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Cared for Children in Early Years
Guidance for Early Years and Childcare providers
The Personal Education Plan (PEP) for the Early Years Foundation Stage
What is the virtual school?
Cared for Children (sometimes called Looked after Children) are the children that are subject to care orders and those who are voluntarily accommodated (they may be fostered or in residential homes or still living with their family). The Local Authority is their corporate parent and takes responsibility for their care and support. The Virtual School takes the lead in ensuring that all of our Cared for Children have the best educational opportunities possible and that there is consistency of approach across Cheshire East.
What happens if a Cared for Child attends my setting?
All settings must have a named person for Cared for Children, who should inform the Early Years and Childcare Team whenever a Cared for Child starts or leaves their setting.
What will I have to do?
As an educational setting, you will be asked to contribute to the child’s Personal Education Plan (PEP). The PEP is available as an electronic document from the Virtual School website.
Personal education plans
What is a personal education plan (PEP)?
Cared for Children are required by law to have a Personal Education Plan. Cheshire East believes it is best practice for all Cared for Children from two years old to have a PEP, not just those of statutory school age. For children in the Early Years in Cheshire East we refer to their PEP as My 2-4 years Learning Plan. My Learning Plan is split into four parts:
- Part A records the child’s personal information, legal status and a brief summary of their care plan.
- Part B records any health concerns, the name of the setting they attend, the impact of any pupil premium funding, responsibilities of those involved in the child’s care and most importantly a page to record the voice of the child. There is space for the child to contribute their likes and dislikes, thoughts and feelings, routines and people who are special to them. Of course the child may need some help with this - so we ask that they are helped to complete it by someone who knows them well.
- Part C lists all those involved in completing My Learning Plan. It identifies the actions to be taken as a result of the meeting and by whom. The plan is reviewed at six monthly intervals. However if there are changes in placement a new PEP will need to be completed.
- Part D is about the child’s developmental progress, educational achievements and next steps. This is where a setting will be required to contribute most of their information
Who arranges the PEP meeting?
The named person for Cared for Children at the setting would be involved in organising the PEP meeting as it is to focus on the educational progress/ development of the child.
Who attends the PEP meeting?
The child, the child’s social worker, the child’s parents/carers and other professionals involved are invited to contribute at a PEP meeting.
The information on a PEP is confidential. Settings should comply with the Data Protection Act when transmitting such information.
What support is available?
The Virtual School has a Headteacher with overall responsibility for all Cared for Children in schools. Within the team there are Education Consultants who are able to provide advice and guidance on issues specific to Cared for Children.
An Early Years Consultant has responsibility for overseeing the educational progress of Cared for Children in settings and links with the Virtual School team. Transition from pre-school into school should be a smooth process for the children.
Correspondence about PEP’s should be sent to PEPS@cheshireeast.gov.uk