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5.4.4 The Personal Education Plan (PEP)


This chapter applies to all Looked After children. It should be read in conjunction with the government guidance documents and related chapters.

Note that different provisions apply to children who acquire Looked After status as a result of a remand to local authority accommodation or Youth Detention Accommodation. In relation to those children, please see Remands to Local Authority Accommodation or to Youth Detention Accommodation Procedure, Care Planning for Young People on Remand.


DfE, Promoting the Education of Looked After and Previously Looked After Children

DfE and DHSC, Special educational needs and disability code of practice 0 to 25 years- Statutory guidance for organisations who work with and support children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (2015)


This chapter was reviewed and amended in July 2017 to reflect the current terminology.


  1. Personal Education Plan

    Appendix 1: Designated Teacher PEP Checklist

    Appendix 2: Personal Education Plan Review Form – Spring 2

    Appendix 3: Personal Education Plan (PEP) Flowchart

1. Personal Education Plan

The Personal Education Plan (PEP) is a statutory requirement which should set out what needs to happen to support the personalised learning of the child. The PEP should be initiated by the social worker as part of the Care Plan before the child becomes Looked After (or within 10 working days in the case of an emergency placement), and be available for the first Looked After Review meeting. Subsequently, the PEP should be reviewed termly see Reviewing and Updating the Personal Education Plan (PEP).

All looked after children from age three to eighteen must have a PEP, whether or not currently attending an education setting. It would be good practice to complete a PEP for children under the age of three who are attending nursery provision or where there has been an identified learning/educational need. It provides essential information to ensure that appropriate support is in place to enable the child to achieve and aspire. It is also a record of the child's leisure interests and educational achievement.

The key people who should attend a PEP meeting include:

  • The child;
  • The Social Worker;
  • The carer;
  • The Designated Teacher.

All those contributing to the PEP process should involve the child, however if it is deemed that it is not suitable for the child to attend e.g. due to their age or them not wanting to engage in the process, this should be recorded in the PEP. Every effort should be made to encourage the child to contribute to their PEP.

The range of education and development needs that should be covered in the PEP includes:

  • Access to a nursery or other high quality early years provision that is appropriate to the child’s age (e.g. pre-school playgroups) and meets their identified developmental needs;
  • On-going catch-up support for those who have fallen behind with school work (including use of effective intervention strategies);
  • Current attainment and progress data;
  • Provision of immediate suitable education where a child is not in school (e.g. because of temporary or permanent exclusion);
  • Transition support needs where needed, such as:
    • When a child begins to attend a new school or returns to school (e.g. moving from pre-school, primary to secondary school or following illness or exclusion);
    • When there is plan for a child to move placement (e.g. placed for adoption which may require a change of school).
  • Support needed to help the child realise their short and long-term academic achievements and aspirations. This includes:
    • Support to achieve expected levels of progress for the relevant national curriculum key stage and to complete an appropriate range of approved qualifications;
    • Careers advice and guidance and financial information about further and higher education, training and employment.
  • Out-of-school hours learning activities, study support and leisure interests;
  • School attendance and, where appropriate, behaviour support.

The Designated Teacher should lead on how the PEP is developed and used in school to make sure the child’s progress towards education targets is monitored, with the Virtual School having a quality assurance role. This should include access to Pupil Premium funding and any other interventions available.

The PEP is an evolving record, and arrangements for the flow of information to develop, review and update the PEP should be in place to ensure the Designated Teacher, carer and, where appropriate, child and parent have a copy of the latest version of the document. PEP meetings do not need to be a separate meeting. The PEP should be completed during or as a continuation of care planning meetings to ensure the PEP is a personalised PEP document, encompassing all relevant professionals views and the holistic needs of the child e.g. placement, emotional needs, Care Plan. A copy of the PEP must also be held on the child’s file (ICS).

The Virtual School assess the quality of PEPs and provide feedback to schools and social workers. The education section of the PEP is also scrutinised during Virtual School monitoring visits.


The PEP checklist should be sent to Designated Teachers in advance of attending the PEP meeting.


Click here to view Appendix 1: Designated Teacher PEP Checklist

Click here to view Appendix 2: Personal Education Plan Review Form – Spring

Click here to view Appendix 3: Personal Education Plan (PEP) Flowchart