Adoption Support Passport: School Years

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Education and Inclusion Services available to Adopted Children who have previously been in Care living in Brighton & Hove


The statutory Admissions Code requires all admissions authorities (which can be local authorities or voluntary aided schools, academies or free schools which are all responsible for their own admissions) to give highest priority to children in care or who have been adopted from care in this country. This means that children adopted from care in this country must be allocated a place at their first preference school before other children are considered. See the Brighton & Hove school admissions booklet on our web site at School admissions booklet (Primary) or School admissions booklet (Secondary) Contact for further details and who to contact for further advice

Please find below information about the resources and facilities available for adopted children and their families.  The list is not exhaustive as schools and the local authority have a range of services available to all children and parents from their school, the local authority or other organisations.  Further information on education in Brighton and Hove is available on

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Education and Inclusion

The Pupil Premium

The pupil premium is an amount of money paid directly to a school to support the education of children adopted from care.  The school will decide how best to spend the amount, and they should do so in discussion with you as the parent.  The school will receive the money only if you declare your child's adoptive status to them; it is the only way they can know that a child at their school is adopted.  Some adoptive parents worry about their children being labelled if they share this information about their child, and sometimes parents hope that a new school will mean a fresh start.  The existence of the pupil premium demonstrates the need for additional support at different times in an adopted child's life.  Transitions from one year to the next or from primary to secondary phase are often more difficult for children who have had early changes of primary carer or who have lived in frightening or neglectful circumstances.  Some children need additional reading time in exams, some children need extra help managing anxiety and others can be helped by additional support both in the classroom and in the playground, where their relationships with peers can feel like a minefield for them.

It is your decision as a parent whether you declare your child's adoptive status, but we would strongly invite you to do so.

Further information about the Pupil Premium for adopted children can be found at:

Pupil Premium for Adopted Children - Case Studies, March 2015

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Virtual School

For you as an adopter:

Information, questions or concerns about the education of any adopted child should be addressed through the school.  However if you have a question or concern that cannot be addressed by the school we can provide advice both to parents and professionals.  Please contact the Virtual School on (01273) 293992 or email  We cannot answer calls immediately but will always respond to all calls within 3 school days.

For your child:

The Virtual School's key focus is to ensure schools are adoption aware, supported, trained and challenged so that they provide a high quality education to adopted children.  In particular we aim to ensure schools have access to training on attachment and how best to use the £1900 pupil premium that is available for each adopted child.  The Virtual School also provides Personal Education Planning forms which we recommend are used (or something similar) when planning for the use of the pupil premium for adopted children.

For more information, please visit the Brighton & Hove Virtual School for Children in Care webpage or contact the Virtual School on: Telephone 01273-293992  or Email:

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Special Educational Needs

Brighton & Hove City Council, health services and all partners are committed to working together to support the needs of children and young people with special educational needs and/or disability and their families.  

If you think your child may have special educational needs you can ask your local authority to assess these needs. All information about how to access SEN services can be found at Brighton and Hove's Local Offer. This provides clear and accessible information about provision that Brighton and Hove expects to be locally available for our children and young people from birth to 25 who have special educational needs and/or a disability.

Where an adopted child has a statement of Special Educational Needs, or an Education, Health and Care Plan, the Special Educational Needs Team will maintain the Statement for the placing authority.   The Team can be contacted on: Telephone 01273- 293552 or Email:

You may want some independent help and advice in thinking through the range of issues facing you and your child as you try to ensure that you have the best support available.


Amaze is a Brighton and Hove charity that provides information, advice and support to parents and carers of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). This can also include children and young people with mental health issues and attachment difficulties. Amongst other support, this includes providing the local Information, Advice and Support service, helping parents get the right support for their child in pre-school, school and further education. Find out more by phoning the Amaze helpline on 01273 772289, or visit the website at

Educational Psychology

The Educational Psychology Service works to promote the educational, emotional and behavioural development of children and young people in the context of their families, schools and communities.  Educational Psychologists work with children and young people from birth-25 years who can present with a variety of needs including:

  • Emotional, social, behavioural or mental health need

  • Learning difficulties

  • Physical/sensory or medical need

  • Speech and Language or communication need

In addition, Educational Psychologists offer training to schools and other professionals around a variety of need including ‘Attachment’ to help understand how a child’s early development can impact on their current functioning.

Usual referral is via the child or young person’s school where Educational Psychologists have planning meetings to prioritise their work.  Children and young people who are adopted would be considered alongside other priorities for the school.  The school EP would be mindful in liaison with the school of the needs of adopted children and reasons for them to be considered as a priority (this will depend on other needs in the school and complexity of need).  The Educational Psychologist would expect to have evidence of intervention from the school prior to Educational Psychology Assessment.  Further information of what the Educational Psychology Service can offer can be found on the Local Offer page of Brighton and Hove council website.

Children adopted from care have priority access to schools which means that your child should be able to attend whichever school, you think best meets their needs. (

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