Education of LAC

All looked after children must be given every opportunity to achieve and all school age children to have 25 hours of educational input per week. This should be set out in their Personal Education Plan (PEP). There is a legal duty to ensure that the child's education is always considered when making decisions (e.g. to change placement).

The Council should do at least what any good parent would do to promote their child's education and supporting their child in their achievements.

This is achieved by us regularly checking on the progress of children in care (including a senior manager looking to each child's progress), having high expectations and encouraging young people to have the same, and making sure we all know what each of us should be doing to help each child reach their potential. We check we have been successful by ensuring their educational outcomes are comparable to their peers.

When making placements Every attempt should be made when placing a child to maintain them in their current school or education provision. Where this is not possible then any new placement must have an accompanying arrangement for education. Where placed in emergencies or education breaks down, a new education placement must be secured within 20 working days. The designated teacher (virtual school) will be able to advise on this, and schools are required to consider children in care above any other children waiting to join a school.This is a big decision in a young person's life. The guidance below states you cannot move a child unless:

  • You have a place for them in a good school
  • You have checked the education policy of the fostering/residential provider
  • The school placement has been visited with the child
  • For placements out of authority formal discussions with the host authority and primary care trust
  • or
  • the move is an emergency required for the child's immediate protection. Here you have 20 school days to meet these criteria.
  • You will want to think about some of the following questions. Click the clipboard to copy the text and paste into your recording or assessment:
  • Does the young person have a good school place? Now and in the new placement?
  • What steps have been taken to avoid disrupting the educational placement, especially in Years 10 & 11 (where a move can only happen in exceptional circumstances)? Is there anything else that could be done?
  • What role has school played to date? Is it a supportive factor? What will be the impact of change?
  • What will be the educational impact of any change? What is the school's view?
  • What extracurricular activity is the young person involved in?
  • What are the young person's social networks around school? What is the impact of disruption? How may they be maintained?
  • What practical arrangements would need to be put in place around placement, travel, uniform and similar?
  • What are the young person's, parents' and current/new carers' views about education? Has the child visited? How have these views been taken into account?
  • The IRO should be notified of significant changes. What is the IRO's view? Is a LAC Review required?
  • Your analysis and decision

Exclusions The department will ensure that schools and social care staff work together to prevent the need for school exclusions involving children looked after. However if they do occur then the department works corporately to ensure full time, mainstream schooling as soon as possible.  If schools do not work with the department the exclusion cannot be said to have been official.When a child is excluded a multi-agency meeting must be called.  The education department is responsible for providing significant interim tuition.When a child has been excluded from school, a parent should have a right to appeal on the child's behalf. The department as the corporate parent is expected to act as a champion for the children in their care and advocate for their needs in exactly the same way.The education department is expected to set a maximum time limit of 20 school days within which they must secure an education placement for any pupil in public care who has been permanently excluded.  It will be a full time place in a local mainstream school unless the circumstances and needs of the child make such provision unsuitable.


TaskResponsible OfficerRecordTimescale
Ensure that the school has set work for the child for the duration of the exclusion.Teacher social worker or carerResidential file carers diaryImmediately
Speak to teachers about what that work entails.Child's carerResidential file carers diaryAs soon as possible
Consult with school and education department about the reasons for exclusion and determine what action needs to be taken to support the young person in successfully re-integrating into school.Social worker inclusion teamComputerWithin 5 school days
Inform parents and people with parental responsibility about the school exclusion and their right to make complaints and representations to the education department.Social worker if school have not done soComputerImmediately
Talk to the young person about the exclusion and ascertain their views about how they can return to school.Social worker/carerComputer file of carers diaryAs appropriate but within 5 days of exclusion
If the exclusion is permanent liaise with the education department regarding the appropriate alternative educational placement.Social workerComputerWithin 5 school days
Inform the service manager if an education placement has not been provided within 20 school days.Social workerComputerImmediately after 20 days
Inform assistant director if an education placement has not been provided within a further 10 school days.Service managerComputerImmediately after 10 days

Personal Education Plans Educational needs and how these are to be met are therefore integral to care and placement plans, including issues such as who will attend parent's evenings and award ceremonies. All children in care who are eligible for statutory education provision from the government in some form (i.e. any child aged 3 and over) should have a Personal Education Plan (PEP) which is reviewed regularly (completed within 10 working days of becoming accommodated). The PEP (subject to any age banding) is the joint responsibility of the social worker and the education provider and should consider what is necessary to support the child, such as 1:1 tuition, drawing on their Personal Education Allowance.

1.Inform the designated teacher for children in care at the appropriate school that the child has been accommodated and initiate the Personal Education Plan.Social workerImmediately on accommodation
2.Arrange a PEP meeting to be held within 10 working days of child being accommodatedSocial workerWithin 1 working day of accommodation
3.Complete section A of relevant PEP form and email form to designated teacher (or member of staff in pre-school settings)Social workerA minimum of 5 working days prior to the first PEP meeting
4.Make decision about who will complete the rest of the form and either sends to school or arranges to see the child to completeSocial workerPrior to PEP meeting
5.PEP meeting takes place - decision required about who will be responsible for completing the form and taking the minutesSocial worker and designated teacherAt meeting
6.Agreement about who will complete final electronic copy of formSocial worker and designated teacherAt meeting
7.PEP review to be arrangedAttendees at PEP meetingWithin 6 months and by 31st October or 30th April, whichever is sooner
8.Any extra information required to be providedSocial worker and designated teacherWithin 5 working days of meeting
9.Completed PEP distributed by emailSocial workerWithin 10 working days of meeting
10.Completed PEP entered into electronic recordSocial workerWithin 15 working days
11.Actions 3 to 10 to be repeated whilst the child remains accommodated. NOTE: Timescales for form completion prior to the PEP meeting change to 3 weeks prior to the meeting.Social Worker/designated teacher