Looked after children have a right to expect the outcomes we want for every child – that they should be healthy, stay safe, enjoy and achieve, make a positive contribution to society and achieve economic well-being.

The duty of a local authority to safeguard and promote the welfare of a child looked after by them includes, in particular, a duty to promote the child’s educational achievement. The authority must therefore give particular attention to the educational implications of any decision about the welfare of those children.

This statutory guidance applies to England only. It describes the essential actions which local authorities are expected to take in order to comply with their duty.

The guidance sets the framework through which local authorities will meet their statutory duty to promote the educational achievement of looked after children, including those placed out-of-authority. The detailed arrangements in place for discharging the duty will depend on local structures and Change for Children programmes. While setting out the overall framework for actions which local authorities should take, this guidance is not intended to provide comprehensive examples of good practice.


  • Introduction
  • Strategic planning and accountability
  • Effective Implementation of the Duty
  • Appendix