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Children and Young People In Specific Circumstances

This section highlights particular groups of children and young people whose specific circumstances require additional consideration by those who work with and support their special educational needs (SEN).

Looked After Children

The Virtual School provides support to children who are looked after by Dudley MBC and to those attending Dudley schools who are looked after by other Local Authorities.

The Virtual School is a multidisciplinary team which enables it to establish strong links with the many individuals, teams, schools and agencies that are involved in supporting the education of looked after children. It consists of a headteacher, three advisory teachers, an education support worker, an education welfare and liaison officer, an ICT support worker, a Connexions PA and support staff.

Local authorities are required to act under care planning statutory guidance issued by the Secretary of State when exercising their social services functions with regard to the children they look after. This is set out in volume 2 of the Children Act 1989 guidance.

For more information go to Looked After Children

Care Leavers

Some children will cease to be looked after at 16 or 17 and others will continue to be looked after until their 18th birthday. (Some care leavers will remain living with their former foster carers past their 18th birthday in ‘Staying Put’ arrangements, but they are no longer looked after). Local authorities continue to have responsibilities to provide a Personal Adviser and to prepare a Pathway Plan.

The Personal Adviser is there to ensure that care leavers are provided with the right kind of personal support, for example by signposting them to services and providing advice. The Pathway Plan plots transition from care to adulthood for care leavers up to the age of 25 if they remain in education and/or training or are not in employment, education or training and plan to return to education and/or training.

In reviewing their arrangements for EHC needs assessment and EHC plan development local authorities should ensure good advanced planning involving the young person and Personal Adviser.

For more information go to Care Leavers

Pupils Electively Home Educated

Elective Home Education is the term used to describe parents' decisions to provide education for their children at home rather than sending them to school. The responsibility for a child's education rests with their parents. Education is compulsory but school is not. This education should be suitable and Local Authorities have a statutory duty to make arrangements to enable them to establish the identity of children in their area who are not receiving a suitable education, but they have no statutory duty to monitor the quality of home education on a routine basis. Local Authorities should intervene if it appears that parents are not providing a suitable education.

The Elective Home Education Service maintains contact with those parents who have chosen to educate their child at home. It assures that the education being provided is suitable. The service also arranges a limited range of support for learning programmes, particularly for older children who are undertaking externally accredited courses at KS4.

For more information go to Pupils Electively Home Educated

Pupils in Alternative Provision

Local authorities must make arrangements where, for any reason, a child of compulsory school age would not otherwise receive suitable education. Suitable education means efficient education suitable to a child or young person’s age, ability and aptitude and to any SEN he or she may have. This education must be full-time, unless the local authority determines that, for reasons relating to the physical or mental health of the child, a reduced level of education would be in the child’s best interests.

Where this education is arranged elsewhere than at a school it is commonly referred to as alternative provision. Alternative provision includes pupil referral units, alternative provision academies and alternative provision free schools. Local authorities must have regard to statutory guidance on alternative provision and on the education of children unable to attend school because of health needs. This guidance specifies that the education provided should be on par with mainstream schools.

The guidance is available on the GOV.UK website

Alternative provision guidance (DfE): http://tinyurl.com/AlternativeProvision  

For more information go to http://www.dudley.gov.uk/kids/connexions/

If your child or young person has a statement or an EHCP, you should contact SEN Team 01384 814360.


Dudley SENDIASS (formerly Dudley Parent Partnership Service) provides impartial information, advice and support to young people and parents, covering special educational needs (SEN), disability, health and social care

Helpline number:01384 817373
Address: Saltwells Education Centre, Bowling Green Road Netherton, Dudley DY2 9LY



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