Personal education plans

A personal education plan (PEP) is a school based meeting to plan for the education of a child in care. The government have made PEPs a statutory requirement for children in care to help track and promote their achievements.

A PEP should help all those who support their education, and therefore have the biggest impact on how they do in school, to meet, share information and plan for your child's education. Your child's out of school activities will also be discussed as these activities can have a very positive impact on your child's life and their education.

When and how often a PEP is needed

Children in care who are three or over should have a PEP until they've finished compulsory education at the end of year 11. The first PEP should take place within 20 school days of a child coming into care. After this, PEPs take place every six months.

However, if a child changes school a PEP should take place within 20 school days of starting at their new school. Also if a child has a statement of Special Educational Needs it is helpful if one of the PEPs coincides with the annual review of the statement.

Who attends the meeting

The meeting will be organised by your child's socialworker. They should plan for a time suitable for you, your child and the school (often this will be the designated teacher for children in care). Your attendance in essential and the meeting will not go ahead if you aren't there.

Children do best in school when home and school work well together. This meeting allows each to know anything significant that's happening in your child's life and how this may impact on your child's education. Occasionally other people, including Southwark's education advisers for children in care and school learning mentors, may also attend.

Your role as carer

With the social worker you should prepare your child for the PEP meeting and support them during the meeting as necessary. You should make sure your child understands the purpose of the PEP, who will be at the meeting and help them think through what they're enjoying at school, doing well at or having any difficulties with. You and the social worker should then discuss with your child how their views are to be presented at the meeting and their attendance. Your child should, ideally, attend the meeting as is age appropriate and should be involved in discussing what they need to help them do well in school.

At the PEP meeting you should make sure the school are fully aware of any current difficulties the child is having in school (eg difficulty with any specific subjects, their behaviour or relationships with teachers or children and how your child is behaving within the home).

It's important for everyone to gain a full picture of your child's needs so that appropriate plans can be made at the PEP meeting to support your child's academic progress and emotional well being. It's also important you gain an understanding of what the school has to say about your child's achievements and behaviour in school and how you can most effectively support your child.

After the PEP meeting

You should follow up on any actions that you've agreed to complete and should check that the school and social worker have followed up on any actions that they've agreed to complete. These will also be discussed at your child's next children in care review. You should be provided with a copy of the PEP either straight after the meeting or sent a copy by the socialworker in the next couple of weeks. Please keep a copy of the PEP to refer to in the future.

A number of leaflets about PEPs are available, which can be viewed and downloaded below:

Page last updated: 18 September 2017