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In Care, In School

In Care, In School seeks to “help teachers and pupils understand, from a young person's point of view, what it is like being in foster care and having an education”. (Naina Thomas, Bath and North East Somerset In Care Council).

The project, which was jointly funded by Bath Spa University and Bath and North East Somerset local authority, with support from a number of local and national voluntary organisations, helped young people in care to create a number of brief everyday scenarios, based on their own experience at school. They commissioned a local film company, professional and child actors to bring these scenarios to life. A two minute trailer can be seen here on YouTube.

Lesson plans and follow up materials covering both the scenarios and the background to being in care have been produced. These have been piloted by experienced teachers in local schools, and by 58 volunteer Bath Spa University PGCE students. Three short films of care leavers - including one who has just successfully graduated from Bath Spa University - reflecting on their school experience, pathway planning and post 16 careers, have also been produced, for staff training and use by older students. Two other In Care Councils are now actively working with us to pilot the materials in their local schools, and there has been considerable national interest in the project.

A pack has been published, items from which can now be downloaded by going to the Downloads page. This was launched at the House of Lords on 29 October 2012, as part of National Care Leavers Week, by Baroness Walmsley, Don Foster MP, and Professor Christina Slade, Vice Chancellor of Bath Spa University. A local launch was held at the Guildhall, Bath on 28th November 2012.

The materials themselves are already being used in a variety of other contexts, in youth work, and with young adults with learning disabilities. We are also working with a number of fostering agencies to explore how the materials can be used in training foster carers and other professionals, and developing a self-audit model on attachment awareness for schools. We are working with a number of other universities to improve access to higer education for care leavers, while we have established links with other researchers and care organisations across Europe and the USA.

If you would like to know more about the In Care, In School project, please contact:

Richard Parker, Director, Centre for Education Policy in Practice, Bath Spa University:  r.parker@bathspa.ac.uk

Mike Gorman, Headteacher, Bath & North East Somerset Virtual School: