Educational Support for Looked After Children

Early years

To receive Early Years Pupil Premium, the child must be 3 or 4 years olds and receiving funded early education with an Early Years setting, school or funded child minder. The Early Years setting will spend this as they deem appropriate, although foster carers are welcome to make suggestions.

All three and four year olds in England are currently entitled to 15 hours of free early education and childcare each week for 38 weeks of the year.

Looked After Children of two years, or have left care through special guardianship, adoption order or residence order are currently eligible for up to 15 hours free early education and childcare. This can be accessed from a range of early year's settings, including nursery schools, nursery classes in schools and various other settings. Social Workers will be able to advise you of the current arrangements.

A foster carer can apply for these funded places through the Families Information Service.

Tel; 01609 53348 or email:


When a child needs or joins a new school

All children and young people have a statutory entitlement to full time education from the age of four years old. Find information concerning Primary or Secondary admissions, transferring schools or the County's Admissions Policy, here

Choosing and applying for a school place is usually the child's social worker's responsibility but in some circumstances may be delegated to you or shared with others. Changes of school should be avoided as this will disrupt the child's education. It should not take place in the middle of a school year or in years 10 and 11 unless this is unavoidable.

If a Young Person has Special Needs, you may wish to visit the North Yorkshire SEND website for information about the local offer and admissions connected to Special Needs.

School designated teacher's role

The Designated Teacher has a leadership role in promoting the educational achievement of every Looked After Child on the school's roll. Do you know who the Designated Teacher is at the school your foster child attends?

The Designated Teacher should make a positive difference by promoting the needs of every Looked After Child, ensuring their personal, emotional and academic needs are prioritised. The role of the Designated Teacher includes:

  • Taking the lead responsibility for helping school staff understand the difficulties affecting Looked After Children and how positive systems of support can help to overcome them.

  • Acting as an advocate for Looked After Children

  • Developing and monitoring systems for liaising with carers, social workers, health professionals and the Virtual School

  • Monitoring the educational progress, attainment and attendance of all Looked After Children

  • Intervening if there is evidence of individual under-achievement or absence from school

  • Liaising with the member of staff responsible for monitoring children on the Child Protection Register, ensuring all Children in Care in school are safeguarded

  • Making sure that Children in Care are prioritised in one-to-one tuition arrangements and that carers understand the importance of supporting learning at home

  • Taking lead responsibility for the development and implementation of the child's personal education plan (PEP) within the school and effective use of the Pupil Premium.

The Virtual School (formerly ELAC)

The Virtual School team has been enhanced and expanded since 2008 and now includes:  Virtual School Head, which is a statutory position for all local authorities, Lead Youth Mentor and Youth Mentors; Lead Learning Adviser and Learning Advisers; Lead Education Adviser and an Education Adviser.

Virtual School staff provide training and information for schools, foster carers and social workers.  They also ensure resources, including the pupil premium for Looked After Children are distributed effectively and that they have an impact on the educational achievements of children in care.  The Virtual School ensures all children and young people in the care of NYCC, have an up-to-date Personal Education Plan and provides direct support for them to support their learning needs.

The Virtual School can intervene and try to remove barriers to learning for NYCC CIC where appropriate.