Local Authority Designated Teacher Hubs
We are pleased to have worked in partnership with two Virtual Schools to establish local Designated Teacher (DT) Hubs as part of their investment in DT capacity within their authorities. Driven by the identified training needs of the group, these hubs facilitate the sharing of good practice and increase access to children looked after specific CPD and networking opportunities for schools.
The Northumberland Designated Teacher Hub has been running since February 2018 and has so far covered topics like the links between wellbeing and attainment for children looked after, a local review of the new statutory duties for DTs, meeting the needs of previously looked after children, effective PEPs, PP+ spending and accessing SEND support for CLA. Planning is currently underway for the 2018/19 programme.
The Croydon Designated Teacher Hub was created by the London Fostering Achievement project over 2016/7 before its transition to a model currently sustained by the virtual school. The hub was established by Achievement for All in collaboration with the Fostering Network, Croydon Virtual School and Orchard Park High School and reached teaching staff from over half of the schools in Croydon. The aim? To enable Designated Teachers to share strategies and benefit from continuing professional development (CPD) designed wholly with children looked after in mind.
Designated Teachers can often be quite isolated in their role – but the Croydon DT Hub worked to change that. Designated Teacher at Archbishop Tenison's School, Anna Robinson, said: “When you start taking on a role like the Designated Teacher you are the only person in your school that does that role, so there is nobody inside the school that you can learn from... being able to network with people who were already in that role, from lots of different schools, enabled me to confirm that I was doing what I was supposed to be doing.”
Anna found the tailored workshops particularly helpful: “One of the first sessions I went to, a foster carer came and talked to us about how important having a good relationship with the Designated Teacher at school was... That changed the way I thought about how I communicated with foster carers in my role.”
The hub has been so successful that Croydon Virtual School has now developed a learning “arena”. Designated Teacher Danielle Batten said, “They're moving forward with that networking and keeping the staff together, which I think will really benefit [those involved].”
The Croydon Designated Teacher Hub was funded by the Mayor of London as part of the London Schools Excellence Legacy Fund.
For more information, contact Anne Cameron, Programme Manager - Children Looked After