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Page last updated: 26/08/2020

Personal Education Plans for Children in Care: Guidance for School and Social Care

Revised August 2020


When a young person or child comes into care, every effort should be made to support them to accelerate progress. This will enable them to achieve their true potential in education.

The responsibility for achieving this does not lie with one individual.

The Virtual School want everyone who's involved in a vulnerable child's life:

  • Teachers,

  • Social workers

  • Foster carers

  • IROs

  • Health professionals

  • Councillors

to have a real sense of parental responsibility for their prospects.

To, not focus on their narrow area, but look at the child's welfare. To ask themselves, before they make a decision or fill in a form, “Would this be good enough for my own child?

A Personal Education Plan 1 (PEP1) is the child's record of their journey through education and forms part of their care plan. The document should be of high quality that a school is proud of. It should detail how a child will make the next steps in their learning to achieve good educational outcomes. Personal Education Plan 2 (PEP2) is completed at the PEP meeting. The meeting should include the important adults that support the child in their care and learning. It should, also include the child or young person depending on their wishes, age and understanding. Sometimes children and young people will attend all or part of the meeting.


The PEP1 should set out the education plan and support. The focus on the meeting being on how the adults that surround the child can support the child's learning.

Before the meeting School and Designated Teacher :

• PEP 1 documents need to be completed each term for every Essex child in care on the school roll.

  • Children who do not have a PEP meeting that term or who are attending an alternative educational setting a PEP 1 is still required.

  • The designated teacher will need to log on to to do this.

  • These essential documents can be completed at any point in the term and need to be submitted for moderation and Virtual School approval by the end of each term.

  • We recommend that the PEP1 is completed within the first 3/4 weeks of the term so that the targets and funding requests are current.

  • The Pupil Premium Plus Grant is requested through the PEP 1 and can only be paid to school upon completion and approval of a PEP 1 for each child each term.

  • PEP 1 documents are a snapshot of the provision, support and achievement of each child in care.

  • It should reflect how a child will be supported to make the next steps in their learning.

  • It should show how the school will accelerate the child's learning and the extra resources and interventions that will be in place .

  • It should include the quality of support in place. A PEP 1 should prove how well the school is meeting the learning needs of each child in care.

  • The latest PEP 1 document is to be provided for all attendees of the PEP meeting as an information and discussion document. If the PEP meeting takes place before the school can produce a PEP 1 for that term, the previous term's PEP 1 needs to be supplied.

  • Schools should not delay producing a PEP 1 awaiting a PEP meeting. Plans to raise the attainment of children in care need to be put in place with urgency. The meeting is a good time to review the impact and effectiveness of the plans outlined in PEP 1s. Modifications can be captured in the subsequent PEP 1s in the following term.

  • The meeting should not be a time to start planning how to meet a child in care's learning needs but a time to look at how to make the plan in place even better.

Social Workers

  • The PEP meeting forms an integral part of the care plan which is reviewed at each child in care's statutory review.

  • The involvement of the young person in the meeting should be the first consideration. How do they want to be included? What are their concerns? How can they be supported to make themselves understood at the meeting? Which part of the meeting do they want to be included in? What needs to be done to make the PEP meeting a positive experience for your child/young person? If they do not wish to attend, how and who will capture their views? The meeting will be more effective if the agenda is clear and focused.

  • Consider the order of items on the agenda.

  • Ensure the meeting has a positive start and a balance between celebrating the achievements and addressing the barriers to learning for each learner.

  • Discuss the agenda beforehand with all attendees, making sure everyone has a chance to add anything that they want to it.

  • At the PEP meeting the social worker will often chair the meeting, but the educational expertise lies with the school.

Designated Teachers may offer or be asked to take a leading role in the meeting. This is an opportunity to review the plans currently in place. A chance to draw on all the knowledge, commitment and expertise of all those attending the meeting to improve that plan even further.

Make sure you are able to talk about:

  • The progress made by the child/young person.

  • The interventions in place at school or home and their impact.

  • The PEP 1.

  • Any developments to the plan since the last PEP meeting or creation of the last PEP 1.

  • Make sure that any agreed actions are understood at the meeting by all those attending with agreed timescales.

It is an expectation that the Social Worker will be chairing the meeting. Using an agenda template can help. Look towards ways of supporting the school to address underachievement. Where a child or young person is not meeting their educational targets ensure that you know what is in place to support them. Your role in the meeting is to:

  • Challenge where you do not feel that the plan is working. You are not expected to have the expertise necessary to recommend improvements to the teaching and learning aspects of the plan.

  • After the meeting The Social Worker will complete a document called PEP 2 on the social care system. This will capture the discussions and agreed actions of the meeting. A copy of this document will be uploaded on to Welfare Call shortly after the meeting. Agreed actions will be recorded on the PEP 2 to remind attendees of what needs to be done and when.

The PEP 2 also forms a part of the child or young person's care plan and will be scrutinised by the Reviewing Officer at the following Statutory Review. It is likely that the plan will have developed as a result of the meeting and this will need to be captured in the next PEP 1 document that the school produce.

  • Social Worker to complete PEP2 documentation and ensure that this is uploaded to Protocol within the set timescales.

  • Within 6 months of the previous PEP meeting

  • Within 4 weeks of a child becoming looked after

  • Within 4 weeks of a child starting at a new educational setting and ready for the next statutory review Some attendees will require a hard copy of the PEP 2 which you will need to send, ensuring that you redact any confidential information.

  • Schools will not need a hard copy of this document as it will be uploaded on to Welfare Call shortly after the meeting.

  • Following the PEP meeting, both the school and social care sections of the PEP documentation will be reviewed as part of the care plan at the Statutory Review.




Documents and guidance

 PEP Meeting Agenda

 Completion of PEP 2​