Central Bedfordshire Children in Care Council

What is the Virtual School?

Looked After, Previously Looked After Children and All Children with a Social Worker

The role of the Virtual School

The Virtual School works to ensure that schools, social workers, carers and other professionals understand statutory responsibilities and are aware of best practice around the education of children in care.

For all children and young people from 2 to 18 years looked after by Central Bedfordshire our role is to:

  • promote high aspiration and raise achievement to ensure support and targeted intervention is in place within education settings
  • ensure that children in care access high quality learning and achieve comparable outcomes to their peers
  • work closely with all those involved in the care and education of looked after children providing training and support to help understand the issues and challenges they face.

The Virtual School is also a support and advisory service for families and educations settings of Previously Looked After Children who go to school in Central Bedfordshire.

The Virtual School have extended duties to support Central Bedfordshire schools to achieve the best possible educational outcomes for all children with a social worker.

Please note that the role of the Virtual School is to advocate and signpost for Looked After and Previously Looked After Children, and do not work directly with them.

Statutory Guidance

Every school must have a person responsible for Looked after and Previously Looked After Children and they are named the Designated Teacher. The roles and responsibilities of the Designated Teacher:


Statutory guidance for local authorities in relation to looked after and previously looked after children:


Central Bedfordshire Virtual School

The virtual school team is a small, multi-disciplinary team working to raise the educational attainment and attendance of children and young people looked after by Central Bedfordshire. It works in close collaboration with colleagues from education settings across local authorities, carers, social care and any other professionals involved with the child. It also offers support and advice for carers, parents and guardians of Previously Looked After Children. 


Aims of the Virtual School

The Virtual School exists to ensure that children and young people in care have access to good quality education, providing them with improved life chances.

We expect that every child in care will:

  • have a school place
  • have a current personal education plan (PEP)
  • attend a full-time educational placement
  • achieve their potential

It is our responsibility to:

  • promote the attainment of children in care, previously looked after children and all children with a social worker
  • raise awareness of the importance of education and lifelong learning with all people associated with children in care, previously looked after children and all children with a social worker
  • help create opportunities for children in care to achieve success in their educational careers
  • work closely with all agencies to improve educational opportunities for children in care
  • support schools in delivering attachment aware and trauma informed practice, and in removing the barriers to learning that exist for our young people.

Virtual School Head

The Virtual School Head Teacher is responsible for promoting the educational achievement of all the children looked after by the local authority they work for. They play a key role in quality assuring Personal Education Plans and managing and monitoring the effective use of Pupil Premium.

Email: virtualschoolhead@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk

For more information about the service please contact the Virtual School Administrator:

Telephone: 0300 300 6977


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