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Previously looked after children

Page last updated: 29/10/2020

Supporting previously looked after children in school - Essex

The information applies to children who leave care through:

  • Adoption
  • Special Guardianship Orders (SGO)
  • Child Arrangement Orders (CA

For children in care the aim is for them to achieve permanence in their lives. For some younger children in care this will be through adoption or other legal processes.

For children already of school age there is a protocol to follow. This is between the adoption service and the Virtual School. Children placed for adoption may need a high level of support to assist them through the process. Transition to their new school needs to be planned for. The Virtual School and the Adoption Service have developed processes to support this.

Pupil Premium is available for children who are:

  • previously looked after
  • subject to adoption
  • special guardianship order
  • child arrangement order (known as 'previously looked after')

To claim this, parents self-declare that they have a previously looked after child. The head teacher should request sight of the legal paperwork. It may be a court order or certificate. This goes onto the schools management information system. It needs to go onto the system before the January census in order for the school census to be accurate. The funding goes straight to the school along with the FSM pupil premium. Please note parents are not obliged to declare this information.

The Children and Social Work Act received royal assent in 2017. The commencement order for children previously looked after is now in place. In 2018 the DfE published statutory guidance documents for schools and local authorities . This came into effect September 2018.

The new documentation gives clear guidance to school governing bodies and local authorities. The changes ensure that they can meet their statutory duties for children who:

    • have been adopted from care
    • have Special Guardianship Orders
    • are under a Child Arrangement Order


​Children and young people previously looked after - EHCP

If you are a parent or carer for a previously looked after child and the young person has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) we recommend contact is made with Essex SEND IASS. This is an impartial, free and confidential service and operate at arm’s-length from the Local Authority. To read more about impartiality, please see the website further information page. Essex SEND IASS webiste.

Helpline: 0333 013 8913 or complete the SENDIASS Parent/Carers Contact Form
(Please note: the helpline is manned term-time only, 9am-4pm)
Text: 07860 003010​