Personal Education Plans

Guidance on the PEP process for Suffolk CiC and the separation of PEP meetings and ePEP documents.

Find information on:

  • the Personal Education Plan (PEP) process in Suffolk: the PEP document and the PEP meeting
  • how to produce a highly effective PEP meeting and document
  • the Early Years PEP document used for any pupil looked after by Suffolk County Council in an early years setting.

The PEP meeting and the PEP document are both statutory aspects of a child in care’s care plan. They provide opportunities to plan, discuss and evaluate the educational experience of a pupil and to ensure that their needs are being met. The pupil’s own voice within these elements of their care plan is key to ensuring that their wishes and feelings about their education, aspirations and future plans are heard, recognised and acted upon.

In Suffolk, our children in care asked that the PEP document was not created during the PEP meeting; both should inform the other, but the meeting itself should be person-centred and focused on the pupil’s wishes and feelings.  The PEP document is primarily the responsibility of the school, whilst the PEP meeting is the responsibility of the pupil’s social worker. Schools are required to complete a PEP document every term. It should include clear evidence of planning and progression from term to term which has been informed by attainment data, pupil voice and the professionals working with the pupil to ensure positive outcomes and educational experience. PEP submission by the given deadline in one term will usually trigger a PPG payment in the following term. For example, a PEP submitted in the Autumn Term triggers the Spring Term PPG funding.

There is a minimum of two PEP meetings per year, and these must take place before each Child in Care review which are six monthly and chaired by the child’s Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO). An IRO’s duty is to ensure the care plans for children in care are legally compliant and in the child's best interest. All local authorities have a duty to appoint an IRO to every child in care.

As there are only two PEP meetings per year, there will be one term in which there is no formal PEP meeting. In this term we advise schools to use their own gathering of pupil voice to ensure that provision matches their needs.

Other education planning and professionals meetings can and should, as required, take place outside the person-centred PEP meeting with the actions agreed at these meetings recorded on the PEP Meeting tab of the PEP document.

Best Practice Person-Centred PEP Meetings

The pupil’s social worker will inform all parties of the date and venue of the meeting. The young person may not wish for the school to attend or for it to be the venue. However, a copy of the term’s targets should be shared with the other participants and any further comments the school wishes to make about the pupil’s progress, attainment or support.

For a meeting to be person-centred the pupil’s wishes and feelings will be at the heart of the discussions. The school, their carer and their social worker will also contribute towards how things are going for the person and what can be done to make it even better. The PEP document – especially the targets – should not be set during this meeting to ensure that the meeting focuses on the young person instead of on paperwork. After the meeting, the pupil’s social worker will share the notes or copy of the direct work with the pupil with the school so that agreed actions can be followed up. The minutes of the PEP meeting should be uploaded in the pupil’s PEP document as evidence of the school’s provision for them. 

Please view the following diagrams to see how the PEP meeting and PEP document work alongside each other:

The PEP process for children in Reception to Year 11

The PEP process for Post 16 learners

When a child is new into care or new to a school setting a meeting must be held within the first ten days of this date. The purpose of this meeting is to share key information about the child’s care placement and education provision and to begin the collaborative partnership working.

The subsequent PEP meetings should be person-centred, rather than a professionals meeting.

View the PEP meeting guidance document: 

The PEP meeting should take the form most appropriate to the needs of the young person. It can follow any person-centred approach including the ‘Three Houses Approach’ outlined in Suffolk’s Signs of Safety and Wellbeing service model or the PATH (Possible Alternative Tomorrows with Hope) model used by Suffolk’s Psychology and Therapeutic Service.

The following Solution Focused Practice document is available to download which may be useful for PEP meetings:

Writing a highly effective PEP document

The Personal Education Plan (PEP) is a record of the child’s education and training. It should describe what needs to happen for a child in care to help them fulfil their potential and reflect, but not duplicate, any existing plans such as Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs).

The PEP is a vital document because it provides a collective memory about the child’s education. It is an integral part of a child in care’s wider plan. It is a statutory document. The PEP should help everyone to gain the clear and shared understanding about the teaching and learning provision necessary to ensure academic progress and meet the child’s educational needs, describing how that will be provided. Both schools and local authorities have a shared responsibility for making the PEP a living and useful document. The most effective PEPs reflect the individual planning that all schools undertake for all of their pupils.

1) Know your pupil

The aim of a pupil’s education plan is to formulate a term by term strategy to maximise their outcomes, academically and socially/emotionally.

There will be a range of information that will need to be considered when formulating the plan:

  • Pupil’s wishes and feelings
  • Attainment data – current performance and outcome estimates
  • The wishes and feelings of key stakeholders in the young person’s care (carer, social worker, school, possibly parents)
  • Their social and emotional well-being, which is assessed via a Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). The questionnaire identifies the young person’s mental well-being through a series of questions. Their social worker is normally responsible for administering the questionnaire and it is normally completed by their carer, although they and school can also complete the questionnaire. Best practice is that an SDQ is completed on an annual basis. The score should be used to implement appropriate support and Social, Emotional & Mental Health (SEMH) interventions, alongside academic provision.

2) Working in partnership with your colleagues

Although you will oversee the progress and provision for each child in care, your colleagues may have more day to day contact with them or have a specific key role in their provision plan. It is important that you liaise with your colleagues to ensure that the pupil’s provision (and thus how it’s recorded in the PEP document) is effective. For example, we would strongly encourage you to ask the pupil’s class teacher or teachers to set the termly targets. Their form tutor, Head of Year or Director of Learning may have frequent contact regarding SEMH support for the pupil. If the pupil has an EHCP or special educational needs (SEN) support, it is best practice to involve your school’s Special Educational Needs & Disabilities Co-ordinator (SENDCO) in the pupil’s plan each term. Equally, for pupils in Year 8 – 13, it is best practice to involve your school’s Careers Lead too.

We encourage Designated Teachers to set up access to the PEP document for other staff so they can add details to the PEP as and when they can during the term. Details of how you can do this are below in How to complete each section of the PEP.

3) The Welfare Call ePEP

The Suffolk Virtual School uses the online ePEP from Welfare Call. Welfare Call is the organisation that collects attendance data for each Suffolk child in care daily. DTs are provided with access to the Welfare Call ePEP system. Schools with a pupil in the care of Suffolk County Council should contact the Suffolk Virtual School on 01473 260818 or Welfare Call directly on 01226 716 333 with any queries about logging into the system.

4) Dual registered pupils

If a pupil is dual registered, we would expect the setting where they are attending to complete the PEP document. We would, however, ask the two settings to share and contribute information about provision and progress as much as possible. Both the attending provision and on-roll school can have a log in to edit the PEP document.

5) Best practice approach to planning provision each term

The PEP is designed to be a record of the planning, implementation and reviewing of each pupil’s plan. Details of these plans should be recorded as they are put in place, reviewed (and amended where appropriate) so that the PEP is a picture of the whole term rather than a snapshot of one moment in time.

This diagram explains how best to approach the recording in the PEP throughout each term.

6) Meeting the PEP deadline

The DfE guidance for PEPs states that they are a ‘living, evolving document’. We set our PEP submission dates for near to the end of each term to reflect this. We would ask that PEPs are submitted just before or on the submission date. As the PEP meeting and PEP document are separate for Suffolk pupils the document does not need to be submitted as soon as the meeting has taken place (unless it takes place just prior to the submission date) and targets should be set at the start of each term, not in the PEP meeting.

It is important that the PEP submission date is met by schools; if the PEP is submitted late this may affect the funding that a school receives for a pupil the following term.

2022-23 PEP submission dates

  • Autumn 2023 - Friday 8 December 2023
  • Spring 2024 - Friday 15 March 2024
  • Summer 2024 - Friday 5 July 2024

7) How to complete each section of the PEP

This document contains PEP writing guidelines for 2023-24.

8) Documents

Documents attached to each PEP provides evidence of the provision in place and the impact that the school’s plan has had on the pupil’s attainment and well-being:

  • Teachers could provide evidence of progress via samples of work – ideally, one at the start of term and one towards the end of the term to show progress against the target.
  • It could be an essay, a test, a photo of a project or other document that can show a demonstration of development of a skills/knowledge included in the target.
  • A pupil’s EHCP Annual Review or one-page profile are effective attachments
  • PEP meeting minutes

On the right hand side of the ePEP is a link to Documents. DTs should select this and on the right-hand side of the screen are details of how you can attach a piece of evidence: name it, select the type of document it is and then upload using the Choose file button. Documents can be uploaded at any time in the term and remain in the Documents section.

9) Quality Assurance Checklist

We recommend that schools use our Quality Assurance checklist to ensure that their PEPs meet the required standard.

Early Years PEP document

Download the Early Years PEP template for pre-school settings to use for the Personal Education Planning of early years children in the care of Suffolk County Council.