Education handbook for Oxfordshire's Children's Homes (pdf format

Education Handbook for
Oxfordshire's Children's Homes
February 2014
One of the cards made by residents at Maltfield House as part of the
Spark Your Art project funded by VIP+
Education Handbook for Oxfordshire’s Children’s Homes
The Moors and Maltfield House
Section 1: Introduction................................................................................................ 2
The role of learning in our children's homes - principles ......................................... 2
What does success look and feel like for our residents? ........................................ 3
What are some of the barriers to success for our residents? .................................. 3
What are the most important things residential staff can do to help? ...................... 3
Section 2: Key Partners in Education ......................................................................... 4
The Designated Teacher (DT) for Looked After Children in School ........................ 4
The Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, 0-25 ................... 4
VIP+ ........................................................................................................................ 4
Early Intervention Hubs ........................................................................................... 4
Pegasus Theatre..................................................................................................... 4
Children in Care Council ......................................................................................... 4
Section 3: Personal Education Plans (PEPs) ............................................................. 5
What can we expect from schools? ........................................................................ 6
Section 4: What children’s home residents say really helps their education .............. 8
Appendix 1: Designated Teacher List for Secondary Schools .................................. 10
Appendix 2: Leaflet about the Virtual School............................................................ 12
Appendix 3: VIP+ Leaflet .......................................................................................... 15
Appendix 4: Early Intervention Hubs ........................................................................ 16
Appendix 5: PEP Guidance ...................................................................................... 18
Section 1: Introduction
This handbook is both a guide for residential staff and their partners and a summary
of the best practice we know of. Our young people are living with us because they
have experienced significant emotional upheaval and arrive at a high level of need.
Their education is particularly important to them in building a happy and successful
We hope that our young people will read this to help them understand their
entitlement to the best opportunities in education, employment and training. The
handbook will be updated annually to ensure it is a living document. The appendices
are there for reference at different times for different occasions.
The child is entitled to receive education, which shall be free and
compulsory, at least in the elementary stages. He shall be given an
education which will promote his general culture and enable him, on a basis
of equal opportunity, to develop his abilities, his individual judgement, and
his sense of moral and social responsibility, and to become a useful
member of society.
The best interests of the child shall be the guiding principle of those
responsible for his education and guidance; that responsibility lies in the
first place with his parents.
The child shall have full opportunity for play and recreation, which should
be directed to the same purposes as education; society and the public
authorities shall endeavour to promote the enjoyment of this right.
UN Declaration of Children’s Rights
The role of learning in our children's homes - principles
 Learning is a continuous process throughout life and throughout the day
 We are all learning together
 Learning and the educational outcomes it leads to are protective factors in life
 It takes a village to bring up a child and the child learns from all its corporate
parents working successfully together
 Aspiration, high expectations, taking risks and making mistakes are equally
important aspects in successful learning
 Everyone learns differently and everyone can help others learn
 Learning is therapy, it does not come after warmth, shelter and food but is equal
to all life’s other urgent needs
What does success look and feel like for our residents?
 Full attendance in education
 Progress from any starting point
 Full use of learning opportunities outside school and in the home
What are some of the barriers to success for our residents?
 Periods of missing learning in school and having to get used to different schools
 Health problems
 Teachers do not know always know what students’ needs, abilities and talents
 Sometimes it is difficult for students to feel safe
 Sometimes it is difficult for students to be treated like everyone else in school but
also to say what they need without getting angry
What are the most important things residential staff can do to help?
 Communicate clearly with key partners in schools, other agencies and each
 Consistently support the policies and protocols of schools whilst being a
champion for the corporate child
 Take every opportunity to support formal and informal learning
 Model learning in day-to-day tasks respecting and using the talents of a students
and staff alike
 Go the extra mile to support attendance whatever it takes
 Know the opportunities available to help students learn and use them like a good
parent would.
Section 2: Key Partners in Education
The Designated Teacher (DT) for Looked After Children in School
(Appendix 1: List of Designated teachers in secondary schools, regular updates
should be sought from The Virtual School)
The Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, 0-25
(Appendix 2: Leaflet about the Virtual School)
Link workers:
 The Moors - Terri Fox, [email protected], 01865 256640
 Maltfield House - Isabel Crowther, [email protected],
01865 256640
(Appendix 3: VIP+ Leaflet)
The charity set up by the Vulnerable Intervention Partnership which provides
engagement activities for young people. The Vulnerable Intervention Partnership
includes Meadowbrook College, The Oxfordshire Hospital School, and The Virtual
School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, 0-25.
Contact details: to be updated.
Early Intervention Hubs
(Appendix 4: Early Intervention Hubs - Contact Details and Information)
The hubs provide engagement opportunities
Pegasus Theatre
Pegasus Theatre in East Oxford gives priority to involving and inspiring vulnerable
young people. Their staff have provided a successful arts project at Maltfield House
and residents should be encouraged to attend other activities at the theatre
Children in Care Council
Oxfordshire has a lively and engaged Children in Care Council. This provides an
opportunity for young people to tell the Corporate Parent what works for them and
experience the workings of the council. It provides fun activities and an introduction
to democracy. It is helpful to ensure that schools are aware of the work of the
council, encourage participation and record this in PEPs.
To get involved in the Children in Care Council, young people can contact James
Collins on 07803 287813 or [email protected] For more information
Section 3: Personal Education Plans (PEPs)
PEPs are statutory and must take place within 20 days of moving to a new school or
coming into care and be reviewed within 6 months. PEPs are quality assured and
their timeliness and quality is reported to Directorate Leadership Team (see
Appendix 5: PEP Guidance).
A PEP meeting must include as a minimum the young person, the
Designated Teacher or their representative, the carer and the social
If the young person does not wish to be present, their view of their
education must be recorded in advance on the Pupil View proforma. This
should be done in conversation with a significant adult, either the social
worker, the DT or the carer and be reported to the meeting.
The role of the carer goes far beyond the PEP, but supports it in every way. It is to
champion the young person’s educational achievement and potential and to find
effective ways of supporting the work of the school. This should include:
Modelling learning and the taking of available opportunities.
Supporting attendance with positive routines for starting the day, including
sometimes transporting the young person to school.
Encouraging a homework routine and ensuring that the learning environment is
Communicating regularly and effectively with Designated Teachers to ensure
that successes are celebrated and barriers overcome.
Have regular aspirational conversations about future opportunities and ensuring
that the young person has had good information, advice and guidance in school
from an independent person.
Regularly supporting access to extended activities including work experience,
holiday opportunities and local clubs, evening and weekend courses.
Ensuring every child can access their local library and sports and leisure facility.
On rare occasions when young people have home education programmes,
working closely with tutors and other providers such as VIP+ to support
engagement of young people.
Keeping The Virtual School informed, through the link worker, of barriers to
learning so that senior staff in The Virtual School can ensure that schools are
appropriately challenged.
What can we expect from schools?
All schools are different and the best way of getting to know the schools residents
attend is by visiting. Schools should be responsive to a request to meet with a tutor
or a head of year. They must provide a parent/carer consultation meeting and a
written report once a year. All school events and key communications will usually
appear on the school website.
Most policies, particularly statutory ones, are on the school website. If
residential workers have concerns it is sometimes helpful to read these
before contacting schools about a concern.
Unless a young person’s PEP or other statutory documents say that they need a
reduced timetable, all young people should access a minimum of 25 hours learning
and be offered extracurricular opportunities. All schools publish their curriculum in a
brochure available on their website.
Schools should ensure that all homework is written in homework diaries so that
residential workers can support home study and ensure that it is taking place.
As well as the designated teacher for LAC there should be an adult (form tutor, key
worker, specialist teaching assistant, mentor) who has oversight of a student’s study
programme, their progress and their engagement with learning.
All schools have a policy on safeguarding which will include all aspects of pupil
safety including what happens if young people are missing, bullying, safe practices
and so on.
Nearly all schools are inspected every three years. The school
inspection report is on the school and Ofsted website and helps to give
carers a picture of the school.
All schools must provide independent Information Advice and Guidance about the
next stage of education, employment or training. This usually happens in years 10 or
11 but the discussion about ‘What I want to be when I grow up’ should start much
earlier and may take place in personal, social and health education, tutor time,
assemblies or in specialist subjects. Schools will welcome additional information
from students and residential staff about their aspirations, talents and hopes.
Teachers spend most of their time teaching! This means they are not often available
on the phone after 9.00 or before 3.30. Most offices are now really good at taking
messages. They will not be able to give out an individual teacher’s email address
but should quickly forward an email sent to the office inbox.
Section 4: What children’s home residents say really helps their
Residents at The Moors said:
Making sure there are plenty of resources at home like past papers, text books
and computers
Having tutors and one to one support come in and support them with the subjects
they need help in.
Being in a school located close to the home because this means they can ‘nip in’
to school to get resources and find out info they might need rather than having to
travel long distance and often miss out and not know about things that are going
Having the staff at meetings in school to support them so that the staff can then
support them within the home
Project opportunities like NCS to take part in would be helpful
Working as a group is helpful too.
Residents at Maltfield House said:
Rewards to work harder for work really well
Having 1:1 tutors when I'm struggling in school and having my own separate
Being listened to and taken seriously
Having support in school as well as out of school, extra help with work and having
someone to talk to in school
One of the cards made by residents at Maltfield House as part of the Spark Your Art
project funded by VIP+
Appendix 1: Designated Teacher List for Secondary Schools
Secondary School
Banbury School
Julia Ingham
Bardwell School
Mrs Chris Hughes
Janet Hammond
Amanda Page
Bicester Community College
Tim Marston
Bishopswood Special School
Blessed George Napier Catholic School and
Sports College
Burford School and Community College
Jenny Wager
Carterton Community College
Rebecca Tout
Cheney School
Amjad Ali
Chiltern Edge School
Daniel Sadler
Chipping Norton School
Judith Jackson
Chipping Norton School
Natalie Hancock
Didcot Girls School
Manny Botwe
Faringdon Community College
Joe Winter
Fitzharrys School
Ian Goddard
Fitzwaryn School
Yvette Fay
Frank Wise School
Sean O'Sullivan
Gillotts School
Elsa Torres
Icknield Community College
Sara Grierson
Icknield Community College
Jenny Smith
Include (Oxfordshire)
Mrs Fiona Prinzi
Isis Academy
Kate Willett
John Mason School
Mr Russell Langdown
John Watson School
Stephen Passey
King Alfred's School
Jennifer Eastham
Kingfisher School
Adrienne Martin
Langtree School
Debbie Mallam
Larkmead School
Lionel Crowe
Lord Williams School
Richard Coombs
Ryan Lloyd
Caroline Skerten
Secondary School
Mabel Prichard School
Jane Wallington
Matthew Arnold School
Lyndsey Hood-Smith
Meadowbrook College
Caroline Duncan
Northern House School
Joanna Jones
Northfield School
Rebecca Bradley
North Oxfordshire Academy
Harry Wall
North Oxfordshire Academy
Trish Gisevicius
Oxford Spires Academy
Jo Dunphy
Oxfordshire Hospital School
Helen White
Springfield School
Emma Lawley
St Birinus School
Matt Wood
St. Gregory The Great School
Kay Huntley
The Cherwell School
Barbara Timms
The Cooper School
Charlotte Roberts
The Henry Box School
Stephen Stewart
The Marlborough C.E School
Ruth Jackson
The Oxford Academy
Simon Underwood
The Warriner School
Rachel Cosgrove
Wallingford School
Steve Leeds
Wheatley Park School
Jo Hatfield
Wood Green School
David Askew
Woodeaton Manor School
Emma Evans
Appendix 2: Leaflet about the Virtual School
Raising the Aspirations and Achievement
of Looked After Children and Care Leavers, 0-25
What do we do?
 Ensure that every child has an effective Personal Education Plan that is regularly
reviewed, which guides the management of their education and planning for a
successful future
 Ensure that the pupil premium is being used effectively particularly to achieve good
progress in English and mathematics
 Make sure that everyone in a child’s life works together to help them learn
 Provide challenge, support and intervention to ensure our children attend, engage
with learning and make good progress
 Ensure care leavers aged 16-25 are in employment, education, and training, and
making good progress.
How can we help?
 Training and advice for social workers, foster carers, school staff and other
 Support for transition from one school or phase of education, to another
 Learning mentoring and one-to-one tutoring
 Regular support for the learning culture in our own children’s homes
 Revision workshops
 On-line advice and learning
 Provision of an exciting range of extended activities including Summer arts and
outdoor learning courses, work experience weeks and targeted programmes for
individuals and groups
 Rewards and motivation for GCSE success
 Interim funding in advance of the pupil premium and challenge to schools to ensure
the pupil premium impacts on progress.
 Specialist advice on special educational needs
 Specialist packages of provision for those struggling to engage
 For Oxfordshire partners, access to a range of helpful guides and other documents
on our intranet site. These can be shared by email or post with those in other
 Conferences where a variety of professionals and young people can explore ways of
removing barriers to success
 Work with Virtual Schools in other local authorities to effectively support the needs of
our learners together
 An induction programme for unaccompanied asylum seekers
 Monitoring the quality of education commissioned from independent providers
 Additional support for full education, employment, and training from 16-25 years
What is going well?
 More children are getting more GCSEs
 Children are attaining better at the end of primary school than previously
 Attendance levels overall are higher than those of Oxfordshire’s children not in care
and above average for children in care
 No Oxfordshire child in care is permanently excluded – ever. The number of fixed
term exclusions is reducing
 Our lively Children in Care Council keeps us well informed and on our toes
 Employment, education, and training at age 19 is amongst the best in England
What happens when children leave care to go home to families, into adoption or
Special Guardianship Orders?
 The Virtual School remains available to all professionals, parents and carers for
advice by phone or email.
 All children leaving care are assessed by the Virtual School for their level of need. As
a result many continue to be invited to participate in activities such as revision days,
retain their learning mentor and continue to have PEP meetings.
What about children in care to other Local Authorities and in Oxfordshire Schools?
 We work closely with the network of Virtual Heads nationally, attending regional
meetings and national conferences.
 Where children in care to other LAs are struggling to engage with learning we
support the corporate parent and the child by convening cross-professional meetings,
attending PEPs or making referrals to other services.
What are we working hard together with partners to improve further?
 Achievement at the higher GCSE grades: still below average for children in care
 Exclude fixed-term exclusions
 Attendance, attendance, attendance – if you don’t attend you can’t achieve and you
may not be safe
 Finding long term solutions to keep our most needy children near us and supporting
the implementation of the social care placement strategy.
What are we looking forward to?
 The successful development of the charity VIP+ which we started with our partner
 Success with our new primary reading project, based on a successful international
model, which trains foster carers to develop the literacy of younger children
 Providing a day’s training in education for those preparing to become foster carers
We love to hear from Designated Teachers, other school staff, social workers, parents,
foster carers and all our other partners. Please contact us any time you need to talk to us
about anything. If we don’t know the answer, we know someone who does.
Venetia Mayman
September 2013
Headteacher – [email protected]
Secondary education – [email protected]
Primary education and special educational needs - [email protected]
Administration - [email protected]
Appendix 3: VIP+ Leaflet
Please note, this email address is about to expire. We will provide the new one as soon as possible.
Appendix 4: Early Intervention Hubs
For more information about the hubs, including full details of their opening hours and
programmes please visit the Oxcentric Website.
Abingdon Hub
Address: The Net, Stratton Way, Abingdon, OX14 3RG
Telephone: 01865 328400
Email: [email protected]
Opening Hours: 7 days a week, 9am - 5pm. Plus an evening programme
Abingdon Hub is a large building in central Abingdon. It has a performance space,
outdoor sports area, chill out area, and computers which can be accessed by young
people. Their open access sessions include clubs for young people with difficulties
and disabilities.
Banbury Hub
Address: Banbury Youth Centre, Hilton Road, Banbury, OX16 0EJ
Telephone: 01865 328440
Email: [email protected]
Opening Hours: Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays
Banbury Hub is a large, purpose built centre in the Woodgreen area of Banbury.
There is a large hall/performance space, music recording and practice rooms, and a
large outdoor playing area, as well as other facilities.
Bicester Hub
Address: The Courtyard Youth Arts Centre, Launton Road, Bicester, OX26 6DJ
Telephone: 01865 328470
Email: [email protected]
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm
The Bicester Hub is located near Bicester town centre. The site has a large hall, a
youth social area, a café area and various other facilities. It hosts regular music and
art projects.
Didcot Hub
Address: The Vibe Youth Centre, Park Road, Didcot, OX11 8QX
Telephone: 01865 328480
Email: [email protected]
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm
The Didcot Hub is located in a quiet area of Didcot. It has a very large hall, a cafe
and social area, music practice rooms and computers which can be accessed by
young people.
East Oxford Hub
Address: Union Street Centre for Young People, Union Street, Oxford, OX4 1JP
Telephone: 01865 328490
Email: [email protected]
Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday, 9am to 5pm, by appointment
The East Oxford Hub is based at the Union Street Centre, off Cowley Road. The hub
has a hall, music facilities, a café, and computers which can be accessed by young
people. The site is shared with Adult Learning.
Littlemore Hub
Address: Oxford Academy Campus, Sandy Lane West, Oxford, OX4 6JZ
Telephone: 01865 816202
Email: [email protected]
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm
The Littlemore Hub is based in the Oxford Academy Campus, and is shared with
Littlemore Library. Most services are delivered from satellite hubs in Blackbird Leys
and Rose Hill where there are facilities including indoor and outdoor sports areas,
computers, art and music spaces, and social areas.
Witney Hub
Address: Witney Youth Centre, Witan Way, Witney, OX28 4YA
Telephone: 01865 328730
Email: [email protected]
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm, and evening youth sessions
Witney Hub is large, recently renovated building in central Witney. Facilities include a
café and social area, indoor and outdoor sports facilities, computers, and a music
Appendix 5: PEP Guidance
Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, 0-25
Personal Education Plan (PEP) Guidance for Schools and Social Workers
Personal Education Plans for looked after children are statutory documents. They should
‘set high quality expectations of rapid progress and put in place the additional
support the child or young person needs in order to succeed’. (1.)
A plan should be drawn up in a meeting which includes as a minimum the child, his/her
carers, the Social Worker and the Designated Teacher for looked after children or their
delegate. Other key partners such as parents, Special Education Needs Officers,
Educational Psychologists, Behaviour Support Teachers, Careers advisors or additional
specialist professionals supporting the child should be included where appropriate.
Planning for the meeting in advance by the designated teacher and social worker is
important. PEP documents should record actions and responsibilities. Key documents such
as recent reports, attendance and attainment data, pastoral support plans, provision
mapping or individual education plans should be brought to the meeting and attached to the
PEP documents.
The PEP process is a cycle of consultation, planning and review designed to ensure that the
corporate parent is collectively working to ensure that the student can maximise their
potential. The process should:
Be informed by high expectations and the best information available
Contribute to stability for the child
Signal individual and/or special needs
Establish short term clear goals and prepare for the next stage of learning and
Record progress and achievement
Ensure access to services and support
Make best value use of resources such as the pupil premium
Partnership between the social worker, the foster carer and the designated teacher
is crucial to the student thriving and achieving. The PEP is the joint responsibility
of the Local Authority and the school.
The Social Worker is responsible for the Care Plan, made before the child comes
into care; the PEP is legally an integral part of this plan. The Integrated Children’s
System provides a framework for the assessment, planning, intervention and review
and brings together the process that may be needed in a local authority’s support for
a child in care. The social worker needs to ensure that the designated teacher is
informed in advance of other meetings about the child, particularly LAC Reviews
which are led by the Independent Reviewing Officer.
The social worker convenes the PEP within 10 days of a child entering care, or
moving to a new school, ensuring that the meeting itself takes place within 20 days
(as statutory requirement).
‘The social worker with responsibility for the child should… ensure that the PEP is
formally reviewed and that its effectiveness is scrutinised as part of the statutory
review of the Care Plan (i.e. after 20 working days, 3 months, 6 months and 6
monthly intervals thereafter and at other times if necessary.’(1.)
If for any reason the student is not in educational provision, the social worker should
still call a PEP meeting. A member of the Virtual School staff will take the role of the
designated teacher.
The Designated Teacher (DT) ‘leads on how the PEP is used as a tool in school to
make sure the child’s progress towards education targets is monitored.’ (1.) They
should see the PEP as ‘a useful and living document’ and be familiar with the
statutory guidance on their role (2.)
If the designated teacher delegates the PEP process, the PEP meeting should be
attended and written up by an education professional reporting to the DT. It should
be quality assured and signed by the DT.
The designated teacher is required to report at least once a year to the Governing
Body on the progress of children in care. This includes reporting on any planning or
process issues arising from the PEP.
In Oxfordshire, the expectation is that the DT will convene and chair all meetings
subsequent to the first one in care or in a new school.
Schools have a responsibility to ensure that they pass on information to each other
when students move; it is an expectation that by the PEP meeting, the school will be
in possession of the student’s file. Good practice in Oxfordshire has seen designated
teachers meeting with each other when a student moves school within the county.
Designated teachers should endeavour to ensure that the relevant careers advisors
can attend the PEP meetings of those in year 8 upwards and give high priority to this
for those in year 10 and 11.
EYFS PEPS should be done three times a year, and preferably in September,
January, and June/July. This is seen as good practice by Ofsted.
Involving the young person
A key feature of the PEP process is the participation of the child or young person; placing
their voice at the centre of the discussion. It is helpful to discuss the child’s view of school
with them beforehand and The Virtual School provides student-friendly documents for a
range of ages to record this. Where the student is unwilling to join the meeting, the record of
this prior discussion should be presented.
EYFS Voice of the child can be sent in any format and may include the child's verbal view,
pictures, or any form which the early years setting uses to show the feelings of the child.
Reducing meetings
Owing to the many partners and responsibilities involved in effective corporate parenting,
there are numerous meetings. It is recommended that through close liaison and careful
planning between social worker and designated teacher, the number of separate meetings is
reduced as much as possible. For example, a PEP meeting is often well-focused, and will
take less time, if it follows a SEN annual review.
The PEP Forms
The PEP forms incorporate feedback from The Virtual School survey and seven consultation
meetings held from March to June 2011 throughout Oxfordshire. The forms secure good
transition processes, give more priority to and detail on attendance and engagement and
provide for accurate and timely updating of progress information.
The PEP involves 2 documents
1. The core document is completed by the social worker and can be found on frameworki.
(Open the child’s case file, documents, create, CYP – PEP Core Document Social Worker
Section) This is then brought to the first meeting. These pages contain important information
to which staff in school can refer with regard to legal responsibilities, history of schooling,
and details of the professional network supporting the child. Where details such as care
arrangements change, these need to be updated and brought to subsequent meetings.
2. Stage specific documents completed by the Designated Teacher are available with this
guidance by accessing the Virtual School website (
The PEP proforma ensures that the agenda for the meeting is comprehensive. If you have
any difficulty accessing the documents please contact Lee Simpson on 01865 256640 or
[email protected] These documents are designed to provide continuity over
each phase of transition. They are:
Personal Education Plan for the Early Years
Personal Education Plan for Years 1-8
Personal Education Plan for Years 9-11
Personal Education Plan for Post Year 11
The Early Years includes any child age 2 years and upwards who is in an educational
A PEP for post year 11 education is not statutory, however, it is the expectation in
Oxfordshire that the PEP process will continue for students in years 12 and 13 in the same
way as for students of statutory school age. PEP documents for these year groups can be
found as above.
The Virtual School is responsible for monitoring the quality of PEPs and recording the
fact that they have taken place. Many Designated Teachers will get a written
response to the PEP from The Virtual School.
A copy of the completed PEP should be sent by the designated teacher to the social
worker, the carer and The Virtual School. ([email protected] )
Contact details of all attendees should be recorded on the PEP.
It is recommended that the PEP is completed in e-form as this avoids repeating
information that has not changed, such as previous attainment data.
If a PEP arrives as a paper copy the Virtual School will ensure it is registered on both
EMS and frameworki databases.
The planning and review cycle
The flow chart on page 11 at the end of this document describes this cycle and shows the
way it fits into planning for the pupil premium and LAC reviews led by Independent
Reviewing Officers. The key thing to bear in mind is that a student’s PEP needs to take
place at a minimum of 6 monthly intervals.
Matching the cycle of the academic year and the statutory LAC review system
In line with statutory guidance, social care staff need to ensure that the PEP is
formally reviewed with the Independent Reviewing Officer after 20 working days, 3
months, 6 months and at 6 monthly intervals thereafter. However, the school will
want the PEP to coincide with their cycle of assessment and individual target setting.
As children come into care or move school at any time of year, these cycles are not
necessary synchronised. It is in the interest of the child to have as much cohesion
around the processes supporting their learning as possible.
Oxfordshire Independent Reviewing Officers have asked that once a child is
established in care or in a school, the first PEP of the academic year takes place
before the end of October (Oxfordshire term 1.) This may mean, for example, that if
a child came into care or moved schools in June, another PEP meeting is called for
early October.
SMART Targets
Designated teachers and headteachers have requested that The Virtual School provide
examples of targets that are Specific, Measurable, Accurate, Realistic and Time-bound in
this guidance. Further examples are available in the Sample PEPs available on our intranet
site along with a sample ‘Round Robin’ proforma for collecting information from teachers in
advance of PEP meetings. It is a good idea to send this out to colleagues 2 weeks in
advance of the meeting.
Examples of SMART targets
Target for a year 2 student to help their literacy
Target: To achieve level 2b in writing
Timescale: 6 weeks from date of review
Success Criteria: I will achieve a level 2b from a 1a in my written work by
sequencing ideas and using connectives to make the layout clear to the reader. I will
be able to write a short story using at least 4 different connectives and at least 75%
will have a beginning, middle and conclusion.
Support that will be provided to help child achieve target: 1:1 tuition to be
arranged with class teacher; Acceleread/accelewrite programme 15mins x3 weekly;
1:4 small group work within whole class teaching sessions; Individual sessions with
TA 20mins x2 weekly to work on sequencing; VCOP sessions within whole class to
aid use of connectives within written work; 1x weekly story writing homework and
monthly discussion with carers on progress.
Key people who will put this support in place: Class Teacher, Teaching assistant,
1:1 Tutor and carers.
Target for a year 4 student to help with behaviour
Target: To settle quickly to work after break and lunch
Timescale: Within 4 weeks and then review if needed to increase success criteria.
Success Criteria: I will be able to return to class after break and lunch without
disturbing other class members. I will settle down and be ready to listen to the
teacher within 5 minutes of each class starting. I will achieve this 7/10 times weekly.
Support that will be provided to help child achieve target: TA to sit with me
during first 10 minutes of each lesson to settle me and check I have all relevant
equipment needed. TA to meet me at end of break and lunch to escort me to class
Circle time with 4 other class members 1x weekly to discuss any issues (I will be able
to choose the children myself each week).
Two Year 6 pupils will help me at playtimes and act as mentors to prevent poor
behaviour or aggression. I will be given a ‘Gotcha’ chart to be filled in at end of each
day with scores out of 10.
With my teacher I will choose average score for each week and will receive extra
time in ICT or extra playtime for whole class if this is achieved. Friendship group
involving 3 friends to be organised 1x weekly to support and cheer on my success.
Parents and carers to be given copy of ‘Gotcha’ on Friday of each week. School staff
included in positive praise every time they see X behaving sensibly (House points
Key people who will put this support in place: Class teacher, teaching assistant,
lunchtime supervisors, other staff members and parents.
Target for a year 6 student to help improve their maths
Target: To achieve level 4a in my number work
Timescale: 6 weeks date
Success criteria: I will successfully achieve level 4a in number work by improving
my written multiplication methods. I will be able to multiply 2 and 3 digit numbers
together and be able to answer 8/10 questions successfully.
Support that will be provided to help child achieve target: 1>1 tuition in Dfs
scheme (Mrs Smith will speak to tutor); Support in maths on Wednesday and Friday
weeks A and B from Mrs Janes; breakfast maths sessions with Mrs Janes.
Key people who will put this support in place: Mrs Smith to ensure my maths
tutor and Mrs Janes know about my target.
Target for a year 8 student to help improve scientific vocabulary
Target: To widen my scientific vocabulary
Timescale: until next PEP on 26 March
Success criteria: Every lesson I will use the special science vocabulary introduced
with every topic and found on the wall charts when responding to questions in whole
class, in group activities and in my written work. When I have got 10 science club
points, my name will be picked for the next Riverside trip to practice my favourite
activities of canoeing and climbing.
Support that will be provided to help child achieve target: Science department
cartoon cards for year 8 topics introducing vocab for topic. Practical work structured
with specific responsibilities for me and other students. Opportunities for me to be
responsible for recording practical work for my group. Mrs Smith to discuss with
science teachers and ensure that my use of science vocab is recorded every session
for Science rewards club. Support by Mrs Khan in 3/5 Science lessons.
Key people who will put this support in place: Mrs Smith and Mrs Khan, my TA,
who will make sure that my use of vocabulary is revised in 1>1 literacy time and that
rewards are recorded in Science rewards club database.
Target for a year 11 student who has to catch up with some English work they have
Target: To gain a C or more for my controlled assignment
Timescale: before deadline for final marks for controlled assignment on xx March
Success criteria: I will gain C or more for the controlled assignment I have missed
by attending all 1>1 English tuition sessions and my controlled assignment on 23
February in the afternoon. I will be familiar with the criteria for achieving a C in this
assignment and give particular attention to providing reasons and examples for my
views on the way the female characters are represented in this and other media
Support that will be provided to help child achieve target: 1>1 tuition to relearn
media topic on Gregory’s Girl every Wednesday at 2.00 during tutor time and the first
20 minutes of French; weekly learning mentor period on Mondays will give priority to
Gregory’s Girl work until Billy is fully familiar with the work.
Key people who will put this support in place: Mr Spears will ensure that my tutor
can start work with me in the first week in January and that I am given the success
criteria for C grade in this assignment. Izzi, learning mentor will watch Gregory’s Girl
and be familiar with all the teaching materials in the pack to help me. Izzi will
schedule supervision of the controlled assignment.
Support and Planning for the future
The future planning section aims to support the young person, and those supporting
them, to aspire and plan for their future and, crucially, to understand the link between
their current choices, curriculum and activities and achieving these aspirations. It is
essential that this section of the PEP makes explicit these links in order to promote
motivation and aspiration.
The appropriate careers advisor should be invited to the PEP for those in year 9
upwards (year 8 if choosing KS4 options) in order to contribute to this section of the
PEP in partnership with the other participants.
The pupil premium
£900 is allocated in 3 instalments to those children that have been continuously
looked after for a period of six months. This applies to all children in mainstream
schools, academies or maintained special schools. In Oxfordshire we have also
chosen to provide the pupil premium to maintained special schools in and out of our
See also Quick Guide to the Pupil Premium (which can be found on, ).
The decision on how the school or academy uses the pupil premium is made by the
The second PEP meeting may usefully record, for the benefit of the 6 month LAC
review with the Independent Reviewing Officer, the way in which the premium is
being used.
The recommendation, therefore, is that a PEP meeting takes place before the LAC
Review, allowing the independent reviewing officer to ensure that the child is
benefitting from carefully targeted use of the pupil premium.
Unaccompanied asylum seekers
Unaccompanied asylum seekers have very specific needs. Planning their provision
effectively may require understanding of their immigration status and the presence of
interpreters. There is a specific section on the PEP about the young person’s immigration
status and its impact on planning. Talking about this with young people can be difficult for
both the young person and for those working with them, it is essential that their future
planning is discussed within this context. It is not expected that there will be a prolonged
discussion about immigration, particularly if this is clearly distressing for the young person,
but it is expected that the young person will be supported to be realistic and to focus on what
they can achieve within the timeframes. The PEP organiser will need to take account of
these issues when arranging and managing the meeting. Designated teachers should liaise
particularly closely with social workers for this small but important group of young people.
Students with Special Educational Needs (SEN)
Students on the SEN register are provided with regularly reviewed Individual Education
Plans or provision maps. There will be key staff in the school dedicated to meeting their
needs; these colleagues should be involved in the PEP meeting. The PEP discussion should
reflect IEPs; if no new targets are being set following a recent IEP, administrative workload
can be reduced by simply attaching the IEP to the PEP front cover and recording that it is
attached. For students with statements of SEN, the most recent annual review document
should inform discussion and be attached. The special Statement Front Cover PEP can be
used if the annual review is happening at the same time.
Students for whom other LAs are a corporate parent and schools in other
counties educating Oxfordshire’s corporate children
Designated teachers in schools have long wished for a national PEP. Whilst this is still not a
reality, all partners understand that different LAs have different PEP proforma and slightly
different protocols for implementing statutory guidance.
For schools in Oxfordshire where children of other corporate parents are placed, the
Oxfordshire Virtual School can provide a range of support and advice and help to signpost
appropriate professionals in and out of county.
For schools out of Oxfordshire where our own corporate children are educated, the Virtual
School is available at all times for discussion about PEPs and other matters. We have an
established network of communication with other Virtual Headteachers and expect to work
closely with the LAs who educate our children. If the out of Oxfordshire school wishes to use
their own LAs protocols, procedures and documents, providing the Virtual School is kept
informed, this is entirely acceptable.
Additional resources for children in care which may be useful in the PEP
planning process
One-to-one tuition in English and mathematics through the DfE scheme
Devolved to schools in the age weighted pupil unit (AWPU).
Instrumental lessons and music activities
The Music Service offers free small group instrumental tuition to children in care. The
Oxfordshire County Music Service offers a range of activities including choirs, orchestras,
Oxfordshire Youth Music Theatre. Instrumental tuition in small groups depends on staff
resources and demand. Tuition groups may include: saxophone, clarinet, flute, violin, cello,
trombone, trumpet, cornet, tuba, guitar or electric keyboard.
There is now provision for children in care to have tuition in a musical instrument which other
children in the school are not taking.
Contact details:
[email protected]
Telephone: 01865 740000
Oxfordshire Library Service offers library tickets for foster carers and children who are in the
Looked After Service. The ticket entitles the young person and their carer to:
o No fines for late books
o No charges for reservations
o No charges for loans of story cassettes or CDs.
o No charge for loss or damage to books by children
o Registered carers are entitled to special tickets too.
Contact details:
Telephone: 01865 810240
Learning Mentors
The Virtual School provides learning mentors for looked after children, mainly in years 5,6,7
and 11 in mainstream Oxfordshire school settings and some special schools. The mentors
support students with specific areas of priority in their academic work. They work closely
with the designated teacher to ensure that this is complimentary to the way the school is
supporting the young person. They liaise with other agencies over concerns about a young
person’s progress or welfare, always keeping the designated teacher informed. Mentors also
give targeted support for students over a 6 to 12 week period where there are challenges in
engagement with learning or students may be at risk of exclusion. This work is focused on
students of secondary age who have had significant changes in their education, gaps in
provision or are having difficulty in engaging with education. The work can include a range
of engagement activities including access to cultural and leisure activities, support for home
education programmes and one-to-one assistance with academic work.
Contact details:
[email protected]
Telephone: 01865 256640
Online learning programmes
Alongside its partners in the Vulnerable Intervention Partnership (VIP), the Virtual School is
developing a contract for online live lessons and a ‘library’ of previous lessons.
Contact details:
[email protected]
Telephone: 01865 256640
Revision support
The Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, 0-25 also provides revision
guides and bespoke revision tuition groups in some subjects. Learning mentors sometimes
provide small group revision sessions or residentials. There are annual GCSE revision days
held for all year 11 students in English and mathematics.
A range of publications are available on the Virtual School intranet site
include all the relevant statutory documents and publications written by school staff.
The Virtual School, Education Handbook, written by Anne Peake, Educational Psychologist,
supports parents/carers involvement in the education of their children. It focuses on different
aspects of education and seeks to inform parents/carers about schools and the needs of
children who are in care. Social workers and designated teachers are requested to ensure
that this is made available to all parents/carers.
Contact details:
[email protected]
Telephone: 01865 256640
Documents referred to in this guidance
1. Promoting the Educational Achievement of Looked After Children: Statutory
Guidance for Local Authorities, DCSF publications 2010; search using reference
2. The role and responsibilities of the designated teacher for Looked After Children:
Statutory Guidance for School Governing bodies, DCSF publications 2009; search
using reference DCSF-01046-2009. Designated teachers, please note that this is
guidance for you, as well as governors. It is a detailed and constructive document
which really helps you to understand the expectations of your role.
3. Notes of guidance on the pupil premium sent to LAs in January 2011.
All of the above are available on the Virtual School Intranet site.
Other reading you may find useful
 Attachment Theory, Clem Bannell and Anne Peake, on the Virtual School intranet
 The Education Handbook for Parents and Foster Carers, Anne Peake, on the Virtual
School intranet site
 Learn the Child: Helping looked after children to learn, Cairns K. and Stanway
(2004) British Association for Adoption and Fostering, London.
 The Designated Teacher’s Handbook, The Care Matters Partnership
(now ALS-Akamas) 2010, telephone Katie Taylor 01923 679733. This is a highly
comprehensive guide and is recommended.
Venetia Mayman
Headteacher, The Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, 0-25
January 2014
1st PEP Meeting
PEP Cycle
arrives in care or in a
new school.
Within 20
If child changes
school or leaves
and re-enters
Convened by: Social Worker
Attended by:
* Social Worker
Designated Teacher
Key Worker
Careers advisor (Yr 8 – 11)
Led by:
Senior School Staff /
Designated Teacher
The social worker should complete the social care core
document before the meeting.
The social worker has responsibility for completing the core
document and school is responsible for completing the year
specific documents.
PEP Meeting
Convened by: Designated Teacher
Attended by: * Social Worker
* Designated Teacher
* Carer
Key Worker
Careers advisor (Yr 8 – 11)
Led by: Senior School Staff /
Designated Teacher
The social worker should update the social
care core document before the meeting.
School has responsibility for updating and
completing all PEP documents,
Within 8
If the child remains in care the
school continues to have
responsibility for completing,
updating and sending all PEP docs.
Within 8
At the 6 month LAC review the Independent
Reviewing Officer ensures
There is a PEP in statutory time lines
The school has made plans for
effective use of the pupil premium
Max 6
PEP documents sent
By: Designated teacher
[email protected]
The carer
The social worker
Max 6
PEP Meeting
PEP documents sent
By: Designated teacher
[email protected]
The carer
The social worker
Within 8
To take place immediately before 6 month LAC Review.
(DT and Social Worker to liaise on timings.)
Convened by:
Designated Teacher
Attended by:
*Social Worker
*Designated Teacher
Key Worker
Careers advisor (Yr 8 – 11)
Led by: Senior School Staff /
Designated Teacher
The social worker should update the social care core document
before the meeting.
School has responsibility for updating and completing the PEP
* Essential