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The PEP process

A Personal Education Plan (PEP) is a statutory requirement and an integral part of a child’s care plan. It will form a part of the student's record, which they can request to see at a later date.

A Personal Education Plan is the key tool in supporting looked after children and care leavers to succeed with their education.

This is a guide to ensuring that all looked after children have an effective Personal Education Plan.

  1. All sections of the PEP should be completed to a high standard.
  2. Social care information including legal status, address, emergency contact details, and key information should be recorded and up to date.
  3. The young person should be involved at an age- and ability-appropriate level, if they choose to be.
  4. The PEP should provide a profile of the child, including their interests, abilities, aspirations, and additional needs.
  5. The PEP tracks young people’s attainment and progress, so anyone who reads it should understand how they are performing in school.
  6. The PEP should recognise children who attend school regularly, and show the support offered to those who struggle to attend or are excluded.
  7. The key to a good PEP is setting clear, concise academic targets. Anyone who reads the PEP should be able to understand what the student is aiming for and how they're being supported.
  8. The PEP should clearly show what the child’s educational needs are, and how funding from Pupil Premium Plus is being used to support them.
  9. All plans should end with a clear sense of direction and next steps, including what people will do, and key dates to go into diaries.
  10. Good practice indicates that the most effective PEPs are a result of the joint working between the professionals in the child’s care team. This includes the student’s parent or carer, the social worker, and the Designated Teacher.

Electronic Personal Education Plan (ePEP)

A personal education plan is statutory for every looked after child from Early Years to post-16.

  • An initial PEP is required within 10 days of the child entering care.
  • A PEP needs to be completed on a termly basis (three times per academic year).

Electronic Personal Education Plans (ePEP) are completed online via the Welfare Call website.

If you have technical issues with ePEP online, please contact the Welfare Call support helpline on 01226 716333, or email Virtual School Middlesbrough PEP Project Officer Louise Tennant at

ePEP system: step by step process

  1. The PEP Project Officer puts a 'new into care' on the ePEP system. The username and password is shared with the social worker and Designated Teacher.
  2. The ePEP assessment is started by a PEP Advisor. An ePEP meeting is booked with the Designated Teacher and social worker.
  3. The Designated Teacher completes/updates the education section of the ePEP assessment.
  4. The social worker completes/updates the social care section of the ePEP assessment.
  5. The young person completes their section of the ePEP with the Designated Teacher.
  6. The ePEP meeting between the PEP Advisor, social worker, Designated Teacher, foster carer, and the young person takes place in school.
  7. The Designated Teacher records the ePEP meeting discussion, adds SMART targets, and maps pupil premium spend. Best practice is for this to be done during the meeting.
  8. The date of the next meeting is agreed by all parties.
  9. The Designated Teacher and social worker mark the ePEP as complete.

Virtual School PEP Advisor

The delivery of high quality PEPs is a crucial priority of the Virtual School Middlesbrough. A Virtual School PEP Advisor will arrange bi-annual, and in many cases, tri-annual, Personal Education Plan meetings. When a young person's needs change or there has been a significant event in their life, Virtual School Middlesbrough will convene a PEP review meeting to ensure that the plan remains fit for purpose and meets the needs of the young person.

The role of a PEP Advisor is to:

  • chair, and complete the PEP document, in conjunction with the young person's social worker, carer, Designated Teacher, and the young person themselves
  • ensure that all statutory requirements of the PEP are met
  • give educational advice and guidance to Designated Teachers, social workers and carers
  • signpost to other sectors and professionals where needed
  • guarantee that the young person’s voice is heard
  • hold the school accountable for raising aspirations for looked after children and young people

It's important that the PEP is an accurate, detailed, living, and useful document. It should be easily comprehensible to carers and any school which subsequently receives it.


Each PEP is audited by the Virtual School and graded into one of three categories; gold, silver and bronze.

Gold standard is awarded where a PEP has met all statutory requirements, encompasses best practice, and clearly evidences high aspirations for looked after children and young people.

Silver is awarded to PEPs that meet statutory requirements.

Bronze is awarded to PEPs that do not meet statutory requirements. Where a bronze grade is awarded, the Designated Teacher and social worker are contacted, and required to rectify any incomplete sections of the PEP within a given timeframe.