Are you a Looked After child or young person? This term is generally used to mean children and young people who are looked after by the local authority. This can include foster care, residential care or being looked after by family members other than your parents. The term is also used to describe 'accommodated' children and young people who are looked after on a voluntary basis at the request of, or by agreement with, their parents.
What are your education rights as a Looked After child or young person? Your school should help you to get the best from your education. You are automatically considered to have additional support needs unless the local authority decide that additional support is not required for you to benefit from school education. If you need additional support to help you benefit from education, then you should get this support. Examples of additional support: If you have missed some school attendance or have changed schools, you might need extra help to catch up with your classmates. The school should provide this support for you, but they might not do so unless they are asked. You may want to keep going to your old school rather than another one near your foster home. If this is within easy travelling distance, you may be allowed free transport arranged by your school. You might be entitled to a support plan and also a Co-ordinated Support Plan (CSP). This is a plan of how other people can assist in your education. This might be help from a speech therapist, or an occupational therapist or someone else who is not part of your school. If you are getting additional support from the school, your school must assess you for a CSP. If you think you should be considered for a plan, you can ask us for help with applying for a plan. Sometimes, just like anyone else, you might get into trouble at school. If you are excluded - either for a short period or permanently - you should take advice on whether you need more support at school either to avoid getting into trouble again or to make sure you are dealt with fairly.
What happens when you leave school? This is an important transition period in your education. You should make sure that someone in school is helping you to make plans for the future, as it is their responsibility to make sure that you get all the educational opportunities that other children and young people receive. Someone should take time to discuss career options and choices of college courses, and this should be planned over the entire last year of school.
Who can you ask for support? You could ask your parents, foster parents, children's unit manager or a social worker to talk to the school on your behalf. If you are over 16, then you can ask the school for support in your own right. If you feel uncomfortable about doing this, you can still ask someone else to do this for you. If you need advice, please contact us.
Education Law Unit Govan Law Centre 18-20 Orkney Street Glasgow G51 2BZ t 0141 445 1955 f 0141 445 3934 e firstname.lastname@example.org
www.edlaw.org.uk Govan Law Centre is an independent community controlled organisation which exists to tackle unmet legal needs within the Greater Govan area and other areas of social disadvantage as determined by the Govan Law Centre Trust. It is a Scottish charity SC030193. Its legal work is undertaken by the independent legal practice of Dailly & Co. Solicitors.
This leaflet was created by the Govan Law Centre. Our sincere thanks go to Lauren Ferguson and Louise Cullen, members of St. Aloysiusâ€™ College Arrupe Programme, for assistance with writing and design; and also to the Scottish Government for funding its publication. Our thanks also to Who Cares? Scotland and the panel of young people for their helpful comments.