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Delivering on our Corporate Parenting duties through the establishment of a Virtual School

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CELCIS Education Conference: outlining the journey taken by Aberdeen City Council in establishing a Virtual School to support improvement in attainment and achievement of all Looked after Children with a key focus on the use of data and partnership working.

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Delivering on our Corporate Parenting duties through the establishment of a Virtual School

  1. 1. Aberdeen City Council Integrated Children and Family Services in partnership with Sport Aberdeen How establishing a Virtual School can support partnership working to improve wellbeing outcomes Thursday 16th May 2019
  2. 2. The Virtual School – Established December 2015 Philosophy •A need to improve the attainment, attendance and long term outcomes of care experienced children and young people •A need to better understand vulnerabilities of whole population of care experienced children and young people •A need to be better placed to address established or emerging patterns and trends by ensuring that a key officer had oversight and was able to inform strategic work •A need to better meet our Corporate Parent duties
  3. 3. Roles and Responsibilities 1. To make sure that there is a system to rigorously track and monitor the attainment of children who are looked after 2. To ensure that all children who are looked after have a robust and effective plan that supports access to appropriate and timely support and is in keeping with the Children and Young People’s Act 3. To champion the educational needs of looked after children across the authority and those placed out-of-authority 4. To line manage a team of Education Support Officers supporting Looked After Children 5. To provide support and advice to schools and to the service and advocacy for children and young people who are looked after
  4. 4. Corporate Parent Duties It is the duty of every corporate parent, in so far as consistent with the proper exercise of its other functions - •(a) to be alert to matters which, or which might, adversely affect the wellbeing of children and young people to whom this Part applies, •(b) to assess the needs of those children and young people for services and support it provides, •(c) to promote the interests of those children and young people, 4
  5. 5. •(d) to seek to provide those children and young people with opportunities to participate in activities designed to promote their wellbeing, •(e) to take such action as it considers appropriate to help those children and young people- •(i) to access opportunities it provides in pursuance of paragraph (d), •(ii) to make use of services, and access support, which it provides, and •(f) to take such other action as it considers appropriate for the purposes of improving the way in which it exercises its functions in relation to those children and young people. 5
  6. 6. Key priorities of the National Improvement Framework •Improvement in attainment, particularly in literacy and numeracy •Closing the attainment gap between the most and least disadvantaged children and young people •Improvement in children and young people's health and wellbeing •Improvement in employability skills and sustained, positive school- leaver destinations for all young people 6
  7. 7. The Journey So Far - Summary Year 1 • Data Cleanse • Raising awareness • Building relationships • Establishing partnerships Year 2 • Building the partnerships • Influencing policy • Developing guidance • Developing tracking and monitoring - OOA • Influencing strategic direction Year 3 • QA Calendar • New partnerships and expansion of established partnerships • SQUIP • Pilot projects
  8. 8. The Importance of Robust Data •System to ensure data was accurate (Care First / SEEMIS / Virtual School database – Who are our Looked After Children •Procedure for informing schools of Looked After status / changes / transitions – Where are our children •Systems for tracking and monitoring – How are our children doing and what do they need 8
  9. 9. What was the data telling us? •Points of transition (increased exclusions / decreased attendance) •CYP missing out on physical activity •Working with others / making friends was a challenge •Lunchtime / After School opportunities were available – barriers to engagement •Many CYP were not experiencing success •Many CYP had low self-esteem and lacking in confidence •Some CYP were putting themselves at risk •Many CYP were struggling to self-regulate 9
  10. 10. What did we do? Start of partnership between Virtual School and Sport Aberdeen Joint planning phase – where are the gaps in service provision, what are our aims. Joint recruitment process. Getting Started! Developing relationships with children, young people. Starting 1-2- 1’s. Seeing some results - Reflection of journeys of our young people - Sport Aberdeen memberships Successful joint funding applications and increase in capacity of LAP.
  11. 11. From the Virtual School – LAP Partnership Aberdeen Champions Board ACE & Who Cares? Scotland Young People’s Grants (LCT) Active Schools locally and nationally Social Work & Education partnerships Third Sector Partners Working on SQA Qualifications and training.
  12. 12. What our other partners are saying •https://youtu.be/bcUJwGObZEk What our children and young people are saying 12
  13. 13. “Working within the stables has made me feel important as I feel that I am achieving and am responsible on that day for looking after the horses.” • Andrew, aged 17 • Living in Residential Care • High risk behaviour impacting on school attendance therefore attainment and achievement. • Now? • Horse riding and BHS course nearing completion. • Volunteering with Active Schools • Aiming for a career in coaching
  14. 14. “I get to meet new people, I am gaining experience coaching and getting qualifications” • David, 15 • Placement breakdown leading to residential care • Learning disabilities, limited social skills and challenging behaviour in school and home. • High risk of out of authority move. • Now? • Volunteering x 2 per week • Part of an I Can Lead Course with peers.
  15. 15. • Ryan, 7 • Impacted by neglect, domestic abuse and parental substance misuse and further neglect within kinship placement. • Unmet needs – not able to fully engage in school, resilience, mental and physical health, poor peer relationships, poor sense of identity and self. Leading to increasing support prior to move to foster care. • Now? • Had consistent experiences of success supported by trusted adult. • Continued weekly horse riding with ongoing visits from LAP worker. I don’t like it….I LOVE IT!!
  16. 16. I like getting up horse riding, it’s so much better than school, best part of my week. • Amy, 14 • Edge of care, not attending school. • Lack of experiences of success and achievement. • Now? • Slow progress with inconsistent attendance however since being awarded with her first riding ribbon, attendance at lesson has been 100%. • Using positive experiences to build relationship with new social worker
  17. 17. The So What? Corporate Parent Duties (a) to be alert to matters which, or which might, adversely affect the wellbeing of children and young people to whom this Part applies, •(b) to assess the needs of those children and young people for services and support it provides, •(c) to promote the interests of those children and young people, 17
  18. 18. •(d) to seek to provide those children and young people with opportunities to participate in activities designed to promote their wellbeing, •(e) to take such action as it considers appropriate to help those children and young people- •(i) to access opportunities it provides in pursuance of paragraph (d), •(ii) to make use of services, and access support, which it provides, and •(f) to take such other action as it considers appropriate for the purposes of improving the way in which it exercises its functions in relation to those children and young people. 18
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  20. 20. Quantitative and Qualitative Data Collection Individual Impact • Reduction in exclusions • Increased Attendance • Improved wellbeing • Increased attainment • Increased opportunities – Care experienced young people and their families • Positive destinations – next steps 20
  21. 21. Future Planning • Data analysis and focus on supporting CYP to use their gym memberships through partnership with ACE. • Continued growth of the Project • Looking at key groups – looked after at home and kinship. • Early intervention with Action for Children’s Priority Families Project. • Development of links with Active Schools teams across the country.

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