The Personal Education Plan is a very important document, and its creation a very important process. Put simply this is because, due to other factors in their lives, looked after can often children have significantly poorer attainment than other children, or have additional educational needs.
A Personal Education Plan, more commonly known as a PEP, is an ever-evolving and record of what has happened, what should happen and who will make it happen, to ensure that looked-after-children are fully enabled to progress and achieve their full potential.
Children in care, as with all children, require support that is tailored to their characteristics and experiences.
All of those involved in the process of developing the PEP should use it to inform and support the personalised learning of the child.
All looked after children, from pre-school to 18, should have a PEP. It is an integral part of the child’s care plan or placement plan, even if they don’t have a school place.
When a child is placed in care an emergency, it is the duty of their social worker, with the support of the Virtual School Head, to initiate a PEP within 10 working days of the child becoming looked after, wherever they are placed.
When a looked-after-child turns 16, the LA should develop a Pathway Plan (PP), which is intended to ease the transition into adulthood. A PP can exist alongside a PEP or, if the child and the LA agree, it can replace it, provided it contains a robust educational element.
No matter where (or even if) a looked after child of school age is educated, it is the responsibility of their social
• Initiate a PEP;
• call termly PEP reviews and meetings (3 per school year) and to invite relevant professionals including
educational providers, CAMHS, SENCos, IROs, Virtual Schools Representative and Carers.
• ensure, with the support of relevant professionals, that the PEP contains an up to date summary of the child’s
attainment and progress;
• ensure the PEP specifies who will take the lead on which targets and specifies timescales for action and
The designated teacher (who must be a qualified teacher) is responsible for how the PEP is developed and used
day-to-day in school to ensure the child’s progress is monitored.
There is no specified or required format for a PEP. Some are brief, some are extensive, some are in paper format and others are digital (e-PEPs).
Documents and processes differ greatly between local authorities.
A PEP should cover and detail:
• catch-up support and intervention strategies if a child has fallen behind;
• any support needed to help the child achieve academic goals, including support to achieve expected levels of progress and careers advice;
• transition needs and support.
A PEP should also identify:
• specific educational and developmental needs;
• SMART short-term targets (borne out of identified needs);
• SMART medium- and long-term targets, centred on educational goals;
• Timescales for targets to be achieved;
• Specific individuals who will support the LAC in achieving their targets;
• Additional resources specifically designated to support the attainment of the LAC (e.g. the pupil premium);
• Intervention strategies and how they will make/have made a difference to attainment levels.
PEPs should be intrinsically linked with, and informed by, any other plans (e.g. EHCPs, BSPs, ILPs, PSPs etc.) that relate to the pupil.
PEPs are subject to a statutory review each school term. This ensures that the story of the child’s education is current and continues to meet their needs. This information feeds into reviews of the wider Care Plan.
PEPs should also be reviewed whenever the child’s:
• Educational provision changes;
• Care placement changes;
• Circumstances change significantly.
The child’s social worker should:
• not make significant decisions about child’s education without reviewing the PEP alongside the child, school,
carer, VSH, IRO and, where appropriate, their parent(s).