Designated teachers

Evidence shows that, nationally, children in care don't achieve as highly as their peers.

Gaps in learning, early traumatic events, and disruptions in education due to school moves, can all impact negatively on a child’s progress. Thankfully, there are many things a school can do to improve outcomes for children in care.

Research by Ofsted and other organisations, over the last few years, has resulted in many changes to provision for children in care, including the introduction of the looked after children(LAC) pupil premium and the development of the designated teacher role.

Improving outcomes for children in care

Schools that are improving outcomes for children in care have the following in common:

  • high expectations of what children in care can achieve, linked to excellent whole school approaches to teaching and learning.
  • rigorous target setting and monitoring protocols that focus on academic progress, behaviour for learning, and attendance.
  • strong information gathering procedures that provide a comprehensive picture of the child’s needs, including identification of prior learning from previous settings.
  • effective timely assessment systems that identify gaps in learning and support personalised planning.
  • evidence of pupil voice throughout the education planning cycle, with the child having a strong say in the decision making process.  
  • strong emphasis on supporting the personal development and wellbeing of children in care within a comprehensive universal pastoral system.
  • effective multi-agency working, with clearly established communication systems.
  • minimal use of exclusion, through effective use of early intervention and behaviour support programmes.
  • strong leadership from the designated teacher and governor.
  • positive engagement with parents and carers.
  • wider opportunities for children in care outside the school day.

For more information email

Designated teacher role

Your role is to provide strong leadership to promote the educational outcomes of children in care.

Designated teacher role

Designated teacher annual report

You have a statutory responsibility to provide an annual report to governors on the outcomes for children in care.

Read the annual report

Support for designated teachers

We offer a wide range of support to help you carry out your role of designated teacher.

Find support your role

Designated teachers policies and guidance

We'll add the most up-to-date policies and guidance related to your role in this area.

See policies and guidance

Looked after children (LAC) reviews

This is a statutory meeting of key professionals who are closely concerned with the care of the child in care.

Read LAC reviews

Early years

The gap between children in care and children not in care begins before children start school. Find out how the Virtual School can address this.

Early years guidance

Education planning (16+)

The Virtual School is responsible for monitoring education provision for children in care up to the age of 19 years.

Education planning


All children need attachment to their carers to help them develop socially and emotionally.

Attachment theory

Virtual School

Supporting the education of our children in care.

Find out more about our virtual school

Family service directory

Giving families easy access to service information.

Find out more about Barnsley FSD


Check out our adoption site for information about adoption, the legal process of finding new families for children whose birth parents can no longer care for them.

About adoption


Check out our fostering site for information about different types of fostering, the steps to becoming a foster carer, training, support and more.

About fostering

Children in care

Find out what happens when children are taken into care, how we place them, and how we support their health, care and education.

About children in care


Find out how we work alongside lots of different organisations to make sure children and young people, and adults with care and support needs in Barnsley, are protected from harm or neglect.

About safeguarding
Children and young people footer