PAC-UKs Education Service has put together a PAC-UK Education Service Guide, clearly setting out eligibility criteria, how funding can be accessed, what it can be used for and other vital information for adoptive parents and other permanent carers as well as school staff and social workers.

It is up to the school to decide how to spend Pupil Premium Plus money. The Department for Education (DfE) has stated that it is good practice to consult parents and guardians when deciding what to use it for. Some schools are consulting with individual parents and guardians, while others have invited adopters and special guardians to group consultations or task groups about how to spend the funding. Schools must act transparently and publish details of their pupil premium spending on their websites.

We strongly recommend that schools separate their pupil premium and pupil premium plus spending in these breakdowns, since the needs of the two groups are different.

Parents can contact Derby Virtual School to seek advice and telephone support. This can include advocacy and contact with the school. Training is also offered to schools and Designated Teachers on Pupil Premium Plus spending, Educational Psychologist input and SEN processes. The Virtual School can also signpost to CAMHS Post Adoption Support, Oakfield Short Stay School outreach and processes for accessing Inclusion Partnership Support.

The Virtual School offers all Derby city schools whole staff training on attachment and trauma and advises schools on attachment-friendly strategies such as:

  • key adult
  • safe space
  • preparation and support for transition and change
  • emotional literacy support including emotion coaching and wondering aloud
  • strategies to support executive functioning skills
  • targeted use of Pupil Premium Plus
  • use of the Boxall Profile and SDQs to track and monitor progress for emotional wellbeing.

Transitions and change can be very difficult for adopted children and planning needs to be in place prior to these changes. PAC-UK has produced a Help Sheet for professionals and families.

It may be useful to seek advice from the Virtual School regarding attachment-friendly schools in Derby city. Information in the PAC publications will also help with questions you may want to ask primary schools and secondary schools.

Derby Virtual School offers a range of training to schools and adopters. Please email for more information.

Your local authority has a school admissions department and they are responsible for ensuring your child gets a school place. Since September 2013, Looked After Children (LAC) and children who left UK care on an Adoption Order, Special Guardianship Order or Child Arrangements Order (formerly Residence Order) have the highest priority.

The authority which placed your child can provide a letter confirming your child's status.

The admissions code states:

1.7. All schools must have oversubscription criteria for each 'relevant age group' and the highest priority must be given, unless otherwise provided in this Code, to looked after children and all previously looked after children. Previously looked after children are children who were looked after, but ceased to be so because they were adopted (or became subject to a child arrangements order or special guardianship order) … immediately following having been looked after. Oversubscription criteria must then be applied to all other applicants in the order set out in the arrangements.

For more information, view the School Admissions Code

Please contact Derby Virtual School for telephone advice. If your child is a primary-aged pupil, check that the school has already consulted the Oakfield Behaviour forums or, for secondary pupils, the local Inclusions Partnership.

For more information, view the Statutory Guidance for Exclusions.