Adoption Benefits, Support Fund and Pupil Premium

Adoption Entitlements

Adoption and your benefit entitlements

Generally, an adopted child is classed as part of a claimant's family and can be included in a benefit claim. But there may be other considerations. For example, if the child is in care or if they've been placed with a family pending adoption. For more information about the benefits that could be available to you, visit our Welfare Rights section.
For further advice and information on benefits available to adopters, visit: www.gov.uk.

Adoption Support Fund

An Adoption Support Fund has been created by the government to make adoption support more accessible. It is available to Local Authorities who can request funding for families for therapeutic services. This funding can either be used to provide additional therapeutic services or it can be paid directly to adopters if they would prefer to access a particular service themselves. Click here for further information on the Adoption Support Fund

What is an Assessment of Need?

Access to certain adoption support services depends on your circumstances but you can request an assessment at any time. You'll be allocated an adoption support social worker who can complete an assessment of need with the family and develop a proposed adoption support plan. You'll be able to contribute your views to the proposed plan before any decisions are made about services to be provided.
The local authority that places the child with you is responsible for assessing your adoption support needs for three years after the adoption order has been granted. After three years, it becomes the responsibility of the local authority where you live (if different).
Adoption passport: a support guide for adopters
Download Adoption passport: a support guide for adopters (PDF)

Pupil Premium Plus (PPP) for Looked after children and young people in Reception to Year 11

The Pupil Premium Plus (PPP) fund is paid in line with conditions of the grant set out by the DfE in March 2014.
In Newcastle

  • The full allocation (currently £1900) is distributed to schools. This is under review for academic year 2016-17.
  • The grant is managed by the Virtual School Head teacher and is used to improve outcomes and narrow the achievement gap for LACYP
  • The PPP must be used by schools to meet the personalised needs of the pupil as identified in a high quality PEP (Personal Education Plan).

This should accelerate learning and support interventions that enable gaps in learning to be eliminated and have clear quantitative targets for improvement, underpinned by well-targeted and identified support. (Ref. Promoting the Education of Looked After Children Statutory Guidance for local authorities July 14 DFE-00520-2014)
The PPP must be used to improve outcomes for children in the following areas

  • Academic achievement and progress
  • Wider achievement e.g. in an area in which the pupil is gifted and talented
  • Attendance
  • Inclusion (by reducing internal and external exclusion)
  • Social and emotional skills
  • Transition
  • Specialist resources to support learning
  • Enrichment Activities
  • Out of school learning opportunities e.g. 1-1 Tuition in the child’s home

The PPP cannot be used

  • To double fund or replace funding which has already been allocated to the school to support the pupil e.g. Special Needs, EHCP, High Needs Funding, Other statutory work e.g. speech and language.
  • When the school’s own funding, that includes the additional budget share for looked after covers the cost of the interventions.

The interventions supported by the PPP should be additional and different to those interventions available to all other students

Management and Accountability

An audit of the use and impact of the PPP will be undertaken by the Virtual School and will take place before the end of the financial year to inform future decision making and ensure the PPP is used effectively. Schools will be asked to complete the audit and return it to the Virtual School by the deadline set. The outcomes will be shared with senior leaders in the local authority and schools to inform action for improvement or share best practice.

Children adopted from care or who have left care

Schools can access the PPP of £1900 for children who have ceased to be looked after (defined as post-LAC) by a local authority in England due to adoption, a special guardianship order, a child arrangements order or a residence order. Schools can do this by identifying which of their pupils fit these categories in order to record it in their school census and may do this by sending a letter out to parents and carers, who can liaise with their school in relation to this grant and how it can be used to support the educational needs of their child.

How to present sensitive information when declaring to schools?

The information contained on an Adoption Court Order is sensitive and includes information you may not want to share with a school. Parents can photocopy the child's Adoption Order and conceal information about birth parents before they present it to schools.
It's crucial that the school can clearly see the child's adopted name, the date on which they were adopted and the Agency they were originally adopted from. If your school has not given you the opportunity to say your child is adopted you may wish to remind them of this entitlement.

Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP) - £302

From April 2015 the EYPP will provide nurseries, schools and other providers with additional support for disadvantaged three and four year olds which includes looked after children.  
The rate is 53 pence per hour for a maximum of 15 hours per week for three and four year olds whose parents are in receipt of certain benefits or who are in care or have been in care. This means up to an extra £302 is available for children who qualify. The extra funding has been implemented to improve the quality of the early years education provided to eligible children.  The Virtual School Head teacher is responsible for managing the EYPP budget for looked after children and for holding providers to account for the use and impact of the targeted support.

Two year old funding – 15 hours of free childcare

The two year old funding entitles some parent/carers up to 15 hours of free childcare and early learning each week.  This can help improve children’s learning and development, give an opportunity to make new friends, learn through play and have lots of fun with one of our Ofsted approved childcare providers, which include day nurseries, school nurseries, childminders and pre-schools. Free childcare places start the term after a child’s second birthday. Looked after children are eligible for this funding.  
Information advice and guidance can be sought by emailing 2yo@newcastle.gov.uk, by telephone on 191 277 4674 or click here for more information on free childcare for two year olds.

Why adopted children need extra support at school?

Adopted children will have experienced loss and many of them will have had traumatic experiences in their early lives. Their needs don't change overnight and they don't stop being vulnerable just because they're in a loving home. Their experiences in early life can have a lasting impact that can affect the child many years after adoption.
Teachers and schools therefore have a vital role to play in helping these children emotionally, socially and educationally by providing specific support, to raise their attainment and address their wider needs.

What school types attract the Pupil Premium?

The Newcastle Virtual School Head is responsible for managing and allocating the PPP to Looked After Children and young people in Reception to Year 11 in all state funded mainstream and special schools who fall within the following categories: community schools, academies, foundation and voluntary aided schools, and free schools. PPP is not paid to LAC attending schools within the independent sector. The Newcastle Virtual School also allocates PPP to alternative provision (places that provide education for children who cannot go to a mainstream school) on an individual case basis depending on need  and circumstances and in negotiation with the school where the individual LAC is on roll.
If you have any questions about Pupil Premium for looked after children contact the Virtual School.