Designated staff member
19. The Bill puts on a statutory footing existing
guidance that schools should designate a staff member to have
responsibility for the educational achievement of looked-after
children. The Minister
said that there were difficulties in putting it on the face of
the Bill, but confirmed to us that the dedicated staff member
must always be a teacher.
20. This provision will apply to all maintained schools.
The Minister confirmed that this does not include Academies, as
they are classed as independent state-funded schools,
but that did not mean that they would not have to provide such
] we will make it a requirement
in future [
] as part of an agreement for any future Academies
that they will have a designated teacher for looked-after children.
That will be written into every agreement with the Academies.
The vast majority of the existing Academies [
] have a designated
teacher. We are confident that, without having to legislate to
force them to do that, we can persuade other Academies that the
small number that do notI believe it is a tiny minorityshould
have a designated teacher. My understanding, therefore, is that
it should be possible to achieve that without having to put it
on the face of the Bill."
21. We consider that the requirement that all
schools must have a designated staff member with responsibility
for the educational achievement of looked-after children is an
important statement of intent, and we support it. In particular,
we welcome the confirmation that the designated staff member must
always be a teacher.
22. Given the importance we place on this requirement,
we consider it unfortunate that the Government has not taken the
opportunity to apply the legislation to Academies as well as to
maintained schools. The Minister made clear the Government's intention
to apply it through other means to future Academies, but there
remains the issue of existing Academies. We expect all existing
Academies to designate a teacher to have responsibility for the
educational achievement of looked-after children. If the Minister's
voluntary approach does not result in every Academy making such
an appointment we expect him to reconsider his decision to exclude
Academies from the legislation.