Previously Looked-after Children

Once a child leaves local authority care, a child is no longer looked-after. However, his/her educational, social and emotional needs will not change overnight. This is why in 2014, previously looked-after children retained many of the educational entitlements they had while in care. This was the case for children who left care through

  • an adoption
  • special guardianship (SGO) or
  • child arrangements (CAO) order
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The educational entitlements they retained included priority admission and the Pupil Premium plus. Schools and local authorities continue to have a duty to promote the educational achievement of children who've left care. This is required through the Children and Social Work Act 2017.

The designated teacher should work closely with their parents and guardians of PLAC. They will understand their child’s needs better than anyone else. The designated teacher should make themselves known to parents and guardians. They are someone they can talk to about issues affecting their child’s education. They should be encouraged to participate in discussions about their child’s support needs and strategies. This is to meet identified needs, including how Pupil Premium funding should be used to support their child. The views and wishes of parents and guardians should be respected at all times.

Designated teachers will want to satisfy themselves that the child is eligible for support. They can do this by asking the child’s parents for evidence of their previously looked-after status. For children adopted outside England and Wales, the child must have been looked after by:

  • a public authority
  • a religious organisation or
  • other provider of care whose sole purpose is to benefit society

Where parents are unable to provide clear evidence of their child’s status, designated teachers will need to use their discretion. In such circumstances, designated teachers could discuss eligibility with the Virtual School Head (VSH). This discussiobn would be to agree a consistent approach.

For previously looked-after children, the Virtual School are no longer acting as the part of their corporate parent. Their role is limited to providing information and advice to parents and schools. This includes training to raise awareness and understanding of their needs. The designated teacher may, however, seek the advice of the Virtual School about meeting the needs of individual children. This should be with the agreement of the child’s parents or guardians.

Virtual Schools are not expected to monitor the educational progress of individual children. They should also not be held to account for their educational attainment. Any intervention in the education of PLAC must be with the agreement of those who have parental responsibility for the child. Like all parents they are responsible for overseeing their child’s progress in education.

Funding is available hildren who have ceased to be looked-after by a local authority in England and Wales because of:

  • adoption
  • a special guardianship order
  • a child arrangements order or
  • a residence order

In such circumstances, £2,300 is the eligible amount.

Pupil Premium Plus is not a personal budget for individual children. This is the case for both looked-after and previously looked-after children. For previously looked-after children, Pupil Premium Plus funding is managed by the child’s school. The amount a school receives is based on the number of eligible children. This is recorded in the school’s annual January School Census return to the Department for Education.

For more information on funding allocation, please visit the Government Website