum that builds on our assessments and information from previous education. We will make the curriculum interesting and varied.
- We will listen to our pupils and work with their carers, providing homework and themes to follow up in their home life. We will also follow-up themes from their home life in school.
- We will work hard to maintain each young person’s placement to offer stability
- We understand the impact of previous life experience and offer a nurturing environment.
Inspirational work – Alfie’s piece about discrimination in modern day America. He showed more concentration whilst painting this than I’ve ever seen from him and his technique as an expressionist painter is improving with every session.