For tens of thousands of adopted children in the UK, the reality of school or college is a daily struggle for survival. As a result, too many are failing academically. Many families who weren’t planning to home school are turning to it as a last resort. 

Traumatised children need a different approach to learning – one that prioritises wellbeing and relationships. And research shows that these approaches help every child to learn. 

We are calling on governments in all four nations of the UK to rethink our education system. 


Research & Reports


From Both Sides: evaluating education support for previously looked after children in England


As a part of Adoption UK's Equal Chance campaigning, we are calling for adopted children to be given an equal chance to learn. Our latest report reveals that current support measures in schools for previously looked after children are not working, and makes recommendations we believe would have a real impact.

Please find the link to the recording of our From Both Sides report launch discussion here

Please find links to the presentations given by our panellists below:

• Rebecca Brooks: From Both Sides report key findings and recommendations

• Dr Andrew Brown: Alex Timpson Attachment and Trauma Programme in Schools

• Jacqueline Marsh: EPAC and SGO Education Plans

Read the report here

More research:

Better Futures (2020) 

Home Learning (2020) 

Top of the Class (2019)

Bridging the Gap (2018)




Department for Education U-Turn on Summer Born Admissions to School (England)

The Department for Education in England has reneged on a previous commitment to bring forward legislation to secure the rights of summer born children to defer entry to reception and remain with their cohort throughout their time in school.

Read Adoption UK’s response here


PP+ and internationally adopted children

19/07/2022 - Adoption UK and others have long campaigned for internationally adopted children in England’s schools to have equal access to support and funding, and now it seems as though change may be on the horizon. Read more in this article from Becky Brooks, Education Policy Advisor.

Read the report here


The Schools Bill: Children not in school register

07/07/2022 - The Schools Bill is currently heading towards the report stage in the House of Lords and includes the establishment of a register of children not in school. There is a lot of misinformation about this on social media and so here is our Education Policy Advisor, Becky Brooks' breakdown of what it actually means for you and your family:

Read the report here


SEND and Alternative Provision Review (England)

The consultation on the SEND Review is now closed.

You can access the associated materials, including the full report, an easy-read version and a guide for children and young people on the DfE’s website here. 

Adoption UK’s Response: Adoption UK has submitted a response to the SEND consultation on behalf of our members, based on our own previous research, and members’ views gathered via our dedicated SEND review survey.

We will continue to update this page as the Review progresses.

Read Adoption UK's consultation response here




What can you do?

Sign our petition

We want governments to:  

  • Make an automatic presumption that every adopted child will need extra support for learning.  
  • Provide trauma training for all education professionals 
  • Revise special needs frameworks to recognise conditions common to adopted children, such as FASD and attachment disorder 


Want to make a difference?

Get involved with our campaigning


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