How carers can support the education of their child in care 

How carers can support the education of their child in care 

How you can support your foster child’s education and what you can expect from their education setting or social worker 

How you can support your foster child

Your role in your foster child’s education is important. To support them you should:

  • make sure they attend school every day and support them to get there
  • talk to them about what they like and dislike about school
  • talk to them about what their hopes are for the future, such as what job they hope to do
  • go to careers events with them
  • listen to them read for at least 10 minutes every day especially when they’re at primary school: why reading helps pupils at maths    
  • encourage them to take part in after school hours activities such as after school clubs or joining a sports club 
  • go to workshops or sessions on topics such as Y6 SATs and Y9 option choices 
  • go to as many special events as you can such as sports day, plays, and school trips
  • make sure they have resources at home such as books and computers and that they know how to use the internet safely
  • praise them whenever possible: for being helpful, for having good attendance, for a good piece of work
  • go to and contribute to their Personal Education Plan (PEP) meeting
  • go to and contribute to parents’ or carers’ meetings

Support from your social worker or education setting 

Your foster child’s social worker or education setting will be able to tell you:

  • who the designated teacher at school is
  • who the child’s form tutor, head of year, class teacher, designated safeguarding lead are
  • what the young person’s timetable is
  • when their parents’ or carers’ meetings are
  • when the young person’s next PEP meeting is
  • what after school and lunchtime activities are available 
  • the named governor for children in care

You should check the education setting’s website for:

  • term dates
  • uniform and sports kit
  • homework
  • child protection
  • behaviour
  • attendance
  • bullying
  • school dinner payments 

Most schools have an app for homework where you can see what your foster child should be doing and if they've done it.

If you’d like to go on any training about education speak to your supervising social worker.

Designated teachers

All schools and education settings will have a designated teacher for children in care.

Their job is to make sure foster children do well in their education, so they’re a good person to talk to about any problems or issues.

Regular contact with your foster child’s education setting or school

Talk to the school on a regular basis about:

  • your foster child’s progress 
  • any extra support they’re getting such as one to one tuition, or support for their special educational needs or disability 
  • any support you can give them at home
  • how they’re being taught reading, writing and English  and numeracy or maths  
  • any issues at home that could affect your foster child’s behaviour at school

If your foster child has special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)

In most cases, your foster child’s school or education setting will know about any SEND needs. 

If you think your foster child may have some form of SEND that the school doesn’t know about, talk to the designated teacher or Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Co-ordinator (SENCO). 

You can also speak to your contact at The HOPE, or our SENCO.

You can find more information about SEND on Bristol’s Local Offer website .

Safeguarding 

If you have any safeguarding concerns about your foster child you should speak to your supervising social worker,  your child’s social worker, or the child’s education setting as soon as possible. 

If you have a safeguarding concern about any member of your family speak to your supervising social worker.

All schools will have a designated safeguarding lead, so you should know who that person is and how to contact them.

You can also contact The HOPE’s Safeguarding Lead, Leanne Bishop on 0117 903 6282.

Our child protection pages have information on safeguarding.

Home to school travel

Your foster child may be eligible for home to school travel support. 

Free school meals

Some children and young people in care may be entitled to free school meals.

Support for residential carers

A small number of young people live in residential children’s homes.

The residential unit guidelines have guidance for residential units on promoting education (pdf, 93KB) (opens new window)

Support from The HOPE

We can help you support the education of your foster child.

Call us on 0117 903 6282 between 9am and 4.30pm in term-time. Some staff won’t be available out of term-time, but we’ll do all we can to help.