THE FCs WE SPOKE TO, TOLD US ABOUT SOME VERY POSITIVE EXPERIENCES THEY HAD HAD WITH SCHOOLS, PARTICULARLY PRIMARY SCHOOLS. THEY WERE PLEASED WITH THE EXTRA SUPPORT AND HELP CHILDREN HAD BEEN GIVEN AND FELT SOME SCHOOLS WERE VERY CARING.

Aspects that help CLA to be happy at school:

‘Nice’ adults

Children are in school most of the day. If an adult is negative towards them they have to cope with it for a long time.

When teachers try and understand the child

They are effectively using the ‘my life’ glasses.

Children being given responsibilities

Having a job and feeling important e.g. turning on the computer / helper of the day.

Treating CLA equally

Let them blend in but also individualise when necessary.

Recognition that every one is different

Not thinking all CLA are the same so, for example, reward systems that are tailored to individual.

Liaison with the FC before certain activities

So you can agree how to manage it e.g. Family Tree work – may be better if child is able to do two trees – one for the foster care family and one for birth family.

Be sensitive to some events

E.g. Mothers day / Christmas. Work in partnership with the FC in thinking how to manage it. If special things are being made e.g. a Christmas card then allow them to make two if necessary.

Allow the children to share their life stories if they want to

Be aware that this might need to be managed sensitively.

Decide with the FCs what they are to be called and use this with the child

Use Home School books to communicate

But ensure positive comments as well as other things.

Meet with the FC briefly before and after school as much as possible

Especially at difficult times.

Welcome the FC into the school for different events

E.g. Fayres / Concerts / Sports days.

Involving FCs in meetings and reviews

Recognising the importance of relationships with others

Help for the child in learning how to make and sustain friendships.

Areas where schools could do better: