The Virtual School

The South Gloucestershire Virtual School team is responsible for raising the educational standards of South Gloucestershire’s looked-after children. 

The school is virtual in the sense that it is not a physical school building that students actually attend.  

The Virtual School team works in partnership with you and your child, early years settings, schools, colleges, universities and social workers.  They ensure that your child’s education is seen as a priority by everyone who works with them in order to improve your child’s educational outcome.

The Virtual School maintains a record of all the local authority’s school-age looked-after children with current information regarding their school placement, attendance and educational progress and performance. This record is updated routinely each month with individual additions as children come into the care of the local authority. 

The Virtual School team offers advice and guidance to support the education of previously looked-after children in South Gloucestershire schools. This includes information on:

  • The designated teacher - a leadership role in promoting the educational achievement of every looked after child on the school’s roll. The role should make a positive difference by promoting a whole school culture where the personalised learning needs of every looked after child matters and their personal, emotional and academic needs are prioritised
  • Personal Education Plans (PEP) - it is a statutory requirement that a child in care has a Personal Education Plan. South Gloucestershire Virtual School has revised the template for the PEP with an early years, a primary a secondary and a special school version. The statutory guidance emphasises the importance of the PEP in showing how everyone is working together to secure good educational outcomes for the children in the care of South Gloucestershire and that there are clear expectations that the local authority and schools will improve the way that the PEP is used to inform support for each child
  • Previously looked after children

More guidance and template forms can be found on the South Gloucestershire Children's Partnership website under 'Looked After Children'.

For more information about supporting the education of looked-after children and previously looked-after children, you can read the statutory guidance for local authorities on the gov.uk website.

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