Personal Education Plans

1. Introduction

Promoting the Education of Looked After Children and Previously Looked After Children (DfE, 2018) makes it clear that the Personal Education Plan (PEP) is not only an integral part of the Care Plan but also provides the means by which a Child in Care's educational progress and achievement can be monitored. The PEP should reflect the importance of a personalised approach to learning which secures good basic skills, stretches aspirations and builds life chances.

The PEP is the joint responsibility of the local authority and the school but should involve all those with an interest in the child's education including:

  • The child/young person;
  • The Social Worker;
  • The Designated Teacher;
  • The carer;
  • The parent (where appropriate);
  • Virtual Schools.

Effective and high quality PEPs should:

  • Be a comprehensive and enduring record of the child's experience, progress and achievement (academic and otherwise);
  • Be linked to information in other education plans, including any Education, Health and Care Plans and SEN Support Plans;
  • Identify developmental and educational needs (short and long term) in relation to skills, knowledge, subject areas and experiences;
  • Set short term targets, including progress monitoring against each of the areas identified against development and educational needs;
  • Set long term plans and educational targets and aspirations (e.g. in relation to public examinations, further and higher education, work experience and career plans and aspirations);
  • Document identified actions for specific individuals intended to support the achievement of agreed targets;
  • Identify whether the child is eligible for the Pupil Premium and if so how the allowance will be used to support the targets set in the PEP.

2. The initial PEP

It is the Social Worker's responsibility to initiate the PEP and every child and young person looked after should have a PEP in place in time for the first statutory review of the Care Plan (within 20 days). It is expected that a PEP will be completed for all compulsory school age children, those in Early Years provision and those over compulsory school age who are in education.

The responsibility for initiating the PEP lies with the Social Worker who should contact the Designated Teacher at the school or education provision at the earliest opportunity to arrange a meeting. Those invited to the meeting should include the carer(s), Social Worker, Designated Teacher, and any additional education professionals involved with the child/young person. The child/young person and parent(s) should be involved as far as is appropriate and possible. If a child/young person is without education provision, the Virtual School should be consulted.

The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the progress the child/young person is making, identify any barriers to progress, agree appropriate targets and develop an action plan that will support the child/young person in achieving their objectives. It is important therefore that as much information as possible is gathered in advance of the meeting.

The Designated Teacher is responsible for:

  • Arranging for the child or young person to complete their section of the PEP, which gives an opportunity for the child to have their views taken into account and valued;
  • Completing the sections of the form which require information relating to attainment, progress, target setting, attendance, support needs and school interventions;
  • Inviting those education colleagues who will have a contribution to make to the meeting.

The Social Worker is responsible for:

  • Consulting with carers and parents who should be encouraged to attend the meeting as they have a key role to play as the first line of support for the child or young person's education;
  • Completing the sections of the form which require information relating to personal details, care details, responsibilities;
  • Ensuring the completed PEP is circulated to all those invited to the meeting and saved on the child's record.

The Virtual School receives regular reports identifying children and young people becoming looked after and will take a proactive role in ensuring PEPs are completed.

Support and/or advice for Social Workers and Designated Teachers is available from the team if required.

The Virtual School will monitor the PEP process, working with those directly involved to ensure PEPs are making a positive contribution to improving educational outcomes.

3. The PEP Process

When a child/young person becomes Looked After

  1. The Social Worker should:
    1. Contact the Designated Teacher to arrange a meeting;
    2. Complete the section of the PEP form headed:
      • Part A - Core Information;
    3. Ensure that carers, and if appropriate parents, are invited to the meeting;
  2. The Designated Teacher should:
    1. Arrange for the child/young person to complete the Child PEP (Primary / Secondary as appropriate) that asks for their views;
    2. Complete the section of the PEP form headed:
      • Part - CoBre Information;
    3. Ensure that additional educational colleagues involved with the child/young person are invited to the meeting e.g. Educational Psychologist, specialist learning support.

The PEP meeting

  1. The meeting should focus on:
    1. Sharing relevant information;
    2. Acknowledging strengths and achievements;
    3. Agreeing SMART targets (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely) - these may be targets already identified in existing plans e.g. SEN Support Plans, Education, Health and Care Plans;
    4. Considering longer term goals and identifying any actions necessary to support progress towards those goals;
    5. Identifying any barriers to progress and agreeing appropriate action to reduce the impact on learning;
    6. Considering how the Pupil Premium could support the action plan;
    7. Agreeing a date to review the PEP;
  2. The discussion and decisions made at the meeting should be recorded using the section of the PEP form headed:
    • Part C - Review and Plan;
  3. The social worker should ensure the PEP proforma is completed, circulated to everyone invited to the meeting and a copy saved on the child's electronic record.

Implementing the plan

The designated teacher should ensure the PEP is implemented. This will involve liaising with colleagues and monitoring the impact of the agreed actions, strategies and interventions.

Reviewing the plan

The plan should be reviewed as agreed, within 6 months or earlier if circumstances change significantly.