Looked after children and children in care


DfE Guidance on temporary changes: attendance recording for educational settings whilst closed due to the coronavirus 

We have put together key information and resources for schools to help maintain provision during the COVID-19 situation.

1. Definition

Looked after children, as defined by the Children Act 1989, are either looked after or in the care of a local authority, or are provided with accommodation for more than 24 hours by a local authority.

We use the term ‘children in care’ to include all children being looked after by a local authority.

In addition, the Virtual School provides information, advice and guidance for children adopted from care, on special guardianship orders and child arrangement orders.

See also summary of legislation and responsibilities.


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