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Expanded duties from September 2021

From September 2021, Virtual School Heads will receive extra funding from local authorities to help all children with social workers make educational progress. 

Virtual School Heads will work with early years settings, schools, colleges and social care leaders to address the disadvantages that children with a social worker can experience.

Funding for this expanded role is confirmed until March 2022

Support from the Virtual School Head

The Virtual School Head will demonstrate the benefits of attending an education setting, as well as ensuring there are mechanisms in place to offer advice and support to teachers and social workers, with the aim of narrowing the attainment gap. 

The additional role of the Virtual School Head does not require the Head to provide direct intervention, help and support for individual children with a social worker or their families.

This guidance does not change existing duties for looked-after and previously looked-after children.

Support from the Virtual School 

We will provide a number of support services to social care teams and schools:

For social care

We will continue to build on the success of the pilot project last year and will take the 70 most vulnerable children onto our caseloads.

The model of support will replicate that for looked-after children. There will be termly Personal Education Plans (PEPs) and additional funding to support bespoke interventions.

Educational psychology support will also be available. Social care teams can refer into this support by contacting one of our advisory teachers.

We will offer advice and guidance for any child who has a social worker.

For schools

20 places on the Virtual School caseload for the most vulnerable pupils have been identified for schools to refer into. Schools can access these through the behaviour and attendance panels.

We have expanded our training offer to allow any B&NES school or early years setting to access free training and support

If schools have any education concern for a child who has a social worker, they can seek advice directly from the advisory teachers.

Advisory teachers

Our advisory teachers for children with a social worker are:

  • Early Years and Primary: Julia Wallcroft
  • Secondary: Ruth Taylor

You can contact Julia, Ruth and other members of our team through our contact page