Virtual School for Children Looked After
Personal Education Plans
A new procedure is soon to be implemented in respect of Personal Education Plans (PEPs).
The PEP now forms an integral part of the Social Care system. It is much shorter, and a
number of previously required data has been removed. The main change from a schools
perspective is the removal of the pages relating to attainment, as this will now be collected
from our CLA Tracker (see below) – thus removing some of the duplication of effort previously
As this is an embedded form, you will no longer be expected to complete the old word
document. Social Workers can email you a pre-populated PDF file in preparation for the
meeting. Additionally, over time, CLA Tracker will hold copies of prior PEPs for the children.
This is especially useful when the child has moved school – a common occurrence for many.
Our message to social workers has been in relation to the quality of PEPs and the
The focus needs to be:
o The education targets should be focussed, meaningful and easily understood by
both the child and the adults.
o The criteria for success should be clear, identifying what actions are needed,
which professional is responsible and in what timescale.
o We would like all achievements, however small, to be acknowledged and
o Where a PEP contains a request for Personal Education Allowance (PEA) there
should be a demonstrable link to how this will help the young person achieve
o Ensure the PEP meeting is held in time for you to complete the form in Protocol
before the expiry of the previous PEP.
o In advance, please think about who should attend. For example, during year 6
transition, you may wish to invite the designated teacher from the secondary
school, and if held in the summer term would fulfil the criteria for a PEP
following school move.
o Ensure carers are invited in order for them to support the plan.
Schools, carers and social workers are equal partners in making this positive and worthwhile
for the young person. The discussion with young person to complete their pupil view sheet is
a vital part of the process.
You may be aware that we have a responsibility to track and monitor the progress and
attainment of our children looked after that are educated in Essex and out of County.
In our Ofsted Inspection in 2010 a key recommendation was to put a tracking system in place.
It was also made clear to us, both as a Local Authority and we have had feedback from
school inspections that as children looked after are our priority vulnerable group, we must be
able to demonstrate that we make a difference and that, after becoming looked, after our
children are able to make progress and achieve because they are in a safe environment.
In order to achieve this we need to work in partnership with schools and other education
establishments, both in Essex and across the UK to provide a solution and this has meant a
complete new way of recording, which is internet-based.
CLA Tracker went live on 1st May 2011. A pack will soon be sent to all Essex schools, even if
there are no known children looked after currently on roll. This will provide your user name
and how you obtain access. Please look out for this and, as Dowry funding is based on the
accuracy of the information stored, it is important that your designated teacher acts on the
requirements contained within the letter promptly. The tracking system is a simple process,
and there are minimal requirements for the school. A Quick Start Guide will be included in the
pack and we are available to assist with any enquiries.
CLA Tracker will hold details of each Child Looked After in your school. For Essex Children
Looked After the information will include attendance directly fed to us by Welfare Call; PEPs,
uploaded by us from May 2011, and attainment, kindly entered by your school each term. I do
assure you, the process is simple and with many schools having just one or two children who
are looked after, it has been designed so it is not an arduous task.
If your school receives a child on roll in the future who is looked after by Essex we will be
quickly aware of them, except if they are from another local authority. Please do let us know
so we can arrange for their details to be added promptly.
You may have Children Looked After by another Local Authority on your school roll in these
circumstances it is vital that you provide the Virtual School with the information. When you
email the Virtual School at CLATracker@essex.gov.uk for your password you will be sent a
form to complete.
Please do not hesitate to contact the Virtual School on the email address above or by
telephone if you need any assistance.
Thank you for your support and assistance in implementing this new partnership working in
order to achieve better educational outcome for our children looked after.
Interim Head of the Virtual School