Previously looked after children support and guidance

Children who have been in care before being adopted or placed in permanent families may need additional support as a result of their life experiences. Schools and local authorities have a duty to promote education, progress, and achievement for previously looked after children.

School responsibilities

All schools must appoint a member of staff as the named person to lead on promoting academic progress and attainment for previously looked after children.

Education settings should track and monitor the the use of the funding. This is to show how pupil premium contributes towards the achievement of these pupils.

Schools are expected to provide advice, support and information to parents and guardians on matters about previously looked after children.

Virtual school responsibilities

The virtual school’s duty is to provide advice, information and guidance to schools, parents and guardians on how to support previously looked after children.

This can include issues such as:

  • school admissions
  • transfer between schools
  • appropriate use of Pupil Premium
  • challenging exclusions
  • post-16 options and course availability

Designated teachers for previously looked after children are able to access all training offered by the Virtual School, for cared for children. 

Social worker’s responsibilities

Social workers should make the child’s virtual school advisor aware of any case they have that is moving to adoption,  SGO or CAO . The social workers attend the child’s last Personal Education Plan (PEP) and contact the school and parent/carer. This is to ensure everyone involved is aware of the support in place for  PLAC and what will change due to the new legal status of the young person.

In school support and intervention advice

The Cheshire East Adoption and Special Guardianship Team have a school advisor. Their role is to offer practical advice to schools and families. They make sure the school understand and respond appropriately to the needs of previously cared for children. The advisor can offer advice in school such as reduced attendance or exclusion.

They can identify cases that may be eligible for Post Adoption Support Funding.

Funding support

Pupil Premium - Schools that have children who are previously looked after, and subject to adoption, special guardianship order or child arrangement order, are eligible to claim pupil premium.

Further information on pupil premium can be found on GOV.UK. 

Head teacher guidance for pupil premium

Head teachers should invite parents to self-declare that they have a previously looked after child and request sight of the legal paperwork, such as a court order or certificate. This needs to be indicated on the school’s management information system, before the October school census in order for this to be accurate. The funding (£2300 per year) is sent directly to the school.

Early Years settings can also claim pupil premium for previously adopted children.

Post Adoption Support Fund - provides essential therapeutic support for adopted/ SGO children and families in a plan agreed with the post-adoption support team.

Further information and guidance on the post adoption support

Support and guidance documents

Letter templates


To make direct contact with any queries around the education of their previously looked after child/ young person


For payment or funding queries

Page last reviewed: 03 June 2024

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