Topic outline

  • For a child to qualify for PLAC status they must have been a child in care for at least one day before moving onto a new order of permanence; Adoption, Special Guardianship Order, Child Arrangement Order (previously Residency order).

    To be ‘satisfied’ of status school should ask to see the court order (or equivalent evidence). This order will on second or third page state that prior to the order, they were under the care of ‘named’ local authority. Please consider confidentiality and GDPR responsibilities.


    Once a school is ‘satisfied’ of the child’s status and they qualify as PLAC, they can record them on the school census as such. Ultimately a headteacher takes responsibility for a school census, registers and DfE returns. 


    In any situations where legal parental responsibility is ambiguous for a child and or attempts made via parents/guardians does not satisfy they school; school should seek further advice/support to ensure there are no safeguarding concerns and there is clarity over who holds legal parental rights and responsibilities for the child.


    Schools October Census will determine school funding for the next Financial Year.  Each child recorded as PLAC will currently generate £2530 in Pupil Premium (2023-24).

    Please note if children returns to birth parents they are not under a new order or permanence and are not PLAC.  They may return under a Supervision Order (or child in need plan or no order or plan), either way this return to existing legal parent is not a new order of permanence, rather re-unification.


    A Supervision Order (is not a new order of permanence) is a legal order which gives the LA a duty to supervise the parent around the care for the child for a limited period of time. These children will therefore not qualify for PLAC status. They will no longer be a child in care (looked-after child) and will no longer receive LAC PP form the Virtual School.

    • Please see Hampshire & IW Guide to completing your schools Census.