Teachers and social workers
Working together to support our children in, and previously in care, with their education
The Virtual School leads on the local authority’s statutory responsibilities for ‘promoting the education of looked after children and previously looked after children’ (DfE, February 2018). All children and young people in the care of Nottinghamshire County Council are tracked and monitored by the Nottinghamshire Virtual School. This includes children that attend education settings, schools or colleges outside of Nottinghamshire.
The Virtual School’s statutory role is around ensuring that all children in or previously in care, have the maximum opportunity to reach their full educational potential. For children in care, it is a way of bringing together the information about children and young people as if they were in a single school so that their progress can be tracked and supported, and intervention can be targeted. For children previously in care, the Virtual School offers advice and information to parents/carers, schools and other professionals.
The Virtual School is made up of a Senior Leadership Team and Achievement Officers who work to facilitate positive outcomes.
We believe that the educational successes for young people are achieved when education providers:
- have high aspirations for our children to achieve their very best and support them to prepare and succeed into adulthood
- promote and prioritise the development of the whole child including their social, emotional and mental health
- promote positive relationships to ensure that all children develop a sense of belonging and connection to their education community
- build safe, trusting and nurturing relationships within their settings, based on an understanding of attachment and developmental trauma
- promote inclusive practice and use alternatives to exclusions
The Virtual School has a key role in:
- working with staff in schools and educational settings to build capacity, enabling them to promote the educational success and attainment of children and young people in and previously in care
- working with and supporting Designated Teachers (DTs) to fulfil their role in their education setting
- monitoring and tracking the attainment and progress of children in care and intervening to promote positive educational outcomes
- ensuring that high aspirations are held by all those who are supporting and/or providing education for our children in and previously in care
- developing and implementing a Pupil Premium Plus (PP+) statement and supporting schools and agencies around targeted and effective evidence-based intervention through Personal Education Plan (PEP) processes
- ensuring appropriate high quality educational provision is in place and that there is no drift or delay in securing this
- providing training and support to all professionals, with a particular regard to Designated Teachers, who may be involved in the educational journey of children and young people who are in care
In Nottinghamshire, the Virtual School believes the key to doing this well is through collaborative working with schools, families and all professional agencies.
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.