Looked after and Post Adopted Pupils


Kayleigh Pearson

Mrs Kayleigh Pearson is our designated Teacher at Kings Priory School. She works very closely with Mrs Watson (Vice Principal) and Mr Roberts (Additional Needs and Inclusion Manager) to ensure the pupils who are identified in this category are supported accordingly whilst at school. To contact Mrs Pearson please use the email below and mark for attention of Miss Pearson.


Why do schools have a designated teacher for Looked After and Post-Adopted Children?

The Department for Education published statutory guidance for designated teachers in February 2018.

Key points

  • School governing bodies have a duty to designate a member of staff (the designated teacher) to promote the educational achievement of looked-after and previously looked-after children, including those aged 16-18, who are registered pupils at the school. 
  • The designated teacher should ensure that all staff are aware of the particular needs of looked-after and previously looked-after children over a wide range of issues, and have input into the formulation of school-wide policies and procedures to ensure those children are not disadvantaged.
  • When working with looked-after and previously looked-after children, the designated teacher should be a contact point for parents and guardians and work closely with them to ensure the best outcomes for the child, socially, emotionally and educationally.

What is a Designated Teacher?

The designated teacher role recognises that many looked-after and previously looked-after children have suffered disrupted learning, may have missed long periods of school and may have special educational needs. Gaps in their learning and, in many cases, the emotional impact of their experiences are likely to be significant barriers to their progress. The statutory designated teacher role is designed to help ensure that excellent practice in supporting this cohort of children is embedded and becomes universal. However, the role is not to be seen in isolation, but rather part of a support system including other professionals, and parents and carers.

Practical duties of the designated teacher role:

  • Promote a culture across the school where the personal, emotional and academic needs of looked-after and previously looked-after children are prioritised.
  • Take lead responsibility for helping other staff to understand the factors which can affect how looked-after and previously looked-after children learn and achieve, including the emotional, psychological and social effects of loss and separation including early life trauma and attachment disorder.
  • Making staff aware that trauma and attachment issues will continue to affect looked-after and previously looked-after children and the school will need to continue to respond appropriately to their needs.   
  • Ensure that teachers understand the needs of looked-after and previously looked-after children with regards to, for example, special educational needs, attendance and exclusions, homework, GCSE options, understanding and managing challenging behaviour and understanding the link between emotional wellbeing and being able to make educational progress.
  • Ensure parents and guardians are aware of the requirement to inform the school if their child is eligible to attract PP+, play a key part in decisions on how PP+ is used to effectively support looked-after and previously looked-after children alongside SLT.
  • Promote a culture in which looked-after and previously looked-after children are able to be heard, contribute to discussions through a safe adult and take responsibility for their learning.
  • Work with the virtual school heads (VSH) to access training and keep up to date on research and good practice

The new Department for Education guidance emphasises the role of the Virtual School Head in providing guidance and advice to both schools and parents. Virtual schools also keep a proportion of the PP+ funding and therefore can also provide financial support to families directly. For looked-after children this will be the local authority with whom they are registered. The Virtual School Head is considered their corporate parent.


For previously looked-after children this is North Tyneside as they attend a North Tyneside school. The Virtual Schools with contact details are listed below.  

North Tyneside VSH: Jane Pickthall        0191 643 8366

Northumberland: VSH: Jane Walker        01670 622779

Newcastle VSH: Vivienne Cunneen         0191 277 3616

Sunderland VSH: Trish Stoker                  0191 553 5712