Initiatives such as PP+ and the extension of the designated teacher and virtual school roles to include previously looked after children have been introduced in recent years in state schools in England, but how well are they working?

‘From Both Sides’ will explore the barriers, challenges and successes of these initiatives from the unique perspective of those who both parent, and work with previously looked after children and young people in education.

This free, focus-group-based event will bring you together with others to discuss your experiences of implementing these initiatives, both as parents and professionals. It will be an opportunity to network with other like-minded people, as well as share and hear examples of good practice in the education of adopted and previously looked after children.

We hope that you will leave the event feeling as though you have joined a community of parent/professionals and brimming with ideas to take back to your settings, or mention to your child’s school. For our part, Adoption UK will collate the best of the best ideas to create good practice guidance for education settings, with both the parent and professional stamp of approval.

Cost: this is a free event, but you will need to register in advance. Spaces are limited so if you are unable to attend after you have registered, please let us know so that we can offer your space to another attendee.

Audience: this event is for parents and guardians of previously looked after children (whether through adoption, special guardianship or other legal permanence arrangement) who are also education professionals, including teachers, senior leadership, learning or classroom assistants, educational psychologists, virtual school staff, school governors, pastoral staff, SENCOs, in mainstream, special education or alternative provision in England. Although the support mechanisms being discussed are not all common to all phases, we welcome attendees with current professional experience from early years right through to higher education.

Format: after a short introduction, attendees will be split into focus groups to discuss key questions around the implementation of pupil premium plus, designated teachers and virtual schools. There will be opportunity for feedback at the end of each focus group session.

Confidentiality and use of data: all parts of the event will be recorded, including the focus group sessions. These recordings are for internal Adoption UK use only and will be destroyed after transcription. They will not be made available for public viewing after the event. The transcriptions will be used as source material for the creation of subsequent written materials including (but not limited to) a series of best practice guides which will later be publicly available. By participating in this event, or posting a written submission (see below) you are agreeing to Adoption UK using your spoken or written submission in the creation of these materials, credited anonymously (e.g. ‘a primary school teacher’ or ‘a secondary school head teacher’).

Written submissions: we want to give as many as possible the opportunity to contribute to this project. If you are unable to attend the event itself but wish to submit an example of good practice to contribute to the ‘From Both Sides’ project, please use the submission form. This form will also be available after the event for those who may have more to share. If we use your submission, it will be credited anonymously using your job title. We ask for contact details only in case we need to contact you to clarify anything about your submission.


Booking for this event has now closed.