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Portrait of a Student

What is the Virtual School?

The Virtual School is exactly that – virtual! It is not a building but a group of professionals who work closely with you to support you to get the best outcomes. It does not replace the mainstream school you attend, but is an additional resource where people who can work cooperatively and collaboratively with you to benefit you.

How the Virtual School supports young people

The Virtual School consists of a headteacher, deputy head, caseworkers, and other people who support the team. 

We all work closely with the school you attend, a designated teacher in your school, your social worker and carer to support you in your education and to make sure you are getting any help you need. We also help make sure you have access to other activities that interest you or that may help with any career plans.

Designated teachers are specifically trained and support other school staff members to ensure your particular needs are met, you are encouraged to do your best and that you are supported appropriately.

We will make sure that your head teacher and the staff in your nursery, school or college are giving you the support that you need with your education.

Your school will have what’s called a ‘designated teacher’ – a teacher who knows about being in care and what it means. They understand that you might feel confused and unsettled, so they’re not just there to make sure you do as well as you can with your work and activities. You can also talk to them if being in care is making school hard for you.

Your own teacher and the head teacher will know you’re in care but won’t tell anybody else unless they need to know so they can help you.

If you’re not sure what to tell people at school about being in care, your social worker and your designated teacher can help you work out what to say if you like.

Your Caseworker

You will have a caseworker from the Virtual School who will also support you and talk to you, your foster carer, your social worker and your school to make sure you are happy at school and doing as well as you can.

Your caseworker will ensure that you have all you need to support you – this may mean they will look at accessing additional tuition for you, getting you a laptop if you need one, giving you opportunities to take part in enrichment activities or helping with thinking about what you want to do next when you reach 16 or 18.

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