Wokingham Virtual School

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Advice for Education Provisions

Children who have been adopted have positive futures ahead of them. However, it is important to remember that adoption does not eliminate their past experiences which can have a lasting impact, particularly at school. Teachers and schools have a pivotal role in supporting the academic, social and emotional needs of Previously Looked After Children (PLAC).

In February 2018, the Department for Education (DfE) published the following statutory guidance for maintained schools and academies:

 The designated teacher for looked-after and previously looked-after children

This Guidance defines PLAC as a child “who is no longer looked after in England and Wales 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… … or has been adopted from ‘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.”

The aim of the Guidance is to give specific support to PLAC (in addition to LAC) because they are highly likely to have had disrupted learning, may have missed extended periods of school and many of them have special educational needs (SEN). The gaps in their learning and, in many cases the emotional impact of their experiences, are likely to have become significant barriers to their progress.

Key Actions for schools are to:

  • Designate a member of staff to have responsibility for promoting the educational achievement of PLAC pupils
  • Ensure the designated person undertakes appropriate training

Key actions for the Virtual School Head are to:

  • Be a source of advice & information to help parents of PLAC at schools in the area to advocate for them as effectively as possible.

Further Information:

Who to contact for advice:

You can contact Wokingham Virtual School by email:


Please note we are happy to give general advice however if you wish to discuss an individual case please ensure that you have permission from the parents first.

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