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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 2025.

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 closely monitor the attendance, suspensions/risk of permanent exclusion and progress of all children with a social worker, and provide advice and guidance as follows:

Universal offer

All schools can contact either of our advisory teachers direct to ask for advice for any child open to social care. The Virtual School will offer free training to support this cohort of young people.

Targeted offer

Following a referral for support from social care or a school, advisory teachers will offer individual advice for a named child and follow up with the school and social care.

Specialist offer

We will provide direct support to children who are most at risk, especially those on Child Protection Plans, with up to 50 funded places available.

The Virtual School works closely with the Social Care Teams, Attendance and Welfare Support Service, and Youth Justice Team, as well as schools and nursery settings.

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