Supporting Children Previously Looked After

Children Previously Looked After benefit from having the close monitoring and individualised support in school that is provided to Children Looked After.  Whilst there is no statutory expectation for schools to have a PEP meeting for Children Previously Looked After, we would strongly advocate that schools use this approach where possible.

Sutton Virtual School have designed Previously Looked After PEP template that schools can download below and use in PEP meetings as necessary.

Sutton SECONDARY PCLA PEP template

Sutton PRIMARY PCLA PEP Template


Schools often seek clarification around PCLA when completing the school census data..  The definition of Children Previously Looked After for census recording is as follows:

Children previously looked-after are those who are no longer looked after by a local authority in England and Wales (as defined by the Children Act 1989 or Part 6 of the Social Services and Well- being (Wales) Act 2014) because they are the subject of:

  • an adoption
  • special guardianship or
  • child arrangements order; or
  • were adopted from ‘state care’ outside England and Wales. ‘State care’ is care provided by a public authority, a religious organisation, or any other organisation whose sole or main purpose is to benefit society.


Promoting the education of looked-after and previously looked-after children statutory guidance

A child who has returned home to live with birth parent(s), having been in care (as defined by the Children Act 1989 or Part 6 of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014), is not defined as a child previously looked-after.