There are a number of resources and facilities available to you if you have adopted children.

If you have questions about the education of an adopted child, please start by asking at your child's school. If you have a question or concern the school can't answer, then the Virtual School Team can provide advice both to parents and professionals. Please contact the Virtual School.

The Virtual School

The key focus of the Virtual School is to ensure schools are adoption aware, supported, trained and challenged so that they provide a high quality education to adopted children. In particular we aim to ensure schools have access to training on attachment and how best to use of the £1,900 pupil premium that is available for each adopted child.

The Virtual School also provide Personal Education Planning forms (PDF45KB) which we recommend are used (or something similar) when planning use of the pupil premium for adopted children. Find out more about the Brighton & Hove Virtual School for Children in Care

School admissions

The statutory admissions code requires all admissions authorities (which can be local authorities or voluntary aided schools, academies or free schools which are all responsible for their own admissions) to give highest priority to children in care or who have been adopted from care in this country.

This means that children adopted from care in this country must be allocated a place at their first preference school before other children are considered. For more information, download the Brighton & Hove school admissions booklet.

Family Information Service

The Family Information Service (FIS) offers a wide range of information and advice to families in Brighton & Hove including:

  • Finding childcare
  • Services for families
  • Financial help
  • Activities for children and young people
  • Support applying for a school place.

Free childcare

Adopted children aged 2, 3 and 4 are entitled to up to 570 hours free childcare over the year. You can choose to take up your free place at a wide variety of childcare providers. To find out more about the funded places and which childcare providers offer the free places, visit the childcare and family support web pages.

Providers also receive funding enhanced by £300 per annum to further support these children. This is known as the Early Years Pupil Premium.

Special educational needs

Brighton & Hove City Council, health services and all partners are committed to working together to support the needs of children and young people with special educational needs and/or disability and their families. Where an adopted child has a statement of special educational needs, or an education, health and care plan, the Special Educational Needs Team (SEN) will maintain the Statement on behalf of the placing authority. Contact the SEN Team.

Find out more about the Brighton & Hove Local Offer for children with special educational needs and/or disability (SEND).

Education psychology

The Educational Psychology Service works to promote the educational, emotional and behavioural development of children and young people in the context of their families, schools and communities. Educational psychologists work with children and young people from birth to 25 years who can present with a variety of needs including:

  • Emotional, social, behavioural or mental health needs
  • Learning difficulties
  • Physical, sensory or medical needs
  • Speech and language or communication needs.

Educational psychologists also offer training to schools and other professionals around a variety of need including ‘attachment’, to help understand how a child’s early development can impact on their current functioning.


Referrals to the service are through the child or young person’s school where educational psychologists have planning meetings to prioritise their work. Children and young people who are adopted would be considered alongside other priorities for the school.

Find out more about the work of the Educational Psychology Service

Other information

Spotlight on adoption support practice in B&H schools (PDF 38KB)Adoption Support PassportAdoption competent schools checklist (PDF 50KB)