Realising the potential of Children in Care

Supporting Adopted Children

PAC-UK and Adoption UK Education Guide

For school staff and adoptive parents to help ensure adopted children get the best possible educational start in life. The guides explain why these vulnerable children may need additional support in school, what educational entitlements they can attract and what support is available for them.

PAC-UK’s guide for school staff Meeting the needs of adopted and permanently placed children: A guide for school staff covers a range of topics including: what we know about our children in education, a background to early developmental trauma, whole school approaches, and support for schools and families. The guide is accompanied by easy to use resources that can be implemented in individual classrooms or across whole schools.

Adoption UK’s guide Meeting the needs of adopted and permanently placed children - A guide for adoptive parents includes information about Virtual School Heads, Designated Teachers, Priority School Admission, Pupil Premium Plus and dedicates two pages to Intercountry Adoption and Schools.

Commissioned by the Department for Education, the guides explain how The Children and Social Work Act 2017 enhances support for previously looked after children. PAC-UK’s guide includes the views of adopted teens on how their experiences in school could be improved whilst Adoption UK’s has advice from adoptive parents, who adopted both domestically and from oversees.

The Adoptables School Toolkit

Created by adopted young people aged 13 to 25 with specialist educators from Coram Life Education. It explores the issues highlighted by the young people as particularly sensitive or challenging, such as friendships, relationships, family, certain lesson topics, and also what they would like teachers to know.

The Toolkit involved consultation with teachers and is matched to PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic) Association Learning Opportunities within the areas Relationships, Living in the Wider World and Health and Wellbeing. It comprises two separate resources, one aimed at those teaching Key Stage 2 pupils (aged from nine to 11) and one for those teaching Key Stage 3 students (aged from 11 to 14).

The Toolkit canters around a collection of fun interactive lesson plans alongside creative short films which help students understand what it’s like to be adopted and how adopted young people can feel at school. For Key Stage 3 students the Toolkit can also include the participation of a peer educator who is part of the Adoptables network.

Responses to the pilot sessions of the Schools Toolkit have been very positive with 95% of Key Stage 3 class participants rating it good or very good and all teachers strongly agreeing that the pupils engaged well with the session and the content was appropriate.

Register for the toolkit

If you have any queries about the toolkit please contact Lindsay McDougall,
The Adoptables – Programme Manager on 0207 239 4999 or email