What is it?
The PEP is the record of what needs to happen in education for children in care so they can fulfil their potential and is the joint responsibility of the school and the local authority. It is a statutory requirement for children in care to have a PEP from the age of 3 years if in education provision up to the age of 18, and it is part of the child's Care Plan which the local authority has a legal duty to maintain.
- reflects any existing education plans, such as an education, health and care plan (EHCP) or individual education plan (IEP)
- contains information about the child's progress, attainment and social and emotional development
- identifies the child's needs and how they will be addressed in school. Targets are set at each PEP meeting and reviewed at the next meeting.
- The PEP meeting is an opportunity to ensure there is good communication and understanding between school and carer.
How often does it take place?
PEP meetings in Primary and Secondary Schools are usually held three times a year.
- Transition PEPs also take place when a school move is planned to ensure a transition plan is put in place.
- Early Years children have a transition to school PEP in the summer term
- Post-16 PEPS take place once a year
Who should attend?
The PEP is part of the child's Care Plan and the social worker holds responsibility for determining who should attend. Usually meetings are attended by carer(s), social worker, DT (or another adult from school). Where necessary, Education Improvement Officers from the Virtual School will attend and chair PEPs. Other people may also be invited, such as fostering social workers, birth family, LAC nurses or speech and language therapists. The child/young person should attend the meeting if appropriate.
Everybody should have the opportunity to express their opinions about the education on offer, but it is most important that the views of the child are represented at the PEP. Before the meeting, the Virtual School sends a Pupil Views booklet to fill in so that his/her views can be discussed and addressed at the meeting.
It is also important for the carer to be able to represent the child's best interests and feel confident in supporting and working with school to ensure progress is being made. This will include:
- supporting with homework
- ensuring the PPP is being spent effectively
- helping raise aspirations by encouraging young people to access extra-curricular activities.
What can I do if the PEP is postponed?
The PEP will usually only be postponed if the Social Worker is unable to attend, however the Social Worker may elect for the meeting to continue in their absence should they determine that other key personnel are able to conduct the meeting in their absence.
In the event that the PEP meeting is postponed, you may still want to meet with the Designated Teacher to discuss pressing educational issues and you can request that your appointment to meet is honoured; even though it will not be recorded as a PEP the outcomes of your discussion are still likely to have a positive impact on your child's schooling.
The PEP meeting will be re-scheduled for a future date.