Guidance for education providers of children who were previously looked after. Includes information about Pupil Premium Plus and Personal Education Plans.
What we mean by children who were previously looked after
Children previously looked after in England and Wales but who left care through:
- an Adoption Order (AO)
- a Special Guardianship Order (SGO)
- a Child Arrangements Order (CAO)
Previously looked after children may also have been adopted from ‘state care' outside England and Wales.
CAOs were formerly known as Residence Orders. The Orders must still be current.
Statutory duty and guidance
Schools and education settings have a statutory duty to support previously looked after children. The statutory duty applies to children from age two in a funded education place up to young people post 16 who are educated in a maintained school or academy.
Local authorities have a statutory duty to provide information and advice about previously looked after children from age two in a funded education place up to young people at the end of Year 11 who are educated in a maintained school or academy.
Maintained schools and academies must have a designated teacher responsible for previously looked after children.
Guidance for maintained schools and academies
Guidance for local authorities
Promoting the education of looked after and previously looked-after children on GOV.UK Go to https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/promoting-the-education-of-looked-after-children (opens new window)
Pupil Premium Plus
Previously looked after children in Reception to Year 11 are entitled to Pupil Premium Plus. This is extra funding of £2,410. Adopted children are only entitled to Pupil Premium Plus funding if, on leaving care, they were adopted from an English or Welsh local authority.
The parent, guardian or carer has to declare the child's status and provide appropriate supporting evidence to the school. Information about the funding, what documents education settings need to see and what codes need to be used are given in the following two documents:
Unique Pupil Number
It is standard practice for children adopted from care to be issued with a new Unique Pupil Number (UPN) to break the link between the pre-adoption and post-adoption record. Page 13 of the Unique Pupil Numbers guidance on GOV.UK Go to https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/668524/UPN_Guide.pdf (opens new window) gives guidance about a new UPN for adopted children.
How you promote educational achievement
You may find the following publication a helpful starting point.
Meeting the needs of adopted and permanently placed children: A guide for school staff on PAC UK Go to http://www.pac-uk.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Meeting-the-needs-of-adopted-and-permanently-placed-children-A-guide-for-school-staff.pdf (opens new window)
Personal Education Plans (PEP)
There's no statutory requirement for a PEP for previously looked after children. However, you should have regular meetings with the child and their parents, guardians or carers to:
- discuss the child's educational strengths and needs
- record all agreed actions
Meetings with parents, guardians and carers of previously looked after children could be recorded on the new document PLAC Education plan template form (26 KB) .
Other advice and information
Special educational needs
- The SEND Local Offer: Bristol's local offer for SEND
- Information for education professionals working with children who have SEND
- Special Needs Jungle Go to https://specialneedsjungle.com/send-research/ (opens new window): website for parents. Also has SEND research papers
Wellbeing and mental health
- Catchpoint Bristol Go to http://www.catchpoint.org/ (opens new window): support for school staff dealing with trauma to build strong attachments
- Kate Cairns Associates Go to https://kca.training/?info=main (opens new window): training and consultancy on trauma and attachment issues for education settings from Early Years upwards
- Off the record Go to http://www.otrbristol.org.uk/parents-and-professionals/ (opens new window): mental health information and training for education staff
- Theraplay Go to http://www.wp.theraplay.org/uk/for-parents/ (opens new window): child and family therapy to develop attachment, self-esteem and trust. Schools may want to advise parents/guardians/carers on how to find a Theraplay practitioner or attend Theraplay training.
- Young Minds Go to https://youngminds.org.uk/find-a-course/ (opens new window) – national organisation focussing on children's and young people's mental health. Offers workshops, training and resources for schools
- Inner World Work Go to http://www.innerworldwork.co.uk/ (opens new window): free resources for schools and adults involved with children living with trauma
- Beacon House: specialist trauma and attachment service for children and adults. Runs training and events for professionals and has some free resources online
- Thinking Allowed Go to http://cchp.nhs.uk/cchp/explore-cchp/thinking-allowed (opens new window): Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)
- Emma Spillane: Attachment and trauma, training and consultancy for education settings in the West Country
- Adoption UK Go to https://www.adoptionuk.org/Pages/Category/schools (opens new window): national charity providing support and information for adoptive families and resources for schools
- Coram BAAF Go to https://corambaaf.org.uk/ (opens new window): organisation providing information, resources and training to agencies, individuals and professionals on matters relating to adoption. Some services are for members only.
- Adoption Support Centre Go to https://www.adoptionsupportcentre.org/ (opens new window): runs workshops and training for professionals, therapy and support
- PAC UK Go to https://www.pac-uk.org/education/ (opens new window): information and advice about previously looked after children for education settings
Books and resources
The HOPE have a dedicated advocate who can provide information and advice for previously looked after children. Contact email@example.com.