IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Promoting the Achievement of Looked After Children (PALAC)

PALAC is a Knowledge Exchange (KE) programme that seeks to support practice in schools to improve outcomes for students in care. It originated as a result of the dearth of evidence available to support schools in developing practice for this group of children and young people.

  • PALAC has been developed with and delivered by researchers and practitioners behind national and international studies on children in care 
  • It supports professionals through a process of rethinking the school environment to help ensure that they actively support the all-round education of children in care and adopted children 
  • PALAC equips professionals with the evidence base for good practice and, together with the facilitators, works collaboratively to adapt and apply this knowledge to individual settings 
Who is PALAC for?

The programme is for a team of three staff members from a school setting committed to supporting whole school change, consisting of:

  • Designated Teachers
  • Senior leaders in schools
  • Virtual School professionals
  • Educational Psychologists
  • Learning Mentors
Programme structure and costs

Following an introduction to research, materials, audit, theory of change and an action plan, CIE provides experts to facilitate this programme. In addition to online, live sessions CIE facilitators provide school support in development of their action plans and advise on initiating, managing, sustaining and supporting whole school change. 


  1. £25,000 - up to ten schools including full CIE facilitator support
  2. £13,500 - up to five schools including full CIE facilitator support
  3. £7,500 – up to ten schools with no CIE facilitator support
What resources will schools receive?
  • An evidence-based audit tool for schools to assess current practice re care experienced children and young people 
  • An updated handbook covering the evidence-base, based on a published literature review, including a theory of change model and outline of the PALAC programme
  • Guidance and classroom-tested strategies on how to improve the education of children in care 
  • Case studies from schools involved in previous PALAC projects
  • Other resources as required, depending on the organisation’s chosen focus  only for option A and B
  • Their own case study, written up and co-branded by UCL only for option A and B
What people say about the programme?

“Thank you for your help and support. I look forward to reading the finished article with pleasure and pride, and to continuing the work we have started.” – Participant, Lincolnshire PALAC. 

“We have thoroughly enjoyed working on the project and would very much like the opportunity to continue working on the project and developing our place within it further.” – Participant, Lincolnshire PALAC.

Key findings to date

In February 2017 we held the first PALAC national conference and this event provided an opportunity to celebrate the projects carried out with our partners in schools, virtual schools and local authorities:

At the conference we launched the first book from the programme which includes case studies from the pilot:

  • Taking Action for looked After Children in School (UCL IOE Press, 2017)






For further info please email inclusive.education@ucl.ac.uk

See also