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Beckfield Academy Children Looked After Policy 2023-24

Children Looked After Policy

Policy details

Date created - October 2022

Governor ratification: 14.11.22

To be reviewed: October 2024


Policy details        1

Introduction        1

Legal and statutory requirements        2

Definitions        2

Roles and responsibilities        3

Funding        5

Personalised Education Plans (PEPs)        5

Transition and new pupils        6

Monitoring        6

Links with other policies        6

Appendices        6

Appendix 1        7

Appendix 2        7


Co-op Academy Beckfield is committed to providing high quality education for all of its pupils, based on equality of opportunity, access and outcomes. We recognise that, nationally, Children who are Looked After (CLA) significantly underachieve and are at greater risk of exclusion, compared with their peers. Many Children who are Looked After have experienced significant disruption to their education, including moving between schools and periods of absence. Schools have a major part to play in ensuring that Children who are Looked After are enabled to be healthy, stay safe, enjoy, achieve, make a positive contribution to society and achieve economic well-being.

Legal and statutory requirements

This policy is based on advice from the Department for Education (DfE) on:

The designated teacher for looked-after and previously looked-after children (2018)

Promoting the education of looked-after and previously looked-after children (2018)

Section 20 of the Children and Young Persons Act 2008 (“the 2008 Act”).

Section 20A of the 2008 Act inserted by section 5 of the Children and Social Work Act 2017 (“the 2017 Act”).

Section 2E of the Academies Act 2010 inserted by section 6 of the 2017 Act.

The Designated Teacher (Looked-After Pupils etc.) (England) Regulations 2009

This policy complies with our funding agreement and articles of association.


Under the Children Act 1989, a child is looked after by a local authority if he or she is in their care or provided with accommodation for more than 24 hours by the authority. They fall into four main groups:  

  • children who are accommodated under a voluntary agreement with their parents (section 20). This may be because the parent(s) is ill, missing, unable to cope, or as a part of a Child Protection Plan agreed with the parents. The parents retain parental responsibility.
  • children who are the subjects of a care order (section 31) or interim care order (section 38). Care Orders are put in place when a child is believed to be suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm. This gives parental responsibility to the local authority.  
  • children who are the subjects of emergency orders for their protection (sections 44 and 46)  
  • children who are compulsorily accommodated – this includes children remanded to the local authority or subject to a criminal justice supervision order with a residence requirement (section 21).

The term ‘in care’ refers only to children who are subject to a care order by the courts under section 31 of the Children Act 1989 - they may live with foster carers, in a Children’s home, in a residential school, with relatives or with parents under supervision. Children who are cared for on a voluntary basis are ‘accommodated’ by the local authority under section 20 of the Children Act – they may live in foster care, in a Children’s home or in a residential school. All these groups are said to be ‘Children Looked After’ -CLA. They may be looked after by our local authority or may be in the care of another authority but living in ours.

A previously looked-after child is one who is no longer looked after because s/he is the subject of an adoption, special guardianship or child arrangements order which includes arrangements relating to with whom the child is to live, or when the child is to live with any person.

A child is in ‘state care’ outside England and Wales if s/he is in the care of or accommodated by a public authority, a religious organisation or any other organisation the sole or main purpose of which is to benefit society.

Roles and responsibilities

The Academy Governing Council:

The academy governing council is responsible for designating a member of staff (the designated teacher) as having the responsibility to promote the educational achievement of looked-after children and previously looked-after children, who are registered pupils at the school. The governing body must also ensure that the designated teacher undertakes appropriate training.

The governing body will know how many children are looked after at the academy. It will, through the designated teacher, hold the school to account on how it supports its looked-after and previously looked-after children (including how the PP+ is used) and their level of progress and attendance.

The governing body will review the effective implementation of this policy annually.

The Designated Teacher:

The designated person must be a qualified teacher who has completed the appropriate induction period (if required) and is working as a teacher at the school or as a member of the senior leadership team.

The designated teacher will work with the local authority Virtual School Headteacher (VSH) to promote the education of looked-after and previously looked-after children. S/he will promote a whole school culture where the personalised learning needs of every looked-after and previously looked-after child matters and their personal, emotional and academic needs are prioritised.

The child’s social worker will initiate the PEP. The designated teacher has lead responsibility for the implementation and monitoring of Personalised Education Plans (PEPs) for Children Looked After within school in partnership with others as necessary. S/he will ensure that PP+ funding is accessed for each eligible pupil and is spent effectively.

The designated teacher will also work closely with the school’s Designated Safeguarding Lead to ensure that any safeguarding concerns regarding looked-after and previously looked-after children are quickly and effectively responded to.

The designated teacher will make sure that all staff:

• have high expectations of looked-after and previously looked-after children’s learning and set targets to accelerate educational progress;

• are aware of the emotional, psychological and social effects of loss and separation (attachment awareness) from birth families and that some children may find it difficult to build relationships of trust with adults because of their experiences, and how this might affect the child’s behaviour;

• understand how important it is to see looked-after and previously looked-after children as individuals rather than as a homogeneous group, not publicly treat them differently from their peers, and show sensitivity about who else knows about their looked-after or previously looked-after status;

• appreciate the central importance of the looked-after child’s PEP in helping to

create a shared understanding between teachers, carers, social workers and, most importantly, the child’s own understanding of how they are being supported.

For previously looked-after children, the designated teacher is the main contact for parents or guardians. S/he understands the importance of involving the child’s parents or guardians in decisions affecting their child’s education.

The designated teacher will inform the Local Authority Virtual School of any instances of 5 days of continuous absence, any fixed term or planned permanent exclusion. The designated teacher will also seek advice if the pupil becomes at risk of exclusion.

The Head of Academy:

The Head of Academy is responsible for ensuring that the designated teacher discharges his/her duties effectively. The headteacher must also ensure that PEP targets are appropriate and the PP+ funding is spent effectively.

The Head of Academy will report to the governing body termly regarding how many children on roll are looked after, how PP+ funding is being spent and the impact of this spending. With the governing body, the headteacher has a responsibility to review the effective implementation of this policy annually.

Members of Staff:

  • ensure that looked after children are supported sensitively and confidentiality is maintained
  • contribute to the development and delivery of the PEP
  • provide a supportive, consistent and stable environment
  • promote the self-esteem of children who are looked after or have previously been looked after


Carers are expected to:

  • attend the PEP meeting
  • contribute to the writing of the PEP
  • keep the academy informed of any relevant change in circumstances
  • support the academy in implementing the PEP


The adverse experiences that bring children into the care of a local authority can have a significant negative impact on their development and learning and so they attract Pupil Premium Plus (PP+) funding to enable schools and settings to provide appropriate support and evidence-based interventions to help these young people overcome barriers to their attendance, attainment and achievement.

The Local Authority Virtual School Head (VSH) is responsible for allocating the Pupil Premium Plus (PP+) for Children who are Looked After (CLA) to schools and settings. For every eligible pupil, schools will receive a total of £2,410, distributed in termly instalments following the school’s submission of termly progress, attendance and attainment data for each child.

The spending of this funding is planned and evaluated through the PEP. Funding should be spent with the aim of improving the child’s overall educational experiences, including extra-curricular activities.

Personalised Education Plans (PEPs)

PEPs are initiated by the social worker and are written in collaboration with the pupil (where appropriate), the carer, the designated teacher and any other relevant agencies. At the PEP meeting, it will be agreed which members of staff need to know which information regarding the child and the PEP.

The PEP records aspirational, SMART targets and how PP+ funding will enable the child to achieve the targets. The PEP must demonstrate how the grant will lead to accelerated progress, attainment and achievement. There is a requirement to spend funding on evidence-based interventions and/or strategies. The termly payments enable schools to be flexible and responsive to the needs of the pupil. The PEP must be reviewed on a termly basis.

For eligible children who are new to care, the Local Authority Virtual School Personal Education Plan Co-ordinator (PEPCo) will work with the Designated Teacher to develop the first PEP where areas of need and appropriate targeting of PP+ expenditure will be agreed.

The Virtual School will audit and quality assure subsequent PEP reviews to ensure continued allocations are supporting identified needs, targets and outcomes.

Transition and new pupils

There is effective induction for looked-after and previously looked-after children starting school, new to the school and new to care. This involves gathering information from relevant parties including parents/carers, social workers, key staff at previous settings. Pupils will be supported to make friends and settle into routines. Parents and guardians of previously looked-after children will be reminded that they need to inform the school if their child is eligible to attract PP+.

Transitions to the next phase of a child’s education are supported effectively to avoid children losing ground. This could be pupils moving schools from primary to secondary school or because of a change in placement or exclusion.


The Head of Academy and designated teacher will evaluate the impact of spending PP+ funding each term. They will also review the effectiveness of this policy each year.

Reporting to governors will take place on a termly basis within the Headteacher report.

Links with other policies

This policy is to be considered in close connection to the academy’s Safeguarding and Child Protection policy.

This policy has direct links with policies for P.S.H.E., Special Educational Needs, Equality, Care and Control and Health and Safety.


Appendix 1

Contact information:

Leeds LA Virtual School Head: Jancis Andrew

Telephone: 0113 37 81469


Appendix 2

LINK to Leeds LA PEP format

Co-op Academy Beckfield behaviour policy 2021-22