Advice for kinship carers from Kinship Compass

Advice and information archive - Kinship Compass

If you are a kinship carer and want additional advice and guidance on schooling or education, please contact the Virtual School team: call 01925 443409 or email

The virtual school is only able to provide advice and guidance. Unfortunately, we do not have the resources to support individuals in their dealings with schools or education providers.

What you can expect for your previously looked after child from an early years setting or school.

Early years education for two to four year olds

Support for early years education is changing with more funded hours being rolled out nationally. Please use the link below and check the ‘Funded Early Education’ section for the most up-to-date information.

Visit the MyLifeWarrington website for further information or to apply

How to find the best early years setting for your child

Before you choose an early years setting you can:

Early years pupil premium

Previously looked after children aged three and four years-old are eligible for the Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP). You'll need to show evidence of the Court Order that proves that the child was in local authority care in either England or Wales.

Early Years Entitlements 2023-24

School aged children

How to find the best school for your child

Before you choose a school you can:

When you apply for your child’s school place

When you apply for a school place you will be asked if your child:

  • was adopted from care in England or Wales on an Adoption Order
  • was adopted from state care outside England and Wales, state care is care provided by a public authority, a religious organisation, or any other organisation whose sole or main purpose is to benefit society
  • left care in England and Wales on a Special Guardianship Order or a Child Arrangements Order 

The Order must still be current.

You don’t have to tell anyone that your child was previously looked after, but your child won’t have priority in getting a school place if you don’t.

You’ll be asked to provide evidence that your child was previously looked after, for example the Court Order.

Funding for your school age child: Pupil premium plus

If your previously looked after child is in Reception to Y11 the school could get extra funding called Pupil Premium Plus

Education and Skills Funding Agency page explaining Pupil Premium Plus for

Pupil premium 2023-24 information and rates

In the 2023-24 school year, this extra funding is £2,530. In order to get the extra funding, schools need to know about any children who were previously looked after.

You'll be asked to provide evidence to the school that your child:

  • was adopted from care in England or Wales on an Adoption Order
  • left care in England and Wales on a Special Guardianship Order or a Child Arrangements Order 

If your child moves school you'll need to do this again. The school must treat this information as confidential. 

You have the right not to tell the school that your child is previously looked after. However, if you don't tell the school your child won't benefit from the funding. 

Adopted children are only entitled to Pupil Premium Plus funding if they were adopted from an English or Welsh local authority on leaving care.

Other advice and information

Special educational needs

Wellbeing and mental health

  • Kate Cairns Associates: training and consultancy on trauma and attachment issues for education settings from Early Years upwards
  • Young Minds – national organisation focussing on children’s and young people’s mental health. Offers workshops, training and resources for schools
  • Beacon House:  specialist trauma and attachment service for children and adults. Runs training and events for professionals and has some free resources online 

Adoption support

  • Together for Adoption: The regional adoption service for Cheshire West & Chester, Halton, St Helens, Warrington and Wigan
  • Adoption UK: national charity providing support and information for adoptive families and resources for schools
  • Coram BAAF: organisation providing information, resources and training to agencies, individuals and professionals on matters relating to adoption. Some services are for members only.
  • PAC UK: information and advice about previously looked after children for education settings

Books and resources for education settings working with previously looked after children

Starting point and overview

  • How brains are built: The core story of brain development
  • Inside I’m Hurting by Louise Bomber (Worth Publishing, ISBN 1-903269-11-3) - available from various booksellers
  • Let’s Learn Together by Sheila Lavery, Adoption UK
  • The simple guide to Child Trauma by Betsy de Thierry (Jessica Kingsley Publishers ISBN-13:9781785921360)

Books to share with younger children

  • Little Parachutes – a website listing picture books that help children cope with worries, health issues and new experiences

Books for older children and young people

  • Almond.D (2009) The Savage. Walker Books Ltd. London.
  • Angelou.M (1978) Life Doesn’t Frighten Me. Stewart, Tabori & Chang. New York.
  • Bang.M (1999) When Sophie Gets Angry – Really, Really Angry... Scholastic Inc.
  • Bhreathnach.E (2006) The Scared Gang. Alder Tree Press. Northern Ireland.
  • Browne.A (1997) Willy The Dreamer. Walker Books Ltd. London.
  • Bush.J & Spottswood.R (2005) The Bean Seed. Adoption Conversations. Vermont.
  • Cave.K (1994) Something Else. Puffin Books. Penguin Group.
  • Dunn Buron.K (2006) When My Worries Get Too Big! A relaxation book for children who live with anxiety. Autism Asperger Publishing Company. Kansas.
  • Fairbairn.K (2011) The Making of U. After Adoption. Manchester.
  • Gravett’s.E (2007, 2008) Little Mouse’s Big Book of Fears. Macmillan Children’s Books. London.
  • Ironside.V (1996) The Huge Bag of Worries. Hodder Children’s Books. Australia.
  • Karst.P (2000) The Invisible String. De Vorss and Company. California
  • Morgan.N (2005) Blame My Brain. The amazing teenage brain revealed. Walker Books Ltd. London.
  • Sunderland.M (2000) A Nifflenoo Called Nevermind. Winslow Press Limited. UK.
  • Sunderland.M (2003) The Day the Sea Went Out and Never Came Back. Speechmark Publishing Ltd. UK.
  • Sunderland.N (2000) The Frog who Longed for the Moon to Smile. Winslow Press Limited. UK.
  • Tan.S (2001) The Red Tree. Lothian Books. Thomas C. Lothian Pty Ltd. South Melbourne
  • Tan.S (2000) The Lost Thing. Lothian Books. Havhette Australia Pty Limited. Sydney.
  • Thomas.F (1998) Supposing... Bloomsbury Publishing plc. London.
  • Verdick.E & Lisovskis.M (2003) How to Take the Grrrr Out of Anger. Free Spirit Publishing Inc. Minneapolis.
  • Williams.M (1992) The Velveteen Rabbit. Egmont Books Limited. London.

Case studies and practical suggestions to develop attachment aware understanding and practice

  • Go Away, People! written and published by Eileen Bebbington (ISBN-13: 9780954909123
  • Stop Wasting My Time! written and published by Eileen Bebbington (ISBN-13: 9780954909116)

Practical resources and information

  • Attachment in the classroom by Dr Heather Geddes
  • (Worth Publishing, ISBN 1-903269-08-03) - available from various booksellers
  • Settling to Learn Settling Troubled Pupils to Learn : Why Relationships Matter in School by Louise Bomber and Daniel Hughes (Worth Publishing, ISBN-13: 9781903269220) – available from various booksellers

A tool for identifying and supporting social and emotional difficulties

  • Observing children with attachment difficulties in Preschool settings (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, ISBN: 978-0-85700-676-9) - available from various booksellers
  • Observing children with attachment difficulties in school (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, ISBN: 978-1-84905-336-5) - available from various booksellers

For education settings that want to have ideas of resources to suggest to parents/guardians/carers

  • The Adopter’s Handbook on Education by Eileen Fursland Coram BAAF (ISBN: 978191003970 0)
  • Bubble Wrapped Children: How Social Networking Is Transforming the Face of 21st Century
  • Adoption by Helen Oakwater MX Publishing, (ISBN-13: 9781780920979)