Government Statistics: Looked-After Children

Government Statistics from May 2010 onwards are available on GOV.UK. You can find our archived statistics on the National Archives. Note: the search function is not available on archived content so please use the filters on the left of each page.

A document reviewing the comparability of government statistics of children looked after by local authorities in the different countries of the United Kingdom was published on 30 May 2014.

All content provided is copyright of Crown Copyright. Please find links below to the source information and use the following useful links provided to find out more. original source >


DFE Clarify Virtual School Head’s Responsibility

FAQ ‘s – Pupil Premium and the role of the Virtual School Head.

The Department for Education clarified how the Virtual School Head (VSH) has a pivotal role in distributing and monitoring the pupil premium for looked after children on the 20 March 2014.

The pupil premium will be managed by the Virtual School Head who will be responsible for its distribution and effectiveness in raising achievement and will be accountable to the Director of Children’s Services and/or Chief Executive and the Lead Member for Children.

There is no requirement for an authority to pass the funding on to school to meet the needs identified in the personal education plan. The expectation is that funding will go to schools via the Virtual Head.

Key points of the guidance:

  • The virtual school head decides how the funding is distributed
  • The VSH is expected to pass on the pupil premium to a child’s education setting  to meet additional needs set out in the PEP.
  • The pupil premium can be passed on termly or annually.
  • Funding not used by the end of the financial year goes back to the department.
  • The VSH decides the amount of funding – it can be higher or lower than the £1900 of grant allocation per child.
  • Funding can be pooled.
  • The pupil premium should not be used to fund central services – it is to be used expressly to raise the achievement of disadvantaged pupils.
  • The pupil premium does not replace the personal education allowance.
  • The pupil premium is more focussed on support to improve the educational achievement of LAC and close the gap between LAC and none LAC.
  • The pupil premium should always support the educational achievement as described in the personal education plan.

ePEP Attendance Tracker Hits Target

We have recently added the ePEP Attendance Tracker feature allowing third party suppliers to feed weekly or live attendance figures directly into the ePEP via our new API plug-in.

The ePEP Attendance Tracker also allows teachers to manually enter attendance data before the PEP meeting takes place, including notes and explanations on why the child might have been absent. The live attendance information can be recorded weekly or monthly and is displayed through the NEW Control Panel and within the Professional section.

Attendants can now be tracked graphically on individual children, year groups or total number of children with schools by the Virtual School.

The two main suppliers for providing within and outside attendance data are Welfare Call Ltd and Contact Group Ltd.

Both organisations have full access to our ePEP API plug-in. Reports can be directly accessed from within the ePEP platform by the Virtual School, designated teacher and social worker, manual attendance data can recorded if no third-party supplier collects data for your authority.

The ePEP system will alert professionals via e-mail externally if the child’s attendance drops below 85%. 

Ewen Godfrey

Sutton Trust Interventions

The Sutton Trust Interventions.

What is the most cost effective intervention to bring about a rise in educational performance? The Sutton Trust-EEF Teaching and Learning toolkit has been produced for several years.

The trust has analysed the combined educational research on thirty four (at the last count) types of intervention. It has looked at the the cost effectiveness of each intervention and the likely educational improvement to expect from each.

The toolkit is very useful to schools planning how to spend pupil premium funding so they can resource and monitor the progress of pupils receiving the pupil premium grant.

For children in care, the Virtual School Head, will be responsible for distributing the pupil premium to schools. The epep Pupil Premium Resource Tracker makes use of the Sutton Trust categories to allow the Virtual Head to track the progress of pupils.

Schools will have to show in the PEP how the pupil premium will be used to meet the needs of individual and the progress they make. The tracker is used to set the targets, measure progress and allow the Virtual School Head to agree to funding requests.

Ewen Godfrey

eGov Digital.



Children’s Homes Data Pack

Children’s Homes Data Pack

The Department for Education published the Children’s Homes Data Pack in September 2013.

Executive Summary

This pack presents data about children’s homes in England. It provides information on the children in the homes, the homes and their quality, their location and ownership, their cost, and the children’s homes market. The Government believes that transparency is an essential tool in driving up quality and much of this information is being published for the first time.

The data in slides 18, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 31 and 36 is available in the spreadsheets that accompany this pack.

Children’s homes fulfil a number of purposes and cater for a range of children’s needs, from late entrant adolescents with challenging behaviour, who have spent long periods of time out of school and may quickly return to their family, to young people at risk of CSE (child sexual exploitation), children and teenagers with complex mental health problems, and respite provision for disabled children.

Provision is mixed between local authority-owned homes, and homes owned by the private and voluntary sector; most local authorities (LAs) make use of both. There are a variety of private provider ownership structures, including private equity and venture capital, family-owned companies and individual social entrepreneurs.

For the first time, we are publishing the inspection judgements awarded to the homes of the largest private providers. We also present a comparison of the inspection judgements of LA-owned and privately owned homes, which suggests little difference in quality. Costs in both are high relative to alternatives (e.g. fostering).

The data shows where there is under-supply and over-supply of places in local areas; and how LAs vary in their use both of out-of-area placements, and placements far from a child’s home. These may be in the interests of the child; but they may also increase risk.

The data in this pack poses challenges for local and national government and all providers of children’s homes. More data, and further analysis, will be published in future as it becomes available. The Government is working with Ofsted, LAs and providers to improve the market, match local supply with demand and understand better how cost and quality affect individual children’s outcomes.

Summary and Context

The national market is not dominated by any single large provider, with the largest 20 private companies between them

providing just over a quarter of all placements. However in some LA areas single providers own a significant proportion of the supply.

The data suggests that the geographical supply of places in general does not match demand. The picture is complex as some homes cater for highly specialised needs and hence draw children from a wider area.

We also need a better understanding of the different types of specialist provision, the quality and location of these homes.

Forthcoming research1 suggests that LAs lack information as to the location, quality and precise specialism of places available. Furthermore, LAs (working singly or in partnerships so that they have the necessary scale) could do more to effectively forecast their demand for services, and engage with the market as to the level of need they predict and the range of services that they require.

The Government’s Conclusions and Next Steps

The Government wants to ensure the best placements and outcomes for children in residential care.

Greater transparency will help, which is why we are publishing this data pack.​The data pack poses questions for central Government, local authorities and private and voluntary providers.

The Government is working with Ofsted, LAs and providers to explore improvements in themarket. We will set out proposals later in the year.

Press the link to see the Children’s Homes Data Pack