Funding for Previously Looked-After Children

The Virtual School Team provide support and advice to education settings and professionals who are working with children who have previously been in care. 

Pupil Premium / Pupil Premium Plus

The pupil premium from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023 will include pupils recorded in the October 2021 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 further information, please access the following Gov.UK websites:-

Pupil Premium Plus: Conditions of Grant for schools and academies 2022/23 – GOV.UK

Early Years Pupil Premium

Children between the ages of 3 and 4 may be eligible for the Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP).  This is pre-school support for early years providers to improve the education they provide for disadvantaged 3 and 4 year olds (but not 4 year-olds in reception class at school) in England, who are previously looked-after children through an adoption order, a Special Guardianship Order, a Child Arrangements Order, or the child’s parent/carer is in receipt of a qualifying benefit.  Early years providers are any organisation that offers education for children aged under 5, including nurseries and childminders.

The funding goes directly to registered early years providers that offer children the free early education entitlement.  EYPP amounts to £342 (60p per hour) per child per year where a child attends for the full 570 hours.

To claim the funding the child’s eligibility for EYPP should be declared.  The establishment will need to see supporting evidence (e.g. a copy of the SGO), and will complete the application on behalf of the parent/carer.

Further information, including on support in early years, is available in a guide commissioned by the Department for Education for parents and carers on the education of adopted and permanently placed children.  It is available at


When to Apply for Previously Looked After Children Pupil Premium Funding 6 October 2022

If a child in your school was previously in care in England or Wales and is adopted or living under a special guardianship order or a child arrangements order, you can claim £2410 each year to support their education.

 From April 2021, allocations for children in mainstream and special schools were decided based on the number of eligible children recorded in the October census. As a result of this, data from the October 2021 census will be used to allocate the funding that schools will begin to receive next April. If a child has not been declared as PCLA, schools cannot claim PP+ in retrospect, however they can be added to the following October census.

 Parents and carers are encouraged to notify their child’s school of their PCLA status. Once a school is aware of a PCLA child within their school, they can declare this on their census return. This will automatically trigger the funding and no further action is needed by the school. Schools can ask parents/carers to provide the school with sight of the court order or certificate as evidence. The school does not need to keep copies of this.


ASF – Adoption Support Fund

The Adoption Support Fund has been set up by the Government to pay for services and training for adoptive parents. To access the Fund, you will need to ask your local authority to do an assessment of your adoption support needs. If the assessment shows that these services would be beneficial, your local authority can make an application to the Fund.

The Fund will provide money to the local authority to fund a range of therapeutic services.

Until the end of the financial year 2022 to 2023 the ASF will have two fair access limits:

  • £2,500 per child per year for specialist assessment
  • £5,000 per child per year for therapy

Therapy and assessment above this amount and up to a limit of £30,000 requires match funding by the local authority.

For more information see the Adoption Support Fund page on First4Adoption for adoptive parents or Family Rights Group for SGO families.

Please note that ASF has been extended to March 2025. For further information, please visit:


Eligibility for ASF

To be eligible for funding, Local Authorities (LA) and Regional Adoption Agencies (RAA) must apply to the ASF within 3 months of assessing a family’s support needs.

The ASF is available for children up to and including the age of 21, or 25 with an education, health and care (EHC) plan, who:

  • are living (placed) with a family in England while waiting for adoption
  • were adopted from local authority care in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland and live in England
  • were adopted from abroad and live in England with a recognized adoption status
  • were in care immediately before a special guardianship order (SGO) was made
  • left care under a special guardianship order which subsequently was changed to an adoption order, or vice versa
  • left care under a child arrangement order (CAO) to enable the assessment of a potential special guardian, while the CAO is in force. They remain eligible if a SGO is subsequently made
  • are adopted from overseas

For more information see  Adoption support fund (ASF) – GOV.UK 

For more information and frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding the Adoption Support Fund, please click here.

Pupil Premium Plus and Children Adopted from Abroad

At present children who were adopted from care outside of England or Wales are not eligible to attract Pupil Premium Plus. The Department for Education (DfE) are aware of this and have committed to reviewing at the earliest opportunity.

Until such review, the DfE recommends that schools continue to support these children.

These children are still eligible for the Adoption Support Fund (ASF).

What support will I receive through the ASF?

The Fund will provide money to the local authority to fund a range of therapeutic services.

The amount per child per year is capped at £5000 for therapy, as well as a separate amount of up to £2,500 per child if specialist assessments are needed. Therapy and assessment above this amount and up to a limit of £30,000 requires match funding by the local authority.

The therapies funded are those identified to help achieve the following positive outcomes for you and your child:

  • Improved relationships with friends, family members, teachers and school staff
  • Improved engagement with learning
  • Improved emotional regulation and behaviour management
  • Improved confidence and ability to enjoy a positive family life and social relationships

To achieve these outcomes the Fund will pay for therapeutic support and services including but not restricted to:

The following are not in scope of the Fund:

  • Standalone assessments for single conditions, e.g. ADHD, FASD, autism, sensory integration, unless they are part of a wider specialist assessment which meets the criteria for the Specialist Assessment FAL i.e. are in depth, covering trauma and attachment, led and undertaken by a qualified clinician and resulting in a therapeutic support plan.
  • Standalone specialist assessments, including any baselining specialist assessments, are also out of scope of the Therapy Fair Access Limit.
  • A general social work assessment of adoption/SGO support needs remains the responsibility of the local authority/regional adoption agency.

What will the Adoption Support Fund not pay for?

Local Authorities should already be providing the following under their adoption support services:

  • Information, advice, guidance and signposting
  • Counselling
  • Opportunities for adoptive parents to interact (e.g. support groups, family days)
  • Mediation of contact with birth families
  • Mediation services when an adoptive family is at risk of disruption
  • Financial support
  • Basic Life story work
  • Short break care where no therapeutic input is provided

The ASF will also not pay for:

  • Support for physical medical conditions
  • Speech and language therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and other universal health services.
  • Education support
  • Membership of clubs and organisations
  • Legal support
  • Support provided by private sector and third sector organisations that are not Ofsted regulated unless commissioned through Local Authorities
  • Training of staff
  • Support not delivered in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
  • Animal, pet or equine therapy
  • Ex- Local authority (associate) social workers

Further information

Where an assessment identifies that you may need other support, such as financial help, or access to peer support groups, the local authority will be responsible for providing this, at their discretion, as is the situation now. The Pupil Premium is available for children adopted from care as well, to help with your child’s needs at school.

Good authorities will work together across social care, health and education to provide a holistic package of support. There is further work going on in government to improve mental health support via a Department of Health taskforce and to encourage joined-up assessments of your family’s needs.

If you have any further questions about the ASF take a look through our Adoption Support Fund: Q&A for Parents, Adoption Support Fund: Q&A for Service Providers and Adoption Support Fund: Q&A for Local Authorities. If you have any further questions about the Fund, please give our information line a call on 0300 222 0022 and our advisers will be glad to help you.

Local Authority Support and Responsibility

For the first 3 years after the adoption order is granted, the local authority responsible for placing your adopted child with you is responsible for the statutory assessment. After that, the responsibility lies with the local authority where the adoptive family lives.

However, although the local authority is legally required to carry out the assessment, they are currently not legally required to provide the support that an assessment may reveal they need. Instead, provision of post-adoption support services to families is currently at the local authority’s discretion. You can challenge their decision if you feel it is unreasonable, first through your local authority complaints procedure, or if you are still unhappy you can contact the Local Government Ombudsman.