Nurture, Cherish, Succeed

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Nurture, Cherish, Succeed

Nurture, Cherish, Succeed

  1. Parents
  2. SEN & Pupil Premium
  3. Pupil Premium Plus & Virtual Schools

Pupil Premium Plus & Virtual Schools

What is Pupil Premium Plus?


Pupil Premium for permanently placed children (often referred to as Pupil Premium Plus, or PP+) was introduced in 2014 in recognition that children who ceased to be looked after as a
result of adoption, a Special Guardianship Order (SGO) or a Care Arrangements Order (CAO) often require extra support and help in school in view of their early life experiences.


Who is eligible?
Pupil Premium plus is available for children from Reception to Year 11 in state schools in England, who are adopted or moved to permanence under a SGO or CAO from England or Wales. Children in independent schools or home education may be eligible if their education is funded by the Local Authority. Extra funding is also available for children aged 3 and 4 in early years education, who meet the criteria.


How is it accessed?
Unlike other Pupil Premium funding, parents of PP+ eligible children must self-declare their eligibility to their child’s school, providing proof of their child’s status, e.g. a photocopy of the adoption order. Parents may conceal sensitive information on such documentation if they wish. The school must record this information in the spring census, which takes place in January. Therefore, it is important that parents and guardians inform the school of their child’s status well before the census. Eligibility for PP+ is recorded under the census category ‘Post looked after arrangements’. The DfE produces an annual guide to support schools in completing the census. Even if you have declared your child’s status, it is recommended that you verify that this is recorded on the school census. If your child changes school, you will need to declare their status again.


What is PP+ used for?
Unlike the Pupil Premium grant for disadvantaged children, which aims to reduce the attainment gap caused by economic disadvantage, Pupil Premium Plus is awarded in recognition that many adopted and permanently placed children need extra support in school because of the circumstances that led to them being placed into care, and later being adopted or being placed on a SGO or CAO. Therefore, according to the DfE Q&A document on PP+ (2014), it ought to be spent on “helping these children emotionally, socially and educationally by providing specific support, to raise their attainment and address their wider needs.” The same document states that “it is not intended that the additional funding should be used to back-fill the general school budget nor . . . used to support other groups of pupils”.

What is The Virtual School?


The Virtual School provides information and guidance on children in care, care leavers, previously looked after children and children with a social worker.

The Virtual School has responsibility for monitoring, supporting and providing or resourcing interventions so the children in our care achieve their best possible educational outcomes by:

  • leading training for schools and services such as designated teacher network meetings, attachment and relationship aware schools, as well as trauma informed relational planning to support inclusion of children in care and children with a social worker
  • co-ordinating and quality assuring termly personal education plans (PEPs)
  • making sure pupil premium plus is used in line with guidance
  • tracking the academic progress, attendance, and suspensions of children in care
  • using tracking data to highlight children in care who are not on target to achieve their predicted outcomes and provide them with support
  • making sure special educational needs or disability (SEND) needs are identified for children in care and supported effectively
  • supporting transitions
  • encouraging our young people to have high aspirations about their futures and removing barriers to education with a focus on not in education, employment or training (NEET) young people

Children with a social worker

Since 2021, the Virtual School has had strategic responsibilities for all children with a social worker. The Virtual School has a number of initiatives working closely with social care and schools to support school stability.


Designated teacher for looked-after and previously looked-after children

Alongside supporting the education of children and young people, the Virtual School also offer training and guidance to schools and their designated teachers.

The designated role is a statutory obligation in every school whether or they currently have a child in care on school roll. At Newbold Church School Mrs Kerry Marsh is the Designated Teacher for looked after and previously looked after children. 

Mrs Marsh a central point of initial contact for CIC and PLAC within the school. This helps to make sure that the school plays its role to the full in making sure arrangements are joined up and minimise any disruption to a child’s learning. Her role is to  promote the educational achievement of every looked-after and previously looked-after child on the school’s roll. This involves, working with VSHs to promote the education of looked-after and previously looked-after children and promoting 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.

Mrs Marsh takes the  lead responsibility for ensuring school staff understand the things which can affect how looked-after and previously looked after children learn and achieve and how the whole school supports the educational achievement of these pupils. This means making 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;
• have the level of understanding they need of the role of social workers, VSHs and carers, and how the function of the PEP fits into the wider care planning duties of the authority which looks after the child; and
• for previously looked-after children, understand the importance of involving the child’s parents or guardians in decisions affecting their child’s education, and be a contact for parents or guardians who want advice or have concerns about their child’s progress at school.

As Designated Teacher, Mrs Marsh works directly with looked-after and previously looked-after children and their carers, parents or guardians to:

* promote good home-school links;
* support progress by paying particular attention to effective communication with carers, parents or guardians;
* ensure carers, parents or guardians understand the potential value of one-to-one tuition and are equipped to engage with it at home;
* ensure carers, parents or guardians are aware of how the school teaches key skills such as reading and numeracy; and
* encourage high aspirations and working with the child to plan for their future success and fulfilment.

Mrs Marsh has lead responsibility for the development and implementation of looked after children’s PEP within school in partnership with others as necessary; and as Designated Safeguarding  Lead ensures that any safeguarding concerns regarding looked-after and previously looked-after children are quickly and effectively responded to.