Virtual School

Funding for virtual schools

In April 2014, the government introduced the pupil premium so that each looked-after child attracts funding of £2,300 for each financial year, from the date they enter care.

The Department for Education (DfE) allocates a provisional amount of £2,300 to us, per child looked after for at least one day.

The pupil premium must be managed by our virtual school head (VSH), who looks after the child, and used without delay for the benefit of the looked-after child’s educational needs as described in their personal education plan.

The VSH should ensure there are arrangements in place to discuss how the child will benefit from pupil premium funding with the designated teacher or another member of staff in the child’s education setting who best understands their needs. Processes for allocating funds to a child's education setting should be as simple as possible to avoid delay.

View the conditions of grant for the pupil premium arrangements on the DfE's website (link opens in new window)

Looked-after children

Rates for eligible pupils

Looked-after children (LAC) defined in the Children Act 1989 as one who is in the care of, or provided with accommodation by, an English local authority: £2,300

In Central Bedfordshire, £600 per term per looked-after child is distributed following the submission of a good Personal Education Plan (PEP.) This payment is made within the last two weeks of each term. The remainder of the pupil premium, per child, forms a fund that can be accessed as additional funding. This can be applied for by the education adviser from the virtual school, the carer, the social worker or the school.

School: Apply for additional funding >>

Carer: Apply for additional funding >>

Social worker: Apply for additional funding >>

If funding is agreed, evidence of impact will be required the following April.

Previously looked-after children

Rates for eligible pupils

Children who have ceased to be looked after by a local authority in England and Wales because of adoption, a special guardianship order, a child arrangements order or a residence order: £2,300. This will be allocated by the DfE after completion of the school census.

Virtual schools have no responsibility for monitoring the use of pupil premium for previously looked after children. Parents and carers may seek advice from the virtual school regarding pupil premium spend but it is the school's responsibility to allocate this funding. For schools to access the pupil premium grant they must record any children on the school census and alternative provision census, who were looked after by an English or Welsh local authority immediately before being adopted, or who left local authority care on a special guardianship order or child arrangements order (previously known as a residence order.) These are collectively referred to as post-LAC in these conditions of grant. Parents, carers and guardians cannot apply for additional funding from the virtual school as this funding is only available to looked after children.