Sandwell Pupil Premium and Personal Education Plan (PEP) guidance 2023 -2024


There is a statutory requirement that all Children in Care have in place a Personal Education Plan (PEP), reviewed in line with the child care review. In addition, all Children in Care from Reception to Year 11 benefit from Pupil Premium Plus (PP+) to support their education and academic achievement.

The Personal Education Plan

As part of the local authority’s duty to improve the educational outcomes for children in care, a Personal Education Plan (PEP) should be completed termly to support the statutory Child Review.

The PEP is a record of the child’s education and training. It should describe what needs to happen for children to help them fulfil their potential; and reflect, but not duplicate, any existing plans such as Education, Health and Care plans. The PEP presents an opportunity for those involved in the child’s day to day education to come together and share information.

All looked-after children should have a Personal Education Plan (PEP) which is part of the child’s care plan or detention placement plan. The broad areas of information that must be covered in the PEP are specified in Schedule 1 (paragraph 2) of the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) Regulations 2010 as amended.

Invitations to attend the PEP

Statutory guidance states that the meetings are attended and can take place with the designated teacher and social worker.

Children should always be consulted before every PEP meeting, but their attendance is not mandatory. We advise that children should not come out of lessons to attend PEP meetings without consent.

There is an expectation that the social worker will ensure that the carer has been invited and will attend. Virtual School staff should be invited to all meetings, but it is not essential that they attend. Parents are invited at the discretion of the social worker.

There may be occasions where practitioners working with the child (for example, a Connexions adviser, school nurse, learning mentor) may be invited if advice is needed. Their attendance is also at the discretion of the social worker and the school.


The PEP is a written record of proceedings therefore meetings cannot be recorded to protect the legal right of attendees.

What happens at the meeting

Before the meeting (approximately a week before), the social worker and designated teacher will have completed their sections. The child’s voice should be captured and recorded, including a reflection of their previous views.

For Sandwell, the designated teacher adopts the role of chair for the meeting.

Actions and targets from last PEP should be reviewed. No more than three targets should be agreed at each meeting. These may include continuing a target from the previous PEP. If an exceptional funding request is made, this should be reflected in the targets and emailed separately to the Virtual School.

Who has access to the PEP

Along with the Virtual School, the Social Worker and Designated Teacher has electronic access to the PEP.

Social worker makes the decision to provide a printed copy to the carer or parent (not section A).

Sandwell Virtual School Pupil Premium Plus Expenditure

For the financial year 2023-24 the amount allocated to the Virtual School for each eligible child is £2,530. It remains the responsibility of the Virtual School Head to manage the PP+ for all children who are in care to its local authority regardless of where they go to school.

Due to the range of needs and the high degree of mobility for children in care, they often require additional support with their placement and in particular around transition. The Virtual School therefore retains a portion of each PP+ to ensure that we can offer specific interventions, respond to the needs of the child and ensure that designated teachers and other stakeholders have the skills to support children in care appropriately through regular training.

In some circumstances, the Virtual School will withhold all of the funding if it is deemed that the provision is already well funded. This mainly applies to pupils attending independent and non-mainstream provision.

It is our intention to distribute the funding on the basis of a thoroughly completed PEP with appropriate SMART targets. A payment of £650 will be authorised on a termly basis for the 2023-24 financial year.

Attracting the funding

In order to attract the funding, schools will have completed an electronic PEP each term. The PEP in the previous term will be assessed to determine payment, giving colleagues time for completion.

The two following principles apply to the release of funding for the majority of local authorities within the West Midlands:

a) There will be a current PEP in place, including evidence of progress made from using the PP+.
b) The school will have provided details of how their PP+ has been spent for the child; particularly in terms of maximising potential in literacy, numeracy and overall progress.

Points to note:

1. Children in care are eligible for PP+ from the first day of care.
2. The PP+ is managed by the Virtual School Head and will be paid as outlined above.
3. Schools will receive £650 per term. Consideration is given on occasion for this to be increased in the spring term.
4. Designated Teachers can discuss individual cases with the Virtual School if additional exceptional funding is required.
5. For some schools to receive the funding, bank details should be provided using the electronic form sent by the Virtual School.
6. The Virtual School Head is entitled to withhold future payments if it is considered that the use of the PP+ falls below that expected for all children in care.**
7. For children in non-mainstream or independent settings PP+ will only be distributed if considered appropriate and they will be required to provide supporting evidence demonstrating that PP+ is having an additional impact on progress and attainment.
8. Funding for children in Year 11 PP+ is redirected in the summer term and only exceptional requests will be considered.
9. Once PP+ has been distributed to a school, it will not be clawed back if the child moves on.
10. Children educated in Sandwell but looked after by another local authority, will receive their pupil premium from their ‘home’ authority.
11. If the child leaves care the PP+ will be paid up to the term in which they leave as long as the appropriate documentation has been provided.
12. The list of the different types of use (many previously used by schools) are provided below.
13. The Virtual School will offer advice and guidance for children who leave care through adoption or a special guardianship order, however we do not manage PP+ for these pupils. The responsibility is on the school to claim the funding once clarification is sought from the carer.

** The Virtual School will review looked after data to compare the progress of all children in care.

Pupil Premium Plus uses

Teaching Approaches which Close the Gap

The Sutton Trust has created a toolkit which summarises the research evidence on improving learning and attainment to support schools in making informed choices about how to support pupils who are eligible for Pupil Premium funding. Below is a summary of the evidence on teaching children 5 to 16. The complete toolkit can be downloaded from :

Interventions that Sandwell will agree:

NB: Pupil Premium Plus expenditure has to reflect how it is narrowing the gap and the school will need to demonstrate that it has had an impact, not only in reporting it to us, but in response to its own Ofsted inspection.

Sandwell will not agree funding for:

• Reducing class sizes
• Repeating a year
• School Uniform
• Teaching Assistants – general for the whole class
• Equipment that should be provided by the carer
• Trips (that are open to the whole class)
• Prom Dresses
• School equipment such as pens and pencils etc
• Bus passes
• Anything else that school, carers and social workers should provide
The question you should ask is “How is this activity being funded for all other children?”

Early Years Pupil Premium

Early years education settings receive £300 pupil premium per school year for each looked after child when they take up their free childcare entitlement. They become eligible in the term after their third birthday and the table below provides details of when this applies.

Child’s birthday When you can claim
1 January to 31 March the beginning of term on or after 1 April
1 April to 31 August the beginning of term on or after 1 September
1 September to 31 December the beginning of term on or after 1 January


Early years providers are any organisation that offers education for children aged under 5, including nurseries and childminders.

For children looked after by Sandwell the funding will be sent to the schools/settings:

• Based on a quality Early Years PEP being completed each term.
• In three instalments - £100 per term.

The Education Endowment Foundation has worked in partnership with the Sutton Trust to produce an Early Years Toolkit for The Early years Pupil premium. They have looked at a variety of interventions with the top use in terms of low cost high impact being: Communication and Language approaches, self-regulation approaches, early literacy/numeracy approaches.

Our advice for delivering intervention in this way would be:-

    1. To have someone the child knows to deliver extra sessions.
    2. To assign a TA/HLTA (who would be paid extra) to deliver 8 - 1/2 hour sessions or 4 - 1 hour sessions to the child and carer after their school session ends (straight after dinner or after school) at a rate of £20-£25 per hour (including preparation).

        o This means that the TA/HLTA can work directly in collaboration with the setting teacher.
        o There is continuity for the child and they build up trust with the member of staff.
        o Progress will be noticeable and easily tracked.

The EYFS PEP enables settings to record progress against these measures. There are also established tracking methods familiar to most settings, therefore this can be incorporated into our established PEP if appropriate.

Previously Looked After Children

The pupil premium for 2023 to 2024 will include pupils recorded in the January 2023 school census and alternative provision census, who were looked after by an English or Welsh local authority immediately before being adopted, or who left local authority care on a special guardianship order or child arrangements order (previously known as a residence order). These are collectively referred to as post-LAC in these conditions of grant.

For the purposes of these conditions of grant, mainstream school means infant, junior, primary, middle, secondary, high schools, special school and pupil referral units. It does not include general hospital schools or other alternative provision.

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) will allocate PPG to schools and local authorities (who must allocate for each FTE pupil on the January 2023 school census, at each school they maintain) £2,530 per pupil for each post-LAC in year groups reception to year 11.

ESFA allocates PPG to each local authority for Ever 6 FSM, Ever 6 service child and post-LAC pupils in general hospital schools and alternative provision (including non-maintained special schools) not maintained by the local authority but where the local authority pays full tuition fees.

PPG allocations will be confirmed in June 2023 once pupil number data from the January 2023 census has been validated and agreed.

Eligibility for PP+ for Previously Looked After Children

Local authorities should follow a different process for checking the eligibility of children who:

• have been adopted from local authority care
• have left care through a special guardianship order
• have left care through a child arrangements order

Local authorities will not be able to check such eligibility through the department’s eligibility checking system. Instead, the parents, adoptive parents or guardians of these children should show authorities evidence of the court order that proves that the child was in local authority care in either England or Wales.

Revised October 2023

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