Looked after and previously looked after children

Looked after children (also known as children in care) and previously looked after children have the highest priority for places

Looked after children are those who are in the care of a local authority, or are being provided with accommodation by a local authority in England in the exercise of their social services functions.

Previously looked after children are those who immediately after being in care (as defined above) became subject to an adoption order, child arrangements order or special guardianship order. They are also those who appear (to the admission authority) to have been in state care outside of England and ceased to be in state care as a result of being adopted.

Applications for looked after children must be completed by the designated social worker.

If you are making an application for a previously looked after child, who immediately after being in care became subject to an adoption order, child arrangements order or special guardianship order, you will need to attach to your application one of the following pieces of evidence:

If you are making an application for a previously looked after child who was in state care outside of England and ceased to be so as a result of being adopted, you will need to include with your application, evidence of the following:

  • that your child has been adopted and;
  • that your child was previously in state care outside of England (in the care of or accommodated by a public authority, a religious organisation, or any other provider of care whose sole or main purpose is to benefit society) immediately before being adopted.

Evidence must be sent to the Admissions Team by the application deadline. Send the whole document, as priority cannot be given without it. We may contact the local authority where the child was in care or previously in care to confirm the child's status.