Virtual School

All children with a social worker and the Virtual School

From September 2021, the Virtual School took on a strategic leadership role in promoting the educational outcomes of the cohort of children with a social worker and those who have previously had a social worker, who are aged from 0 up to 18.

The Virtual School's offer

To improve educational outcomes (attendance, attainment and progress, and inclusivity) for all children with a social worker, by ensuring education settings and wider services understand the barriers to learning for this cohort and work collaboratively to overcome these barriers, creating a culture of high aspiration and high support. 

For all children with a social worker, the Virtual School will:

  • work in partnership with children’s services and education settings to champion the attendance, attainment, progress and inclusivity of this cohort
  • support education settings to narrow the attainment gap, so every child with a social worker can reach their attainment potential and achieve at least good progress
  • enhance partnerships between education settings and the local authority to help all agencies hold high aspirations and offer high support for these children
  • make visible the disadvantages that children with a social worker can experience
  • promote practice that supports children’s mental health, ability to self-regulate and engagement in education, recognising that attending an education setting can be an important factor in both helping to keep children safe from harm and long-term positive life outcomes
  • support education settings to become attachment aware and implement trauma responsive practices
  • help to make sure that children with a social worker benefit from support to recover from the impact of COVID-19

The Virtual School will do this by:

  • providing educational settings with high quality CPD opportunities that will include:
    • attachment awareness
    • trauma responsive practice
    • emotion coaching
  • providing social care colleagues with high quality CPD opportunities around best inclusive practice in educational settings
  • analysing data to identify the needs of this cohort and address local barriers to strong educational outcomes
  • offering advice and support to key professionals in education settings and social care, where they have a query
  • advising education settings and social workers on how they can work together to support improvements in attendance, punctuality, progress, attainment, self-regulation and inclusive practices, including reducing the use of exclusions and part-time timetables
  • signposting educational settings and social workers to services within the local authority who also offer support with the above

Useful links

Promoting the education of children with a social worker 

Virtual School head role extension – June 2021

Policy paper: review of children in need – updated 17 June 2019

Contact us

Please contact our advisory teacher for all children with a social worker:

Telephone: 0300 300 6977