Previously Children in Care (PCIC) Support

Previously Children in Care (PCIC), are children and young people who, stated in the Children Act 1989, have been looked after by a local authority because a court has been 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 Children in Care 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 arrangement order; or they were adopted from 'state care' outside England and Wales.

Advice and guidance for Previously Children in Care Families and Schools

Many previously children in care (PCIC) struggle to thrive in school due to the impact of their early life experiences.  These are known as 'Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES)'. This has been recognised by the government and a number of measures have been put in place to provide support for previously children in care and young people.

The Designated Teacher for Previously Children in Care

The Children and Social Work Act 2017 states that governing bodies now have a duty to designate a member of staff to promote the educational achievement of previously children in care, including those adopted from abroad. The designated teacher ensures all staff are aware of the needs of these students and contributes to school-wide policies affecting them, including the use of Pupil Premium and monies. The designated teacher should work closely with parents and guardians to ensure the best outcomes for the child, socially, emotionally and educationally.

The full statutory guidance for designated teachers can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/designated-teacher-for-looked-after-children

 

  Use the down arrow below to open details

Free  Early Education

Previously looked after children (PLAC) aged 2, 3, and 4 are entitled to 570 hours of free education per year. This is under the “Achieving 2 year olds” and “Free for 3 and 4” schemes. Usually, this is taken as 15 hours a week for 38 weeks a year but providers who offer all year round provision may offer fewer hours per week over a longer period of time. The government has now extended this to 30 hours in some cases. The education provider/child-minder must have signed the necessary agreement with GCC. For 2 year olds a referral is generally done through their health visitor. For 3 and 4 year olds a form is completed several times a year at the provider.

Useful page for more details: Funded free early learning and education for 2, 3 and 4 year olds

Family Information Service  01452 427362  or  Freephone 0800 542 02 02

Early Years Pupil Premium

Adopted 3 and 4 year olds are now entitled to Early Years Pupil Premium to help them reach their potential. If the education provider is able to provide a copy of the child’s adoption certificate to the Local Authority, 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. In the case of children in adoptive placements, who are not yet legally adopted they will be identified through the 3 and 4 year old funding team. Useful document for more detail: Early Years Pupil Premium Q&A (DfES, 2014)

Priority Admissions

All children who have been adopted from care in the UK should now receive priority for school admissions. See Government extends guidance for prioritised school admissions to all adopted children (First 4 Adoption). This means you don’t have to live within the school catchment area to be able to get into the school. All schools must publish their admissions criteria/policy which should be available on their website. Do check individual school details. Even faith schools generally have some places which are not reserved for their denomination and adopted children should be high on the list for the remainder of places. Check individual school admission policies as there can be differences, especially with Academies. The Gloucestershire Schools Admissions office on 01452 426015 are helpful and can advise you about individual cases. Do tell them that your child was previously in care.

PEP Meetings

Even though a child may be in an adoptive placement, whilst they are legally still in care they will have Personal Education Plan meetings to review progress and discuss use of the Pupil Premium for Children in Care. At this stage the Pupil Premium will be administered through the Virtual School of the Local Authority where the child was taken into care. The PEP is the responsibility of the social worker as it is part of the care plan. In Gloucestershire, a learning mentor from the Virtual School will support with that process, but they are not responsible for ensuring it takes place.

Once the adoption order comes through, the statutory PEP meetings stop. However, adoptive parents can request a more informal review meeting with school staff whenever they feel it appropriate. Indeed, recent NICE guidelines say that children with attachment difficulties should have an educational review meeting at least once a year. A suggested format for such a meeting can be downloaded from this website.

Adoption Support Fund

Money to fund therapeutic interventions is now available to adoptive families through the Adoption Support Fund (ASF). Sometimes a child may receive play therapy or a creative therapy on the school premises even though it is funded by the ASF. 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.

There is currently a cap of £5000 per year per child for therapeutic interventions. In some cases a further £2500 may be available for multi-disciplinary assessment. 

The adoption support fund can be claimed for young people up to the age of 21 unless they have an EHCP in which case they can claim up to the age of 25. 

For further information see Adoption UK's Adoption support fund page

School Transitions

Moving schools, or even classes, can be very unsettling for children who have spent time in care and they may need extra consideration and visits. It can be helpful for the young person to be involved in the making of a school transition booklet in school which they can then look at over the holidays. This can include photos and details of what will stay the same and what will be new.

There is an article in the right hand menu that may be useful to help parents think through how they can support their child.

If there are particular concerns around a child’s transition it would be helpful to hold a transition meeting to include representatives from the old and  the new schools, as well as parents. The transition booklet can be downloaded from the right hand menu and can be used to record all the information it will be helpful for the new school to know.  

Pupil Premium Grant for Adopted Children

This is additional funding from the government given to schools in England. It recognises that children who have spent time in care often need extra support in school as a result of their early experiences. As of April 2020, the grant is £2,345 per eligible pupil per year (Ref. DFE Policy paper 'Pupil Premium' updated 30 January 2020), and is for students from Reception class up to Year 11. In order to be eligible, students need to have been looked after by an English or Welsh local authority immediately before being adopted.

In order to receive this Pupil Premium Plus funding, the school needs to see evidence of a child’s adopted status so that they can enter this onto their January census. A sensitive request from schools that adoptive parents should declare their child’s adopted status in order to access the grant will help facilitate this. Many parents provide this evidence by giving the school a photocopy of their child’s adoption certificate as soon as the child joins a new school. Parents can blank out any details they do not wish the school to see. Gloucestershire County Council is not able to verify a child’s adoptive status; this must come voluntarily from adopters. The school should then receive the money the following financial year, post April.

Unlike Pupil Premium that was accessed through the Virtual School when the child was still legally in care, Pupil Premium money for adopted children comes directly from the Local Authority and is not ring-fenced for the individual adopted child. Schools can pool Pupil Premium money for numerous children to gain maximum impact from the funding. Every school should have a section about Pupil Premium on their website which explains how they have spent this income and what effect this has had. It is good practice for schools to include parents in discussions around the most effective use of Pupil Premium Plus.   The following are possible ways it can be spent:

  • Whole school or individual training in attachment and trauma
  • Additional teaching assistant hours
  • Small group tuition in targeted subjects
  • Specialist assessments e.g. educational psychologist
  • Start up, or development of, a school-based nurture group
  • Start up, or development of, programmes such as forest school, social groups, mindfulness
  • Resources such as iPads
  • Child mentoring
  • Music lessons

At the moment, independent schools and home educating families cannot access Adopted Pupil Premium for their students.

See the following details from Adoption UK and PAC UK for more information: https://www.adoptionuk.org/Handlers/Download.ashx?IDMF=502179b9-6ccf-4187-857f-9324e27c551e

https://www.pac-uk.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/PAC-UK-Education-Service-Pupil-Premium-Plus-Flyer.pdf

See the introduction to  PPP reminder for more information - Example of PPP reminder

Priority Admissions

All children who have been adopted from care in the UK should now receive priority for school admissions. See Government extends guidance for prioritised school admissions to all adopted children (First 4 Adoption). This means you don’t have to live within the school catchment area to be able to get into the school. All schools must publish their admissions criteria/policy which should be available on their website. Do check individual school details. Even faith schools generally have some places which are not reserved for their denomination and adopted children should be high on the list for the remainder of places. Check individual school admission policies as there can be differences, especially with Academies. The Gloucestershire Schools Admissions office on 01452 426015 are helpful and can advise you about individual cases. Do tell them that your child was previously in care.

PEP Meetings

Even though a child may be in an adoptive placement, whilst they are legally still in care they will have Personal Education Plan meetings to review progress and discuss use of the Pupil Premium for Children in Care. At this stage the Pupil Premium will be administered through the Virtual School of the Local Authority where the child was taken into care. The PEP is the responsibility of the social worker as it is part of the care plan. In Gloucestershire, a learning mentor from the Virtual School will support with that process, but they are not responsible for ensuring it takes place.

Once the adoption order comes through, the statutory PEP meetings stop. However, adoptive parents can request a more informal review meeting with school staff whenever they feel it appropriate. Indeed, recent NICE guidelines say that children with attachment difficulties should have an educational review meeting at least once a year. A suggested format for such a meeting can be downloaded from this website.

Adoption Support Fund

Money to fund therapeutic interventions is now available to adoptive families through the Adoption Support Fund (ASF). Sometimes a child may receive play therapy or a creative therapy on the school premises even though it is funded by the ASF. 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.

There is currently a cap of £5000 per year per child for therapeutic interventions. In some cases a further £2500 may be available for multi-disciplinary assessment. 

The adoption support fund can be claimed for young people up to the age of 21 unless they have an EHCP in which case they can claim up to the age of 25. 

For further information see Adoption UK's Adoption support fund page

School Transitions

Moving schools, or even classes, can be very unsettling for children who have spent time in care and they may need extra consideration and visits. It can be helpful for the young person to be involved in the making of a school transition booklet in school which they can then look at over the holidays. This can include photos and details of what will stay the same and what will be new.

There is an article in the right hand menu that may be useful to help parents think through how they can support their child.

If there are particular concerns around a child’s transition it would be helpful to hold a transition meeting to include representatives from the old and  the new schools, as well as parents. The transition booklet can be downloaded from the right hand menu and can be used to record all the information it will be helpful for the new school to know.  

Pupil Premium Grant for Adopted Children

This is additional funding from the government given to schools in England. It recognises that children who have spent time in care often need extra support in school as a result of their early experiences. As of April 2020, the grant is £2,345 per eligible pupil per year (Ref. DFE Policy paper 'Pupil Premium' updated 30 January 2020), and is for students from Reception class up to Year 11. In order to be eligible, students need to have been looked after by an English or Welsh local authority immediately before being adopted.

In order to receive this Pupil Premium Plus funding, the school needs to see evidence of a child’s adopted status so that they can enter this onto their January census. A sensitive request from schools that adoptive parents should declare their child’s adopted status in order to access the grant will help facilitate this. Many parents provide this evidence by giving the school a photocopy of their child’s adoption certificate as soon as the child joins a new school. Parents can blank out any details they do not wish the school to see. Gloucestershire County Council is not able to verify a child’s adoptive status; this must come voluntarily from adopters. The school should then receive the money the following financial year, post April.

Unlike Pupil Premium that was accessed through the Virtual School when the child was still legally in care, Pupil Premium money for adopted children comes directly from the Local Authority and is not ring-fenced for the individual adopted child. Schools can pool Pupil Premium money for numerous children to gain maximum impact from the funding. Every school should have a section about Pupil Premium on their website which explains how they have spent this income and what effect this has had. It is good practice for schools to include parents in discussions around the most effective use of Pupil Premium Plus.   The following are possible ways it can be spent:

  • Whole school or individual training in attachment and trauma
  • Additional teaching assistant hours
  • Small group tuition in targeted subjects
  • Specialist assessments e.g. educational psychologist
  • Start up, or development of, a school-based nurture group
  • Start up, or development of, programmes such as forest school, social groups, mindfulness
  • Resources such as iPads
  • Child mentoring
  • Music lessons

At the moment, independent schools and home educating families cannot access Adopted Pupil Premium for their students.

See the introduction to  PPP reminder for more information - Example of PPP reminder

Priority Admissions

All children who have been adopted from care in the UK should now receive priority for school admissions. See Government extends guidance for prioritised school admissions to all adopted children (First 4 Adoption). This means you don’t have to live within the school catchment area to be able to get into the school. All schools must publish their admissions criteria/policy which should be available on their website. Do check individual school details. Even faith schools generally have some places which are not reserved for their denomination and adopted children should be high on the list for the remainder of places. Check individual school admission policies as there can be differences, especially with Academies. The Gloucestershire Schools Admissions office on 01452 426015 are helpful and can advise you about individual cases. Do tell them that your child was previously in care.

PEP Meetings

Even though a child may be in an adoptive placement, whilst they are legally still in care they will have Personal Education Plan meetings to review progress and discuss use of the Pupil Premium for Children in Care. At this stage the Pupil Premium will be administered through the Virtual School of the Local Authority where the child was taken into care. The PEP is the responsibility of the social worker as it is part of the care plan. In Gloucestershire, a learning mentor from the Virtual School will support with that process, but they are not responsible for ensuring it takes place.

Once the adoption order comes through, the statutory PEP meetings stop. However, adoptive parents can request a more informal review meeting with school staff whenever they feel it appropriate. Indeed, recent NICE guidelines say that children with attachment difficulties should have an educational review meeting at least once a year. A suggested format for such a meeting can be downloaded from this website.

Adoption Support Fund

Money to fund therapeutic interventions is now available to adoptive families through the Adoption Support Fund (ASF). Sometimes a child may receive play therapy or a creative therapy on the school premises even though it is funded by the ASF. 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.

There is currently a cap of £5000 per year per child for therapeutic interventions. In some cases a further £2500 may be available for multi-disciplinary assessment. 

The adoption support fund can be claimed for young people up to the age of 21 unless they have an EHCP in which case they can claim up to the age of 25. 

For further information see Adoption UK's Adoption support fund page

School Transitions

Moving schools, or even classes, can be very unsettling for children who have spent time in care and they may need extra consideration and visits. It can be helpful for the young person to be involved in the making of a school transition booklet in school which they can then look at over the holidays. This can include photos and details of what will stay the same and what will be new.

There is an article in the right hand menu that may be useful to help parents think through how they can support their child.

If there are particular concerns around a child’s transition it would be helpful to hold a transition meeting to include representatives from the old and  the new schools, as well as parents. The transition booklet can be downloaded from the right hand menu and can be used to record all the information it will be helpful for the new school to know.  

Elective Home Education

"In England the law states that the responsibility for a child's education while they are of compulsory school age (currently 5-16 years) rests with their parents.  While most children attend the local state school, a significant number will be educated outside the state system in private schools or at home.  If you are considering Elective Home Education for your child, and would like to talk to someone about this, please call 01452 426015 to speak to one of our Parent Advisers".

Training for schools around supporting previously looked after children (PLAC) can be accessed through a number of organisations. Gloucestershire Advisory Teachers Service and the Educational Psychology run various training events and course. Take a look at their offer. 

 Advisory Teaching Service training courses

Educational Psychology training courses

Adoption UK and PAC UK (see web links below) offer training that is relevant to school staff.

Adoption Plus has a programme of training events that run in Milton Keynes

GCC Virtual School Newsletters to be included shortly.

If a child has additional needs and these are acting as a barrier to the child meeting their potential in school, there is a graduated pathway that can be used to help establish the right support. The following link explains this in more detail http://www.glosfamiliesdirectory.org.uk/kb5/gloucs/glosfamilies/advice.page?id=ktZYX6uM08s 

Parents may want to consult SENDIASS Gloucestershire who provide free, confidential, and impartial advice to the parents of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. Their website explains the sort of support they can offer.

http://sendiassglos.org.uk/

 

Organisations that Support Adoption

 Picture of a book resource 

This book is readily available online.

 

Becoming an Adoption Friendly School Publication by PAC UK

From the PAC-UK website.  The book can be purchased via Amazon.  For bulk orders, please contact education@pac-uk.org.

Help us improve The Virtual School

Don’t include personal or financial information like your National Insurance number or credit card details.