The Role of Designated Teachers and Schools

This chapter applies to all Children Looked After. It should be read in conjunction with the government guidance documents and related chapters.

Note that different provisions apply to children who acquire Looked After status as a result of a remand to local authority accommodation or Youth Detention Accommodation. In relation to those children, please see Remands to Local Authority Accommodation or to Youth Detention Accommodation Procedure, Care Planning for Young People on Remand.


DfE, Promoting the Education of Looked After and Previously Looked After Children

DfE and DHSC, Special educational needs and disability code of practice 0 to 25 years- Statutory guidance for organisations who work with and support children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (2015)

DfE, Designated Teacher for Looked After and Previously Looked After Children


This chapter was revised in June 2020.

This chapter was reviewed in December 2022.

In accordance with the Designated Teacher (Looked After Pupils etc.) (England) Regulations 2009 it is a statutory requirement that all schools have a nominated qualified teacher, who is expected to be a member of the school's senior management team, to monitor the progress of all Children Looked After (CLA) within the school.

The broad responsibilities of the Designated Teacher are to:

  • Work with other school staff to identify the child in care's educational needs;
  • Take lead responsibility in the school for the child's Personal Educational Plan;
  • Have high expectations for the Child Looked After;
  • Be pro-active in identifying ways in which school can raise the attainment of CL;
  • Ensure that the CLA has access to extra learning support;
  • Be aware of the wider well-being of the CLA;
  • Advocate on behalf of all CLA on the school roll, regardless of the local authority to which they belong;
  • Work effectively with others, both inside and outside the school, in supporting the CLA's learning;
  • Have knowledge of the Pupil Premium for CLA and demonstrate in the PEP how the Pupil Premium is being used and how this will help narrow the gap and increase achievement or attainment;
  • Provide the Virtual School with attainment and progress data so that the progress of all CLA can be monitored regularly.

Partnership working between the social worker and Designated Teacher is crucial to ensuring that the Personal Education Planning process is effective see The Personal Education Plan (PEP) and Reviewing and Updating the Personal Education Plan (PEP) Procedure. The Designated Teacher should liaise with social workers to communicate any concerns about a CLA's education and wellbeing at school. This could include concerns about attendance, behaviour, meeting individual educational needs (additional and special educational needs), and any other factors that impact on educational attainment progress. The Designated Teacher should also communicate good news and any opportunities to celebrate success in and around education and school.

The designated teacher is responsible for carrying out a review of the Personal Education Plan (PEP) (see The Personal Education Plan (PEP) Procedure) in school and should work in partnership with the social worker to ensure that it is up to date, accurate and a true record of the child's current educational achievements and targets.