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Previously Looked After Children (message from Nicola Hopper)


Please see below a message from Nicola Hopper, Education Advisor, Previously Looked After Children, Gloucestershire County Council.


Dear all


Within the Virtual School, I have the remit to give educational guidance and support to the families and schools of Previously Looked After Children. A child is looked after by a local authority if a court has granted a care order to place a child in care, or a council’s children’s services department has cared for the child for more than 24 hours.  Previously looked-after children are those who are no longer looked after by a local authority in England and Wales because they are the subject of an adoption, special guardianship or child arrangements order; or they were adopted from ‘state care’ outside England and Wales.


Please could you reply by email to to say who in your establishment has this responsibility with their contact details. I’m keen to put together this information as a database and consider how we can work together to enable this cohort of young people to achieve their educational best.


Looked-after and previously looked-after children start with the disadvantage of their pre-care experiences and, often, have special educational needs. Research shows that adopted children experience higher rates of social, emotional and behavioural needs, with around 38% having clinically significant levels of difficulty. And academic attainment is also significantly affected – data collected by the Department for Education in 2014 shows that at key stage 2, only 49% of children reached age related expectations in reading, writing and maths, compared with 75% of non-adopted children.


Thank you

Nicola Hopper

Education Advisor – Previously Looked After Children

Gloucestershire County Council


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