There are approximately 1000 pupils with ‘looked after’ status in ERW schools and ERW is committed to improving the achievement and attainment of this exceptionally vulnerable group of learners. Whilst the majority of learners in ERW schools attend a school within the boundaries of their home authority, a significant minority are in schools beyond the boundaries of their home authority which brings increasing challenges for the learners and those adults involved in their education and care.
Every school is required to have a named Designated Teacher and Governor for LAC and Welsh Government’s ‘Making a difference: A guide for the designated person for looked after children in schools’ is a useful reference point for those wishing to know more about the role.
Every Local Authority has a named lead for looked after children in education known as the LACE Coordinator.
List of regional LACE coordinators:
Carmarthenshire : Sian Owen
Ceredigion : Clair Grainger
Neath Port Talbot : Nicky Sneezum
Pembrokeshire: Wyn Harries
Powys : Michael Gedrim
Swansea: Helen Howells.
Since 2015 additional funding for looked after children has been made available through the Pupil Development Grant. In ERW this funding has been delegated to Local Authorities in order to allow for the flexibility of approach which is required in a region as large and diverse as ERW.
A universal training programme on ‘Attachment and Trauma Informed Practice’ was implemented between 2015-2017. A case study on this training has been written by the training providers, Kate Cairns Associates, and can be found on their website. A number of schools across the region have embedded some of the principles which support learners who have experienced trauma including ‘Emotion Coaching’ and ‘Relationship-based Play’ and case studies from these schools can be found on Dolen. The HWB network Prosiect Ysgolion ag Ymwybyddiaeth o Ymlyniad ERW Attachment Awareness Schools Project is a useful resource for schools wanting to learn more about attachment and trauma informed practice.