What a Personal Education Plan is
From 1 October 2001 all children and young people who become Looked After by the Local Authority must have a Personal Education Plan. This should be completed within 20 days of the child/young person becoming Looked After and also when a Looked After Child/Young Person joins a new school.
How the process begins
The child or young person’s Social Worker will send a Personal Education Plan form to the Designated Teacher for Looked After Children at the school. Some details on the form will have been completed by the Social Worker.
The Social Worker will then contact the Designated Teacher for Looked After Children at the school to arrange a meeting to discuss and finalise the Personal Education Plan. Over the telephone the Social Worker and Designated Teacher for Looked After Children should decide when is the most appropriate time to meet, and who will be invited to the meeting. It is suggested that the meeting take place within one week of the school receiving the Personal Education Plan.
Before the meeting:
- The school should gather information from appropriate staff to complete the Personal Education Plan
- The child/young person's views on school should be sought by the agreed, most appropriate, professional
- The Social Worker should discuss the purpose of the meeting with the parent/carer, as appropriate
Purpose of the Personal Education Plan meeting
This meeting is vital to look at the child/ young person's current educational needs and to update the school regarding the child/young person's social needs. The main purpose of this meeting is to ensure that the school and Social Services are aware of any current areas of concern regarding the child/young person's needs and to plan together the current priorities and any future action.
Attendance at a Personal Education Plan meeting
Those people who might attend a meeting regarding the Personal Education Plan include:
- Social Worker
- Designated Teacher for Looked After Children at the school or an appropriate member of staff (Tutor, Head of Year, etc)
- Any other appropriate school personnel as suggested by the school (Tutor, Head of Year, Teaching Assistant, etc)
- Parent/Carer/Social Worker to invite as appropriate
- Child and Young Person
If the child or young person does not feel able to attend the meeting, the Social Worker and the school should discuss and determine the most appropriate way to seek their current views about school. It is important that every effort is made to seek the child/ young person's views, even from the youngest children.
In some circumstances the Social Worker and school may agree to invite other appropriate people to the meeting. This request should be made by the Social Worker.
What happens at the meeting
All those who attend will need to consider:
- Current levels of achievement and attainment from relevant previous tests
- Any current educational targets for the child/young person and whether these need amending
- Any factors affecting educational progress
- Any medium or long term planning factors (phase change, SATS, GCSE, options etc.)
- Child/Young Person's view of school
- After school activities if appropriate
The Personal Education Plan will need to be completed and agreed, with any further action agreed and who will be responsible for carrying it out. A date will be set when the Personal Education Plan will be reviewed.
What happens next
Both School and Social Worker need to retain a copy of the completed Personal Education Plan and, if necessary, circulate it to other appropriate members of staff.
The Personal Education Plan will then form an intricate part of the statutory Looked After Review for the Child/Young Person.
The Personal Education Plan will need to be reviewed within a six month period of the completion date.