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South West Safeguarding and Child Protection Procedures
South West Safeguarding and Child Protection Procedures South West Safeguarding and Child Protection Procedures

5.4.5 Early Years and Transition (Post - 16 yrs) Education


This chapter identifies children's early years educational entitlement, including the Personal Education Plan for Children in Care.

It also aids Transition Planning (see Leaving Care and Transition Procedure) of children in Education Years 10 and 11 by identifying forthcoming requirements for children to remain in education and the ways this can be achieved.


Education of Looked After and Previously Looked After Children Procedure


This chapter was reviewed and updated in May 2016. Section 2, Transition (Post-16yrs Education), has been amended to clarify that since 2015 – there has been a legal requirement for young people to remain in learning or training up to 18 years of age.


  1. Early Years Education
  2. Transition (Post-16yrs Education)

1. Early Years Education

All three and four year old children are entitled to a free, part-time early education place from the term after their 3rd birthday.

Good quality early years provision aids the healthy development of young children and improves their readiness to learn once they reach school.

Social Workers must follow the guidance set out in the Children in Care in Early Years Settings Protocol. (Protocol to follow).

Pre-School Personal Education Plan (PEP)

Personal Education Planning meetings will be held for all Children in Care attending early years educational settings. Copies of the Pre-School PEP should be sent to the child's Independent Reviewing Officer and The Virtual School Team.

2. Transition (Post-16yrs Education)

Raising the Participation Age

Since 2015 there has been a legal requirement for young people to remain in learning or training up to 18 years of age.

This policy is referred to as "Raising the Participation Age" (RPA)

What Does This Mean?

If your child was born on or after the 1 September 1996, they will be required to continue in education or training beyond 16.

If they complete their Year 11 after, 2014 they will continue learning at least until their 18th birthday.

Does it mean that Young People have to Stay on at School?

No, it does not. There are many options available to young people. Their choices at 16 are:

  • Apprenticeship (full time);
  • Further Education College (full time);
  • Sixth form in a school, a UTC or a studio school (full time);
  • Work with training;
  • Self-employment with training;
  • Volunteering for at least 20 hours with training.

So, what is different?

Currently, after they finish their Year 11, young people could opt to work, be self-employed or volunteer without doing any training. From September 2013, if they go for one of those three options, they will be expected to learn or train for approximately one day a week.

How can you support a Young Person in Care to take Advantage of these Changes?

You can help a young person in Care by talking to them about the benefits of staying in education after 16 and what learning style might suit them best.

Staying in learning will give them many advantages including:

  • Achieving the qualifications they need to help them to succeed;
  • Having more chance to develop the knowledge and practical skills that employers are looking for;
  • A greater choice of career pathways;
  • Making it easier to find and stay in a job;
  • Making it easier to get a better job, with better pay and career prospects;
  • Being able to compete in the future local job market.

How are we Supporting Young People in Care to take Advantage of these Changes?

In Plymouth, although PEPs are not statutory after year 11, we support the transition of Young People through transition PEPs in Year 11 and post-16 PEPs.

In addition, our two key workers with responsibility for Education, Employment and Training support young people from Year 11 to ensure that they have a successful and sustained transition into post-16 learning and training.

For more information, visit the following websites: