Tuesday 19 January 2016

Ready to learn

My job today was to collate the views that I'd collected from adoptive parents on education and joining other adopters, some from the Adoption Voice initiative, bring them to the halls of power.

As always, we'd all received many thoughts, stories, opinions and perspectives on the challenges faced by adoptive children in school and their parents in helping navigate the educational paradigm and system. Though rich and varied they could be condensed into a relatively small number of points:

  • Staff training  - Who could and should deliver it and the benefits across the school for all pupils.
  • The role of Virtual Schools in supporting adopted children and families - Should they and could they offer support in the use of PP+ and guidance in relation to the training of staff? Could  they facilitate a continuation of Personal Education Plans (PEPs) that fostered children in education would have and could have under the adoption support plans drawn up at matching.
  • Pupil Premium Plus - How it is used and how the potential uses can be clarified with school staff through various routes.
  • Education and Health Care Plans - The challenges faced by families in gaining plans for adopted children 
  • Ofsted - The challenges that school face and to have the needs of adopted children understood by Often and the inspectors.
I can't and wont bore you with the 'he said she said' but there is a genuine sense of momentum and optimism that we can influence some of the identified areas for the good of adopted children. Of course there was a range of other issues that were touched on and apply to many and some to few such as home schooling and international adopters. Overall it was a positive meeting but as always it's complicated, some of the issues lay at the intersection of legislation and guidance and further complicated by being in the domain of other departments. We'd all like to just make it happen our way but we have to acknowledge that there are paths we must walk to get there. Right now we've been given a voice and like minded and informed people of influence are listening.  

So, a stepping stone in the right direction. Thank you to all those who contributed and I shall no doubt be asking for your views and thoughts again in the near future. 


  1. Thanks for the update, Al. Fingers crossed for some improvements.

  2. Yes, I'm optimistic but also realistic that it may take time and the consequence of that being that some children will miss out.