Virtual School for children in care team
Our Virtual School for children in care, is part of the Education Vulnerable Groups Achievement and Access Service (EVGAAS). The team is based at the Professional Development Centre in Norwich.
The role of the Virtual School is to promote the education of all Norfolk’s looked after children and young people, wherever they may be placed. The team is the statutory lead (Children and Families Act 2014) and will support and challenge:
- Us - the local authority
- Other relevant partners
to ensure looked after children and young people have the best possible education and outcomes.
What does the Virtual School team do?
- Provide advice, guidance and support to schools, professional colleagues, foster carers and children
- Administer the Pupil Premium Plus
- Ensure that all children have an effective high quality Personal Education Plan (PEP). They also link the allocation of Pupil Premium monies to PEP targets effectively
- Monitor attendance, and track progress data and attainment for all Norfolk looked after children
- Provide training for schools, foster carers and professional colleagues
- Identify and pilot interventions and resources to improve learning
- Provide out-of-school activities to support learning
A new extended role
The Children and Social Work Act 2017 set out new duties for local authorities, maintained schools and academies, effective from September 2018. It has extended the role of virtual school heads and designated teachers to certain previously looked-after children. This is because these children may continue to experience educational challenges after leaving care. The new remit extends to those children with:
- Child arrangements orders
- Special Guardianship Orders (SGO)
- Adoption orders
The role of the Virtual School Head for previously looked-after children is to promote their educational achievement. This is through the provision of information and advice to their parents, educators and others.
However, Virtual School Heads are not expected to monitor the educational progress of individual children, or be held to account for their educational attainment. Any intervention in the education of a previously looked-after child, must be with the agreement of the person(s) who have parental responsibility for the child. They, like all parents, are responsible for overseeing their child’s progress in education.
The English as an Additional Language (EAL) and Gypsy Roma Traveller (GRT) team, also now sit within the Virtual School structure, under its inclusion strand.
Head of the Virtual School
The Head of the Virtual School for children in care, adoption, SGO, GRT & EAL is Keeley White.