There’s been quite a few things going on in school lately, I might blog about some of the specifics another time but the biggest change right now is that our head teacher has announced they’re leaving soon. This left me feeling unsure of who to talk about certain matters that I wished to discuss. After a telephone chat with the head teacher we decided that the best plan is that I should put together a letter that could be presented to the board of govenors at their next finance meeting with regard to the Pupil Premium Plus and all other matters could be discussed directly with class teachers, I do have some other things that are not appropriate to discuss with class teachers but I also feel it would be somewhat pointless to discuss these with a head teacher that is leaving, so those matters I will mentally shelf until a replacement head teacher is appointed.
Any way, I know many of you adopters are currently struggling to discuss with schools plans for the the pupil premium plus for your children, so I thought I’d share my letter with you, perhaps it might help, I only wrote it tonight so you lot are the first to see it!
MY LETTER: (some personal details have been changed/removed to protect identity’s)
For the attention of : Board of Governors
In Oct 2013 the government announced plans to introduce the new Pupil Premium Plus which will run along side the existing Pupil Premium. The purpose of pupil premium funding is to close the attainment gaps between vulnerable children and their peers. Up until recently the children entitled to the Pupil Premium were those entitled to free school meals and looked after children. However, the government is now realising that children adopted from care, looked after children and those who leave care under a special guardianship order or residence order are in need of additional support. The government has acknowledged that their need for support is in fact greater than those children entitled to the Pupil Premium and this is now reflected with the higher rate of Pupil Premium Plus.
As a parent of 3 vulnerable adopted children I would like to propose a suggestion on how part of the £5700 Pupil Premium Plus allocated to them is used to benefit my children and other children within school.
I enclose details of onsite training that is offered by a local company experienced in trauma and attachment. Although aimed at those working with looked-after and adopted children, it also covers a range of other children who may be considered ‘vulnerable’, ‘at risk’ or ‘in need’. For example this could be children who are currently experiencing neglect or abuse, children who’s parents have separated, children who have witnessed/are witnessing domestic violence, children with serious medical conditions who have spent a substantial amount of time in hospital, children who have experienced one off trauma’s (eg: car accident, house fire, etc..). Therefore it is hoped that each member of staff attending the course will be able to relate the training to at least one child they are working with, but it is often many more. Also at a time when the government is attempting to provide better support to looked-after, adopted and disadvantaged children, a clear understanding of these children is needed in order to provide the most suitable support.
I feel that £600 of the £5700 pupil premium plus would be wisely spent and be of great advantage to all staff and hugely beneficial to the children within school.
I enclose various articles and supporting literature for your perusal.
CC Head Teacher
Local authority Virtual Head
I enclosed with this letter some sales literature from a local company that offer onsite school training, if you don’t know of an organisation within your area then Adoption UK offer training days countrywide.
I also enclosed a print out of the governments press release from last year, this can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/100-million-to-support-the-education-of-children-in-care
And finally I enclosed an article about attachment, trauma and education that was published in SEN Magazine which can be found here: https://www.senmagazine.co.uk/articles/articles/senarticles/examining-the-severe-challenges-facing-those-with-attachment-issues-and-how-to-support-these-children-in-the-classroom
You will see that I posted a copy to the Virtual Head at our local authority. This is because their role will have been expanded and they are now expected to work with schools to manage the pupil premium plus and ensure that the money is spent on securing the best educational support and services for children. My hope is that they will also see the benefit of training and support my suggestion.
Teachers aren’t given training on attachment and trauma as part of their qualifying training, some teachers don’t even know what attachment is never mind the importance it plays in a child’s ability to learn and grow, therefore, if they don’t understand our children’s specific needs, how can they be expected to support them. I strongly believe that specialist attachment training should be mandatory for all teachers/schools.
Now we wait…………………
I’ve linked this blog up with #WASO (Weekly Adoption Shout out) over at The Adoption Social, pay them a visit, meet the bloggers and read lots of great adoption blogs