*A quick note on terminology: We use the term ‘children in care’ (or CIC for short). However, these same pupils are sometimes described as Looked After Children (LAC) or Children Looked After (CLA). So, even if your local area doesn’t use the term ‘CIC’, this page is for you.
What is Children in Care: Guide for School Governors?
It’s a short handbook that tells you what you need to know about children in care (CIC). It explains the basics quickly and clearly, as well as giving sensible questions for governors to ask.
Full of the latest knowledge from both a national charity and local school perspective, it covers CIC from EYFS classes all the way up to Year 13. It applies to both academies and local authority schools.
Whilst it is perfect for governors, expert feedback told us that it’s also great for:
others who work to support our pupils
What isn’t in the guide?
Lots of jargon. But when it does have jargon, it is simply explained.
One barrier to your better understanding of the care system is information that’s bogged down by laws and terminology. Most of us just want key points in the most straightforward way possible. This guide does that: key facts without extra jibber-jabber.
Having this booklet gave me confidence to ask.
When I wasn't sure I'd even day "I've read some guidance and wondered if I can ask you some of the questions they have suggested...
It sort of gives me permission to ask tough questions."
⎯⎯ School Governor
Why did we write this CIC guide?
School governors sometimes take on extra duties called link governors. There was a new link governor at one school and we wanted to help them with their link governor role for Looked After Children.
We couldn’t find what we needed to get them off to a flying start. So we rolled up our sleeves and wrote it. We now hope it helps you (or your colleagues) in your CIC roles.
Are Schools required to have a CIC Link Governor?
No. You are not.
However, it is a good thing to have if you have two or more CIC (or children who were previously CIC) in your school. It helps improve the life chances for CIC because it gives extra focus on their progress and outcomes.
Children in Care Governors are important allies to our CIC. They help to ensure that there is accountability for our CIC, as well as support and challenge for the designated teacher.
In practice, CIC is often part of the Safeguarding Governor role (and the DfE guidance says that your school must have one of those). Typically, it does make sense to combine the two roles.
What if our school has no CIC (or previously CIC)?
If you have no CIC (or Previously CIC), do not ask a volunteer to be CIC Link Governor. When we ask volunteers to fulfil roles that have no tangible benefit to pupils, the volunteer is more likely to quit.
Instead, include oversight of CIC in the safeguarding link governor role. That’s because, even with no CIC, governors should still check that school has anticipated CIC. The three questions that governor should ask are:
Have we a designated teacher (DT) and have they been on training for the DT role?
If a pupil entered the care system next Monday, What actions would our DT need to take?
If a carer applied for a CIC to join our school, how well prepared are we to support that pupil (and their carers) from day one?