SGO and Adoption Family Voice – You Said, We Did

We run a quarterly SGO and Adoption Family Voice group.  Below is a summary of the work we are undertaking in response to the groups requests and feedback.

You Said: It can feel very lonely as an SGO parent as it is not always clear what support is available.  

We Did: We have created a much bigger section in our website for SGO and Adoptive parents to illustrate our offer and give additional key information.  We have developed a ‘Welcome Pack’ for SGO and Adoptive parents which is on our website and will share this with the SGO and Adoption social care team.  We will request that all new SGO and Adoptive families are given our welcome pack as they join and this is written into the support plan from the start.  We will upload a short video to the website with key information for SGO and Adoptive parents to reference.  We now offer a sign up facility on our website for SGO and Adoptive family voice group and option to give feedback.

You Said: New SGO and Adoptive parents would benefit from having trauma and attachment training at the very start

We Did:  We are building a trauma and attachment training offer for SGO and Adoptive Parents and will release this both as online recorded sessions and also will ask to be added to the training cycle with SGO and Adoptive social care team.

You Said: We have to fight with our schools each year to ensure that the Pupil Premium Plus funding is spent on our child.  This is exhausting and does not help promote a positive relationship with our schools.

We Did:  We will host a training session for Designated Teachers where we help them understand what it is like to be an SGO or Adoptive family pursuing this funding.  We will actively encourage them to take a welcoming approach to SGO and Adoptive families and proactively engage with them around the use of Pupil Premium Plus funding to support the individual needs of the child.  We will remind them that the PEP template is on our website and request they consider using this to engage proactively with families.

You Said: There have been occasions where the class teacher was not made aware that a child is previously looked after and lives with grandparents.  

We Did:  We recognise that every child’s situation is individual and a one size fits all approach to this is not appropriate, however we will meet with Designated Teachers to request that a conversation takes place with the SGO and Adoptive parent for every child to discuss who information will and should be shared with.  We will encourage this to be an ongoing conversation through the child’s educational journey.

You Said:  Some SGO and Adoptive children have missed many lessons due to illness over the passed few years, in addition to learning time lost due to COVID.  This has led to children being behind.  Can tuition be provided for these children?

We Did: We will speak with Designated Teachers to ensure that the school is using the National Tutoring Programme funding they have been provided to offer tuition for all SGO and Adopted children who need to catch up, wherever possible.  The Government have just released the White Paper, Opportunity for All, which pledges many million additional tuition sessions for children moving forwards so the commitment to tuition catch up remains a high priority.

You Said: There is an unfairness between what support previously looked after children receive compared to SGO children who have not been in public care.

We Did:  We have extended our offer of support to all SGO children, regardless of whether they have been in care as we recognise the need for support is equal.  Sutton Virtual School will raise the issue with Regional Virtual School Headteachers and try to influence  the DfE to review the guidance.