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Adopted and care-experienced children

Adopted and care-experienced children and children known to social care

At Steyning CofE Primary school, we champion the education of children that are cared for, have experience of care or who are known to social care.

We seek to meet the needs of these children - both educationally and emotionally.

Adopted children and those in special care arrangements are eligible for additional funding to support them in school. For these children, the funding is known as 'Pupil Premium Plus' and equates to £2345 per pupil, per school year and is designed to

Help adopted children emotionally, socially and educationally by providing specific support to raise their attainment and address their wider needs.’ 

At Steyning CofE Primary, we strive to support these children with a focus on these specific areas:

1. Attachment relationships with adults

2. Managing their peer relationships

3. Managing their feelings and behaviour

4. Coping with transitions

5. Developing their executive functioning skills 

We implement a range of strategies and adaptations to support these children in these key areas including a designated Nurture room (Caterpillars) lead by 2 attachment and trauma trained Children’s Mentors.

Caterpillars provides:

  • A safe space for children who are dysregulated, struggling with emotions, attachments needs, relationship difficulties, managing their feelings and behaviours or a range of other social and emotional needs.
  • Regular meetings with children who are Adopted or Care Experienced children in a support group manner
  • 1:1 or group intervention to support social and emotional needs such as Circle of Friends, social skills groups, self-esteem boosting strategies.
  • Support coming into school for children with attachment needs
  • Support during lunchtime to support social skills and friendship needs
  • Specific work with children to support transitions including taking the children for extra school visits where needed
  • Training for staff on attachment theory strategies
  • Support for parents of Adopted, Care Experienced children and children known to Social Care, both as a friendly ear, and as a source of signposting to relevant agencies when needed.

If you have any questions about what the school can offer your Adopted, Care Experienced child or child known to Social Care, please get in touch with:

Nicky Parkin, Designated Officer for Looked After children at [email protected]

Admissions for Adopted and care experienced children

Since September 2013, changes in education legislation meant that Looked After Children (LAC) and children who left UK care on an Adoption Order, Special Guardianship Order or Child Arrangements Order have the highest priority when applying for school places. This means when making applications for Secondary Schools, your child will be prioritised over other children in recognition that sometimes they have had a difficult start in life, and they may need some additional support. The authority which placed your child can provide a letter confirming your child’s status. PAC-UK suggests questions to hold in mind when choosing a school, such as:

  • Have staff received training on attachment and the impact of early trauma and loss?
  • Where is the safe base for children when they need to calm down or regulate?
  • How does the school support the Year 6 to Year 7 transition?

We are aware that there are a number of options when it comes to applying for secondary school, which can be daunting for parents. We are more than happy to discuss your thoughts and needs, whilst supporting  you with any school applications.

Links to support for parents/carers:


West Sussex Virtual School     

Adoption Support Fun


Beacon House