Previously Looked After Children (P-lac)

Support for Previously Looked After Children

For previously Looked After Children, the Virtual School will be a source of advice and information to help their parents to advocate for them as effectively as possible. The Virtual School is not acting as part of the corporate parent role in these circumstances, but is there to promote the educational achievement of these children through the provision of advice and information to relevant parties. 

Who are the children who were previously in care? 

This refers to a child who is no longer looked after in England and Wales because he/she is the subject of:

  • an adoption order
  • a Special Guardianship order
  • a child arrangement order which includes arrangements relating to with whom the child is to live, or when the child is to live with any person

Parents, carers and guardians would need to self-declare if their child or children were previously in care and provide evidence of their previously in care status.  Evidence could be a copy of the relevant order made by the court or a confirmation from a senior social worker on an appropriate letter head.  Where parents are unable to provide clear evidence of their child's status, the designated teacher will need to use their discretion.

Has your child been adopted from Care?
Is your child currently living with you under a Special Guardianship Order or Child Arrangement Order, but has been looked after in the past under the Care of a Local Authority?


If you have questions about your child’s education and would like to talk to someone confidentially, please contact the Virtual School Team. 

The Virtual School has a dedicated Education Adviser who can offer advice and guidance, and support you in meetings with your child’s school.

You can learn about funding your child’s school could be entitled to as well as other local services that may be able to help you and your child.

The Virtual School Team can only discuss a previously looked after child with the consent of the person with parental responsibility. They will not discuss any child with other professionals without this permission.

The Virtual School has a confidential mailbox for parents to make direct contact with any queries around the education of their previously looked after child/ young person.  Please contact the Virtual School on:  0151 511 7391        Email:



Halton Virtual School

Previously Looked After Children (PLAC) Offer

We offer advice and guidance on the education of previously looked after children (PLAC).

Statutory duty and guidance

The statutory guidance defines previously looked after children as those who:

  • are no longer looked after by a local authority in England and Wales (as defined by the Children Act 1989 or Part 6 of the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act 2014) because they are the subject of an adoption, special guardianship or child arrangements order; or
  • were adopted from ‘state care’ outside England and Wales. ‘State care’ is care provided by a public authority, a religious organisation, or any other organisation whose sole or main purpose is to benefit society


The Virtual School have a statutory duty to provide advice and guidance around previously looked after children from age 2 in a funded education place to the end of Year 11 who are educated in a maintained school or academy.

Maintained schools and academies must have a designated teacher responsible for previously looked after children.



Pupil Premium Plus

Schools who have previously looked after children in Reception to Year 11 can claim Pupil Premium Plus (PPP). This is extra funding of £2,530 per child.

In order to receive the funding, which is paid directly to school, the parent, guardian or carer must self-declare the child’s status and provide appropriate supporting evidence to their school. The child’s status should then be entered onto the school management system in time for the autumn census (October).

When a child changes school, the parent or guardian must self-declare again as this confidential information does not automatically transfer with the child. Schools should make sure parents and guardians are aware of this and that this information is collected to help ensure that the designated teacher for previously looked after children can support appropriately.

Find more information about funding, what documents education settings need to see and what codes need to be used:

Previously looked after children in funded education aged 2 to 4

The setting should invite parents or guardians to self-declare a child’s previously looked after status. The setting should then contact the Early Years Project Team for them to amend the child’s record and for the Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP) funding to be drawn down.




Promoting educational achievement

Personal Education Plans (PEP)

There is no statutory requirement to complete a PEP for previously looked after children. However, it is good practice to continue to have regular discussions with the child and their parents or guardians to:

  • highlight the child’s educational strengths and needs
  • listen to and document the voice of the child
  • record agreed actions
  • consider effective use of PPP

Schools may want to consider use of existing PEP/PEP Action Plan, SEND or plan-do-review documentation to support this process.

Adoption Support Fund

The Adoption Support Fund can provide therapeutic support for adopted children. This requires a specific assessment. Find more information on the Adoption Counts website.

This fund can also provide therapeutic support for those on a Special Guardianship Order (SGO), who were looked after immediately before the SGO was granted. Find more information on the Family Rights website.





Further information, support and reading













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Contact us

Halton Virtual School

Halton Borough Council,
Rutland House Floor 1,
Halton Lea, Runcorn WA7 2GW

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