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Previously looked after children: information and advice for parents, guardians and carers

Previously looked after children: information and advice for parents, guardians and carers

What you can expect for your previously looked after child from an early years setting or school.

Early years education for 2 to 4 year olds

If your child is 2 years old you can apply for a free early education place.

If your child is 3 or 4 years old they’re entitled to 570 hours free early education or childcare per year.

How to find the best early years setting for your child

Before you choose an early years setting:

You can also look at an individual setting’s website and arrange a visit.

Early Years Pupil Premium

Previously looked after children aged 3 and 4 years old are eligible for the Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP). You'll need to show evidence of the Court Order that proves that the child was in local authority care in either England or Wales.

Information about the funding is available in the 2021 to 2022 Operational Guide (PDF).

School aged children

How to find the best school for your child

Before you choose a school:

You can also look at an individual school’s website and arrange a visit.

When you apply for your child’s school place

When you apply for a school place you will be asked if your child:

  • was adopted from care in England or Wales on an Adoption Order
  • was adopted from state care outside England and Wales, state care is care provided by a public authority, a religious organisation, or any other organisation whose sole or main purpose is to benefit society
  • left care in England and Wales on a Special Guardianship Order or a Child Arrangements Order

The Order must be current.

You don’t have to tell anyone that your child was previously looked after, but your child won’t have priority in getting a school place if you don’t.

You’ll be asked for evidence that your child was previously looked after, such as the Court Order.

Funding for your school age child: Pupil Premium Plus

If your previously looked after child is in Reception to Year 11 at a maintained school or academy, the school could get extra funding called Pupil Premium Plus.

The extra funding is £2,345 per child. In order to get the extra funding, schools need to know about any children who were previously looked after.

You'll be asked to provide evidence to the school that your child:

  • was adopted from care in England or Wales on an Adoption Order
  • left care in England and Wales on a Special Guardianship Order or a Child Arrangements Order

If your child moves school you'll need to do this again. The school must treat this information as confidential.

You have the right not to tell the school that your child is previously looked after. However, if you don't tell the school your child won't benefit from the funding.

Adopted children are only entitled to Pupil Premium Plus funding if they were adopted from an English or Welsh local authority on leaving care.

Other sources of advice and information

Every maintained school and academy must have a designated teacher for previously looked after children who provides information, advice and support. They should be a good person to talk to in the first instance.

Adoption support

  • Adoption West: support for parents with adopted children
  • Adoption UK: national charity providing support and information for adoptive families
  • Adoption Support Centre: runs groups for children and young people, workshops and training for adopters and professionals, therapy and support
  • PAC UK: information and advice for parents about previously looked after children

Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)

Wellbeing and mental health

  • Catchpoint Bristol: support for families dealing with trauma to build strong attachments
  • Off the record: mental health support for young people ages 11 to 25, with information and training for parents, guardians and carers
  • Young Minds: mental health support for children and young people, with a helpline for parents

Books and resources

Books and resources for parents, guardians and carers of previously looked after children (pdf, 84KB) (opens new window)

The HOPE's headteacher is responsible for providing information and advice for previously looked after children. Contact post.lac@bristol.gov.uk.