The DfE statutory guidance, “Promoting the education of looked after and post looked after children 2018,” was finalised in February 2018, following the Children and Social Care Act, 2017 and is issued under section 7 of the Local Authority Social Services Act 1970. Post Care is defined as any children who have come from care to be adopted, have a Special Guardianship Order, a Residence Order or Child Arrangement Order.
The P4S Virtual School will be supporting previously looked after children and their parents/carers.
- respond to parental requests for advice and information and sign-post parents to other services that can offer advice and support
- respond to requests for advice and information from providers of early education, designated teachers in maintained schools and academies, and providers of alternative provision in their area in respect of individual children supported by the local authority
- make general advice and information available to early years settings and schools to improve awareness of the vulnerability and needs of previously looked-after children. This should include promoting good practice on identifying and meeting their needs, and guidance on effective use of the Pupil Premium Plus, which currently goes direct to schools
- Support with requests on whether a child is eligible for support by asking the child’s parents for evidence of their previously looked-after status. For children where parents are unable to provide clear evidence of their child’s status, he or she will need to use their discretion and discuss eligibility with the designated teacher at the child’s school to agree a consistent approach
- Ensure there are appropriate arrangements in place to meet the training needs of those responsible for promoting the educational achievement of Children in Care AND Post Care children
- Where a school has concerns about the behaviour of a previously looked-after child which could result in the child being excluded from school, the child’s parents or the school’s designated teacher, following discussions with the child’s parents, may seek the advice of the Headteacher of the Virtual School on strategies to support the child to avoid exclusion
- Where a child is leaving care through adoption, special guardianship or a child arrangement order, the Headteacher of the Virtual School should discuss with their parents or carers what information they are content to share with the child’s school or education setting. This will be of particular importance if the child is moving to a new school on leaving care
Support for previously looked after children
Early Years Pupil Premium Plus
All post care children are entitled to the early years pupil premium plus starting in the full term after their third birthday. The provider will receive an additional £0.53p per hour on top of the free early education that the children receive. (The maximum a provider can currently receive per year is £302.10). It is therefore up to adoptive parents to give a copy of the adoption certificate to the provider if they wish this Pupil premium to be accessed. Please see attached document on frequently asked questions about EYPP+.
Pupil Premium Grant for post care children
Similar to children in care, additional funding is available to maintained schools to support the education of children that have been in care and are now either adopted or cared for under an SGO. It is also applicable for those with Residence or Child Arrangement Orders.
The grant is currently £2,345 per year and is for students from Reception class up to Year 11. In order to receive this Pupil Premium Plus funding, the school needs to see evidence of a child’s adopted status so that the school can enter this onto their January census. The Virtual school receives no funding for these children, unlike children that are in care. Whilst the virtual school are happy to provide advice and guidance to support educational outcomes we can offer no further additional funding. Schools are required to show on their website how any pupil premium funding has been used and it is good practice for schools to involve parents in discussions about how the pupil premium plus is being used to maximise educational outcomes for their child. Every school should have a Designated Teacher and this will be the best person to contact at the school.
The virtual school of the authority where the child is educated will be able to give guidance and signposting for any areas needing support. If a child is educated in a Bath and North East Somerset School, the Prepare 4 Success Virtual School can be contacted for guidance as detailed on the meet the team page.
All post care children should receive priority for school admissions. Please see the attached guidance from first 4 adoption.
Adoption Support Fund
The Adoption Support Fund (ASF) was introduced across England in May 2015 because many adoptive and special guardianship families need some kind of therapeutic support and too many struggled to get the help they needed.
The ASF enables families to access funding for a range of therapeutic services including specialist assessments, therapeutic parenting courses and creative therapies. It is available to all adopted families and children on a SGO. In order to access the funding, parents need to request an Assessment of Need from the appropriate Local Authority Adoption Team.
For 3 years post adoption order this will be the Local Authority that placed the child, thereafter it is the Local Authority where the parents live. See attached guidance from Adoption UK.
Further information can also be obtained from the following government website: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/adoption-support-fund-asf