Foster carers and residential carers

Working together, succeeding together

Education can change the lives of children, raise their aspirations and be the key to stability and success in later life. Our children can achieve and succeed with the support and positive relationships of all those working with them.

What is the Virtual School?

The Nottinghamshire Virtual School is a statutory local authority service whose role is to improve the education of children in, and previously in, care by supporting schools, carers, parents and social workers to help children and young people to have positive educational experiences.

The Virtual School is made up of a Senior Leadership Team and Achievement Officers.

Read about The Virtual School structure in more detail.

How we achieve our aims

We request, monitor and track regular updates about how our children in care are doing in their education settings. Where our children are not doing so well, we make sure that our Achievement Officers are able to work with schools and settings to support them to meet their needs.

We work to:

  • make sure children in care have an appropriate educational placement for their needs
  • encourage hobbies and attending fun and educational out of school activities
  • keep changes of educational settings to a minimum, especially during Year 6 and Year 11
  • support children's social care to make sure that our children have Personal Education Plan (PEP) meetings and make sure that Pupil Premium Plus (PP+) is spent on good quality interventions

Working in partnership with carers

Foster carers and residential carers play a crucial role in the overall development of children in care. The safe and trusted relationship that they develop with the children and young people they care for is key to this success. In partnership with schools, carers play an essential role in the education of the children and young people they care for. 

Key responsibilities for carers include: 

  • taking a parental interest in the education of the child/young person placed with you; supporting, encouraging and celebrating achievement and success. 
  • understanding what curriculum is being offered to your child/young person and how well they are doing or where support is required for their learning. 
  • know when significant exams or tests are happening so you can offer support and reassurance at these times. 
  • being part of the Personal Education Plan (PEP)  meetings to support the  young person both in education settings and at home with their education. 
  • understanding the education or school's systems, for example homework and communications apps, to support educational learning at home.
  • attending parents' evenings and other education events and activities. 
  • ensuring regular attendance at their educational setting and facilitating homework. 
  • knowing who the Designated Teacher (DT) for children in care is, as they are a valuable contact and advocate for your child.
  • working in partnership with your child's social workers, Virtual School, DT and other partners to support your child to reach their potential.

Mental health

For information, advice and where to access support for mental health, visit Local mental health advice and help for young people in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire at NottAlone.

Upcoming events

More to follow.

NCC employability briefings update

The next wave of briefings are here! Opening the Doors to Employment Opportunities for Care Experienced Young People. Just ask for the relevant briefing flyer, and the briefing registration form. To register your young people for the visits email either, or

An introduction to employment with NHS Digital Services

The landscape of the NHS is transforming as digital enhancements continue to assist the work of staff on the front-line and across the Nottinghamshire University Hospitals Trust.​ The Digital and Information department (also known as Information Technology and Information Governance) is deeply rooted in supporting our colleagues to continue to provide outstanding care. At the heart of everything we do is an understanding of how we can assist staff across the front-line to support our patients. ​

  • Wednesday 5 July 2023 from 11am 
  • 18+ only
  • Careers (
  • Maximum number – 4 young people and 3 support workers
  • Each day will see you solving real life ICT issues for NUH staff
  • Venue: Heathfield House, City Hospital Campus, Hucknall Road, Gate 1 Entrance

An introduction to employment with Twycross Zoo (Fully booked)

The Zoo’s team strives to educate and inspire everyone to care about, and therefore contribute to saving, the other species with which we share our planet

  • Wednesday 26 July 2023 from 11am
  • Maximum number – 6 (X5 support workers)
  • Careers - Twycross Zoo
  • Venue: Burton Road, Atherstone, Warwickshire, CV9 3PX

More to follow

We have been overwhelmed by the kindness, generosity, encouragement and inspiration from local, regional and national businesses.

These employability briefings are designed to provide looked after children & care leavers (aged 16-25) with an insight into the world of employment - a starting point for further career aspiration and development.

The world of business really is making a difference!

University of Nottingham: visit days for specific student groups 2022-23

These visit days are specifically for students who are interested in finding out more about university and who belong to one of the following groups:

  • Care experienced students
  • Estranged students
  • Refugees and asylum seekers
  • Young carers

You will have the opportunity to visit the University Park campus, talk to a member of staff and current students, and find out more about topics such as finance, student support and university-level study.

Upcoming events:

  • To be confirmed

Book a Specific Student Groups Visit | University of Nottingham - Widening Participation

Training for foster and residential carers

The Virtual School will be delivering two-hour online training sessions for foster and residential carers:

Making education successful

This Virtual School training session explores 

  • the roles and responsibilities of adults and professionals around our young people
  • understanding processes in education including SEND
  • how to support our children and young people with transitions and making progress

We focus on the importance of being aspirational for our young people and how to ensure their voice is at the centre of everything we do.


  • Tuesday 22 November 2022

Book Making Education Successful

Teenage Pregnancy Knowledge Exchange: New free RSE guide for foster carers from Sex Education Forum and Fostering Network

Relationships and sex education – a guide for foster care

Share this page?