Virtual school is designed for children in care who may not be able to attend their usual school. An example of such circumstances may be when they have to live further away from the school.
The child's carers and social worker will help and support them with their education and encourage them in their schoolwork.
Virtual school aims
For children in care in Warrington, we aim to:
- Close the attainment gap between children in care and their peers.
- Ensure they achieve at the least the expected levels of progress, and encourage them to accelerate their progress, to achieve their personal potential.
- Ensure they have an up-to-date effective Personal Education Plan (PEP) that tracks their progress and provides support required.
- Improve their overall attendance and reduce persistent absences.
- Reduce the number of exclusions, both fixed-term and permanent.
- Ensure excluded pupils receive their statutory entitlement to support and re-integration.
- Ensure each child attends the school that is most appropriate to their needs. Wherever possible, ensure the school has been categorised as Good or better education by Ofsted.
- Minimise social, emotional, behavioural and attachment factors that may be barriers to accessing the curriculum.
- Improve continued participation in education, employment and training opportunities for care leavers.
- Promote equal opportunities.
- Ensure their views are fully considered in decision making and use their views to inform developments in relations to delivering services.
What we do
Based on our aims, Virtual School does multiple things for children in care in Warrington.
- Track their attendance, attainments and progress.
- Monitor and quality assure PEPs.
- Manage and quality assure the use of the Pupil Premium Plus, so it improves the educational outcomes of the individual child in care.
- Provide appropriate tailored support packages to children not performing in line with their predicted progress.
- Provide training and guidance to professionals working with children in care.
- Offer support, advice and guidance when things go wrong.
- Challenge schools that don't meet the needs of children in care.
- Challenge care-planning decisions that don't meet the needs of children in care.
- Celebrate the successes of our children in care.
- 1:1 sessions provided by Virtual School Officers
- 1:1 tuition of various subjects
- Literacy and numeracy support
- Termly book club to encourage and promote reading, both for pleasure and to support educational reading.
- Aspirational programmes linked to post-16 and higher education opportunities.