How to use this self-evaluation approach to improve practice
This resource includes:
- evidence from academic literature;
- benchmarks for local authorities and practitioners;
- case studies and;
- quotes from CELCIS research studies
The benchmarks are useful for schools and local authorities to determine whether they are developing effective practice to support this vulnerable group of children and young people. In this resource it suggests that the designated manager ensures that education is a priority in the Child's Plan and ensures that looked after children are able to have their voice heard. 'Evidence / why this matters' sections are also useful in outlining what is evidence based practice for looked after children. For example, they outline protective factors for children who are looked after including:
- good attachment with a significant adult,
- learning to read early and fluently, with regular access to books,
- understanding of school staff of the impact of trauma on a child's development
Practitioners may choose to link this to other areas such as 'Getting It Right For Every Child (GIRFEC)' or 'Nurturing Approaches' which promote wellbeing and an understanding of early trauma.
There is also an example of the Plan, Do, Study, Act cycle (PDSA) in the resource which can be used by school staff to determine how they are going to implement small changes to support looked after children. A self-evaluation tool is also provided which should be used to compliment self-evaluation through
How Good Is Our School? (fourth edition)
Key improvement questions might include:
- How aware are you of the needs and backgrounds of the looked after children in your setting and, do you have structures in place to support them?
- To what extent is the designated manager able to take forward support for looked after children?
- To what extent do you work with parents and carers of looked after children to ensure that they have consistent, joined up support?
- How well do you track and monitor the progress of looked after children to ensure that you are having an impact?