08: The Personal Education Plan (PEP)

‘Every child and young person in public care needs a Personal Education Plan which ensures access to services and support; contributes to stability, minimises disruption and broken schooling; signals particular and special needs; establishes clear goals and acts as a record of progress and achievement.’  The Education of Young People in Public Care – Chapter 5 (Dept. of Health and DfEE, 2000)

Every Looked After Child of school age must have a PEP. The PEP is a critical document that sits within the Child Plan (Care Plan). Where a three or four year old LAC is in educational nursery provision, they too should have a PEP. 

The purpose of the PEP is to join up and aid access to services and support, contributing to stability and achievement, and reducing educational disruption. The individual needs of the child/young person are identified as well as goals set and achievements recorded.

Plans must set clear objectives and targets with the young person which relate to academic achievement, and if appropriate, emotional and behavioural needs. It is important that it captures the young person’s voice and that this contributes to shaping the Plan. The PEP must include details of who will own each element of the Plan with timescales for action and review. Part of the Plan records the young person’s educational background including progress and educational achievements over time.  It is essential that it identifies developmental and educational needs, monitors progress against short-term targets and longer term plans including career plans and aspirations.

Historically it has been the duty of the social worker to arrange the initial and subsequent PEP meetings, to coordinate attendance, to ensure that the PEP is completed and to ensure that finalised copies distributed to all those requesting a copy. In some Local Authorities the LACES teams are responsible for these duties.

The initial PEP meeting should be held within 20 school days of the young person becoming looked after and the PEP proforma completed in order to inform the initial LAC Review. Thereafter there must be a review of the PEP every six months to inform subsequent LAC Reviews or more frequently i.e. in the event of any significant change affecting the young person. Some PEPs are now moving to termly reviews rather than every 6 months.

Attendees at the PEP meeting should include the carer, social worker, designated teacher, relevant specialist staff e.g. educational psychologist, Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) and, if appropriate, the young person and parent(s) or other close family members.

The PEP has four sections:

1. Essential Information

  • Child’s personal details
  • Key contacts
  • Care record
  • Medical information
  • School attendance record
  • Travel arrangements to and from educational placement(s)
  • PEP History

2. Pupil Voice

  • A chance for the pupil to add their thoughts on their school experience, their strengths and weaknesses and future plans.

3. Educational Background

  • Special educational needs
  • Progress and attainment record

4. Personal Education Plan

  • People in attendance at the PEP meeting
  • Review of communication network
  • Review of the previous PEP and its impact
  • Attitudes to learning
  • Current educational needs/priorities
  • New PEP targets/objective and actions – short and long term

You should be able to locate blank PEP templates online quite easily. If you are unable to, please contact one of Capstone’s education team who will be able to help.

It is the responsibility of all those who attend the initial and subsequent PEP meetings to ensure the plan is implemented, supported and followed.  The written PEP needs to be a ‘living document’ driving and supporting the education of the LAC. The PEP also needs to be available for statutory reviews.

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