Virtual School - Previously CLA FAQs

The Virtual School is happy to talk with adoptive parents about the schools in Cumbria.

Ofsted reports are available by looking on a school's website or at Ofsted.

For looked after children, the government recommends looking at 'Good' or 'Outstanding' schools.

Arrange a visit to the school and ask to meet with the designated member of staff for adopted children. Be prepared to ask questions that will clarify that it is the right school.

For more information about school moves and choosing the right school for you child see school moves. Or school moves

Yes. Children who were previously looked after have priority in the admissions process. 

For more information see school admissions.

When the school has been identified and a place has been offered, request a meeting with key adults in the school and if possible, previous foster carers, your child's social worker and staff from the previous school.

Plan the transition with your child through activities such as visits to the new school, spending a day there, taking pictures of the school and staff and practising the journey to school.

  1. How many looked after / adopted children do you have?
  2. Who is the designated teacher for adopted children?
  3. What experience do you have of adopted children?
  4. What support mechanisms do you have in place for these groups?
  5. How do you use your Pupil Premium Plus?
  • A school with a good understanding of attachment and the impact of early trauma on learning
  • A designated teacher who is trained in the needs of looked after and adopted children
  • Extensive use of nurture groups
  • Willingness to listen
  • Concrete policies and procedures
  • A relational based discipline system

Contact the school SENDco to discuss your child's needs as there could be more support and interventions within the mainstream school that would support your child.

It might be that your child should be considered for SEN support in the school.

If your child already has an Education, Health and Care Plan then school placement can be discussed at the annual review.

See the Cumbria SEND Local Offer.

For impartial information, advice and support to children and young people with Special Educational Needs or disabilities and their parents and carers contact Cumbria SENDIAS.

Each school should have a Designated Teacher for Previously CLA and hold an overview of their needs in school and any additional support in place.

Pupil Premium Plus is provided for previously CLA and schools can access annual funding to support the child's needs.

This is annual funding for children who have been adopted to support their education. This is currently £2,300 per year.

Pupil Premium Plus is available for children:

  • That were adopted from care in England and Wales
  • Who left care under a Residence Order / Child Arrangement Order
  • Who left care under a Special Guardianship Order

From reception to year 11, schools currently receive £2,300 per child per year.

In order for schools to access the funding, you must declare your child's adoptive status directly to the school before the school completes the January census. If you are a parent you must provide evidence (e.g Adoption Order).

You should not need to declare your child's status again until your child changes school. 

The Department for Education states the funding should be spent on helping Previously CLA emotionally, socially and educationally by providing support to raise their attainment and address their wider needs.

Pupil Premium Plus is not a personal budget for individual children.

Some suggested uses of Pupil Premium Plus are:

  • 1:1 tuition
  • Small group targeted intervention
  • Academic mentor
  • Education focused trips and visits
  • Purchase of specialist equipment to promote academic progress
  • Study and revision classes
  • Additional TA support

It is the responsibility of the school to use and target the money appropriately, but it is helpful to discuss with parents their suggested uses of Pupil Premium Plus to support their child.

Yes, this is possible but it needs to be agreed by the head teacher of the school.

Yes, this is possible but it needs to be agreed by the head teacher of the school.