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Previously Looked After Children (post-LAC)

The Virtual School Role

Local authorities have a duty to promote the educational achievement of previously Looked After Children in their area by providing information and advice to: 

  • any person that has parental responsibility for the child;
  • providers of funded early years education, designated teachers for previously Looked after Children in maintained schools and academies, and
  • any other person the authority considers appropriate for promoting the educational achievement of relevant children.

In Dudley this role is carried out by the Dudley Virtual School on behalf of the Virtual School Head.

Virtual School Heads are not expected to monitor the educational progress of individual children or be held to account for their educational attainment.

Any intervention in the education of a previously looked-after child must be with the agreement of the person(s) who have parental responsibility for the child. They, like all parents, are responsible for overseeing their child’s progress in education.

Promoting the Education of looked after-children and previously looked-after children, Statutory Guidance for Local Authorities, February 2018

Schools and the Role of the Designated Teacher

The governing body of a maintained school in England must:

  • Designate a member of the staff at the school as having responsibility for promoting the educational achievement of previously looked after pupils.
  • Ensure that the designated person undertakes appropriate training and has regard to any guidance issued by the Secretary of State.

The designated teacher for looked-after and previously looked-after children, Statutory Guidance on their roles and responsibilities, February 2018

What is a Previously Looked after Child?

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
  • Were adopted from ‘state care’ outside England and Wales.

 

 

Pupil Premium for Previously Looked After Children

Mainstream schools, general hospital schools and alternative provision settings (including non-maintained special schools) not maintained by the local authority, but where the local authority pays full tuition fees, are eligible to claim Post-LAC Pupil Premium.

The Post-LAC Pupil Premium grant for 2019 to 2020 is £2300 per year for Reception class up to Year 11. It will include post-LAC pupils recorded in the January 2019 school census.

Post-LAC attending Early Years Provision can also attract Early Years Pupil Premium from the term after their third Birthday. 

Before a school enters a post-LAC's details onto the census, parents and guardians must declare their child's adoptive, SGO or CAO status directly to the school and provide evidence, for example, a copy of the legal order, or a confirmation letter from the local council which placed their child. Parents should not need to declare their child’s status again until the child changes school. Parents are not obliged to declare this information.

Unlike the Pupil Premium Plus for CLA, that is managed by the Virtual School, Pupil Premium funding for post-LAC comes directly to the school and is not ring-fenced for the individual child.

However it is good practice for schools to include parents in discussions around the most effective use of Pupil Premium Plus and it is important that interventions supported by pupil premium should be evidence based and in the best interests of the child.