Central Bedfordshire Children in Care Council

The Virtual School

What is the Virtual School?

The Virtual School is an additional resource which exists to support and challenge all those involved in the education of children in care. It is involved in, or promotes nationally and locally, various initiatives to support the educational achievement of children in care.

The Virtual School is not a teaching tool or environment. It does not replace the school or educational provision of children in care.

All children in the care of Central Bedfordshire who are of statutory school age and in education post 16, including university, are part of Central Bedfordshire’s  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. It works in close collaboration with colleagues across the authority, and also in partnership with the third sector. It tracks educational progress, while supporting and monitoring work with children and young people in care. It works to help young people achieve their full potential, and offers support and advice to those who care and work with them.

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
  • attend a full time educational placement
  • achieve their potential

It is our responsibility to:

  • promote the attainment of children in care
  • raise awareness of the importance of education and lifelong learning with all people associated with children in care
  • 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

Virtual School Head

The Virtual School Head is a post established by the government to promote the education of all children looked after by Central Bedfordshire.  It places new responsibilities on the Local Authority to improve the standards reached by its children in care. It aims to do this by supporting and challenging all agencies to re-think their current policies and strategies in relation to this very vulnerable group.

The position should be held by a senior officer in the Local Authority who has the ability to be involved across directorates to address the problems of groups working in isolation and effectively bring about necessary changes.

The Virtual School Head also has a responsibility to ensure that the education of children in the care of other authorities, but living or at school in Central Bedfordshire, are monitored and evaluated.

The Virtual School Head is Jackie Edwards Jackie.edwards@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk


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