Previously Looked After Children’s past experiences can have a lasting impact, particularly in school. The emotional impact of their experiences is likely to have become significant barriers to their progress. It is important for schools and teachers to recognise that traumatic experiences in early childhood do not change overnight and that they play a pivotal role in supporting the academic, social and emotional needs of Previously Looked After Children.
Education Plans for Previously Looked After Children are a continuation of the good practices seen within the regular Personal Education Plan reviews for Looked After Children. Following a recent review and feedback from families and education settings, we have recently updated our forms to include the Young Person’s voice and Key Education Indicators. We hope that you and your families find these useful.
The purposes of these meetings are to:
- Encourage positive collaboration and communication between home and education provision
- Raise awareness of the needs and issues faced by children and their parents
- Review the support, interventions and progress of the child
- Identify unmet needs of the child
- Discuss PP+ allocation, in relation to the child’s needs and the benefit of the school’s cohort of Previously Looked After Children.
How can I ask for an EPPLAC meeting with my child’s provision?
The EPPLAC can be initiated by either the education provision or parents/guardians. The EPPLAC forms explain how to structure the EPPLAC meeting. After the first meeting, parents/guardians and the education provision set a review date to see how the plans made at the EPPLAC meeting are going.
The first EPPLAC meeting after the Adoption/Special Guardianship/Child Arrangement Order has been granted will normally be arranged at the last PEP review (when the child is still in Local Authority Care) and will normally be attended by a member of Virtual School Kent.
Who Chairs the EPPLAC meeting? Parents/guardians and school decide together who will chair the meeting and who else to invite.
Does my child have to have an EPPLAC? Their education provision doesn’t know that they are previously looked after
EPPLAC meetings are a useful way to information share, problem solve and set targets for the future and discuss (if appropriate) the school’s use of PP+ funding for their cohort of Previously Looked After Children. If this is being achieved through other meetings, or you are happy with the support that your child is getting, then there is no need for further meetings. Alternatively, there may be other meetings already arranged that could be used as the EPPLAC meeting. In this case, it would be best practice to complete the EPPLAC form so that outcomes can then be reviewed in the future.
Parents/guardians have emphasised that confidentiality is vital. The EPPLAC will only be used:
- If parents/guardians choose to identify their children as previously looked after.
- And if parents/guardians wish an EPPLAC /EPAC to be implemented.
I’m worried about having an EPPLAC because information may be shared unnecessarily – What can I do?
Please discuss your concerns with the Designated Teacher/Nursery Head (VSK or your Adoption Support Worker). Confidentiality regarding where records are kept will be discussed as part of the EPPLAC meeting.
Does the school/early years provision have to arrange an EPPLAC meeting if I ask them to?
It is not statutory; however current evaluations indicate that it is good practice and that schools/early years provisions value them. The EPPLAC draws from the pro-active nature of the CiC Personal Education Plan, to ensure relevant information is available and effective communication routes are established.
My child already has a Provision Plan, Individual Education Plan or a Pastoral Support Programme. Do we still have to have an EPPLAC?
This is for you and the school/early years provision to decide in discussion. Families and schools/early years provisions have found that EPPLAC’s provide different information which is valuable in understanding the pupil’s strengths and needs. There is no reason why the EPPLAC meeting cannot coincide with the Support Review meetings as information will be relevant for both. By completing the EPPLAC forms, schools and parents/guardians have additional flexibility to review outcomes outside of the timescales of the other meetings.
Do Virtual School Kent need to be present at the EPPLAC Meeting?
No. VSK are an advisory service for previously looked after children. Wherever possible, we will advise parents, guardians, education settings and professionals prior to and after EPPLAC meetings to discuss any issue that may arise. In some instances, it can be more productive to attend EPPLAC meetings, but this is the exception. We endeavour to ensure that parents and guardians can be the best advocates for their children, whilst ensuring the education setting is fully supporting the cohort of previously looked after children on roll there.
If you would like to discuss your child’s schooling and issues you may be facing, please complete the initial contact form and one of the team will contact you.