Department for Education
Adoption Reform Update – May 2014

Welcome to our May update. In this issue we send a reminder about the Statement of Grant Usage, we inform you of new guidance to school admissions. You will also find an update on the Adoption Register and BAAF training. We hope that you will find this issue informative and helpful.

Adoption Reform Grant 2013-14
All local authorities in receipt of Adoption Reform Grant 2013-14 Part B funding (Grant Reference No. 31/2117) are reminded of the requirement to submit a Statement of Grant Usage to the Department on or before 31 May 2014. More information can be found here.

Completed returns, and any queries, should be sent to

As well as providing the Department with the necessary assurances, these returns will be used by the Department and the new Adoption Leadership Board to help identify and share examples of effective local practice.

Priority School Admission for all children adopted from local authority care
The Department issued new guidance to school admission authorities on Tuesday 13th May asking them to give highest priority to all children adopted from local authority care with immediate effect. Previously, eligibility was restricted to children adopted from care under the Adoption and Children Act 2002 which was implemented on 30 December 2005. The guidance can be viewed at:

Adoption Register Update

Register Exchange Days
The 2014/15 programme of Register exchange days started with an event on 13th May in London. The exchange day was again extremely popular with over 150 prospective adopters attending and more than 70 Local Authorities profiling children. The Register is already aware of 20 children who have been matched from our previous London exchange day held in January, a figure that may still rise as links are followed up.

Dates for events for the rest of the year can be found on our website. Please contact BAAF to request a place at future exchange days as demand from agencies is high.

If you have adopters or children to refer to the Register please contact or 0345 2229015.

It’s All About Me
As part of the drive to increase the number of successful adoption placements each year, the Register is continually reviewing the cases of children on its database. They are now identifying children who have been on the Register for over six months and who are in one of the harder to place groups - e.g. older children, those in sibling groups and disabled children.

The Register is working with the CVAA’s ‘It’s All About Me’ (IAAM) project to help find suitable placements for these children. The IAAM project aims to increase the number of families available for harder to place children. The IAAM project will be contacting relevant agencies to discuss whether this service might be appropriate for some of these children.

For more details on ‘It’s All About Me’ please visit their website:

Consultation closed
The consultation, 'Adoption: Getting It Right, Making It Work', has now closed. The Government’s response will be published at the end of May 2014 on and

BAAF Training Update
DfE has contracted with BAAF to run free seminars to support the adoption reform programme. A limited number of places will be available at each of these sessions to all registered adoption agencies and adoption support agencies in England.

The third tranche of training began in April and will run until June 2014, and will focus on Effective and Evidence Based Report Writing.


• To consider current legal framework and relevant Judgements underpinning child care reports to the Court and in adoption cases.

• To consider analysis and evidence required in effective report writing.

• To identify and explore key issues in the assessment of children and young people that will support timely permanence planning.

• To consider the role and function of the CPR in effective linking and matching of children in adoption.

Seminars will also provide information reflecting changes on ethnicity and contact. These will be reflected in revised statutory adoption guidance which the Government is currently consulting on.

It is suggested that, to make best use of these sessions, local authorities use their two free places to send a Childcare Managers and Supervisors, Independent Reviewing Officers and Training Officers, who can disseminate materials to children's social workers.

Seminar Three dates:

Tuesday, 20 May 2014 – BAAF B'ham Office

Thursday, 22 May 2014 – BAAF Newcastle Office

Thursday, 22 May 2014 – BAAF Leeds Office

Thursday, 05 June 2014 – CCS Adoption, Bristol

Monday, 09 June 2014 – BAAF Leeds Office

Friday, 13 June 2014 – BAAF Head Office, London

Thursday, 19 June 2014 – The Heatons, Manchester

Thursday, 19 June 2014 – BAAF B'ham Office

Monday, 23 June 2014 – BAAF Head Office, London

Tuesday, 24 June 2014 – BAAF Newcastle Office

Details and registration forms can be found on the BAAF website at

and any enquiries can be sent to:

Keeping you in touch
We are sending this update to those we have contact details for and look to you to disseminate this bulletin more widely among your colleagues and members. If you do not wish to receive this update please reply to this email and we will ensure your details are removed before any further updates are circulated. If any of your colleagues would like to be added to our circulation list, they should send their name, email address, job title and contact details to

If you have any suggestions as to how we might make these updates more useful to you – or items you would like to see – please let us know by contacting the email address above.

Adoption Reform Team
Department for Education
May 2014