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Virtual School extended duties 

This guidance has been updated for the 2024 to 2025 academic year to include information on how virtual school heads should consider the needs of kinship children in their work.

Championing kinship care: national kinship care strategy sets out how we will support, empower and champion kinship families. This includes a commitment to invest £3.8 million in 2024 to 2025 to adapt the role of virtual school heads to specifically include championing better outcomes in school attendance, educational attainment and progress of children in kinship care.

Promoting the education of children with a social worker and children in kinship care arrangements: virtual school head role extension - GOV.UK.

The DFE has announced that from September 2021, Virtual School Heads will be strategic leaders who promote the educational outcomes of children with a social worker. Meaning there will be a local champion for children with a social worker in every local authority in England. This will ensure that more focus is placed on children with a social worker, targeting support earlier on in these young people’s lives and helping improve how they engage with education. 

This will build on the existing role of a Virtual School Head, who help champion and improve the educational outcomes for children in or on the edge of care, enhancing relationships between schools, colleges and local authorities so that pupils receive support from professionals that will help them develop and progress throughout their time in education.

Extending the role of Virtual School Heads delivers on a key recommendation of the Government’s Children in Need review in 2019, which looked at what further support children in need of help and protection may require. Visit the GOV.UK website to read the review of children in need. The enhanced role will also be central to ensuring that the Government’s education recovery package reaches and benefits children with a social worker, with Virtual School Heads able to advise on the best use of the Recovery Premium to meet their needs and how access to the National Tutoring Programme can improve their outcomes.

VSH’s newly extended role will include additional responsibilities, such as increasing awareness among schools, colleges and social workers, of how education plays a crucial part in the care of these children, improving the visibility of support services for children with a social worker and ensuring Virtual School Heads champion this group in local authority planning.

The guidance on promoting the education of children with a social worker:

  • defines the cohort of children in scope
  • explains what the extended role involves
  • provides direction on how to partner with education settings to improve children’s outcomes

The additional role of the Virtual School Head does not require the Virtual School Heads to provide direct intervention, help and support for individual children with a social worker or their families. This guidance does not change existing duties for looked-after and previously looked-after children, and should be read in conjunction with statutory guidance promoting the education of looked-after and previously looked-after children.

British Psychologicial Society 

Children's voices matter.

It's Children's Mental Health week and the theme is 'my voice matters'. Educational Psychologist's from across the country explain why it is so important that children's voices are heard. EPs from Telford & Wrekin Local Authority have collaborated in this amazing video.

Please click here to watch the video. 

Self Care Summer

The summer holidays offer an opportunity to recharge, but some young people may find themselves struggling without the structure and support network of school.

Anna Freud have created these #SelfCareSummer packs for primary and secondary schools. These packs feature a range of creative activities based on self-care strategies that other young people have found useful in helping them stay mentally healthy.

They also signpost young people and their families to additional support, including the AFC crisis messenger text service.

It is also important that staff look after their mental health and wellbeing over the holidays, which is why we’ve created a self-care toolkit for education staff with tips and resources to support you in looking after your wellbeing.

If you are a young person looking for immediate support visit our Urgent Help page.

Visit the Anna Freud to access the packs and to find out more information

Arts and Culture

Telford and Wrekin Virtual School are pleased to announce that they are now a registered Arts Award Centre, which is the first Virtual School across the UK to be registered as an Arts Centre. This enables our qualified Arts Adviser within the team to assess and award young people with a variety of Arts awards from Discover and Explore through to Gold. Young people will receive an accredited certificate from Trinity College London for successful completion of any Arts award level. To find out more, please contact the Virtual School Arts Lead - Kerriann Hughes kerriann.hughes@telford.gov.uk 

Telford & Wrekin Council - Promise to Young People

Poster detailing the authorities promise to our Young People.

Download the poster

SMASH Life - overcoming life's hurdles together!

This resource is a free from Smash Life for all professionals/organisations around the UK in every sector to use to inspire and engage with young people and people around this subject. So yes please use and please share. Please make the most of this free resource to aid practice and start those vital conversations around the subject of abuse, trauma and bullying. Breaking the stigma especially for young men.

Watch the SMASH Life branded kickback trailer:

Arts Discover Award - Celebration 

We are pleased to announce that 21% of our young people have successfully achieved their Discover Arts Award since this was launched by accessing Arts and Culture Events that have been organised by Telford and Wrekin Virtual School in partnership with other external agencies and Performing Perfectly. we also had engagement and particpation from over 100 young people in 2022-2023 academic year in out of school / school holiday arts and culture events/programmes and activities. 

Arts Award Discover is an introductory award where our young people participated by collecting evidence for their individual portfolios and took part in arts activities which can include a variety of arts and culture areas, including, singing, Guitar, individual graffiti design and African drums, photography, dance and drama to name a few. The young people also successfully researched an artist to look at their work and their history and shared their arts discoveries.

Download the attached flyer to view some of the art pieces that were created and to find out more on how to get involved

Comments, Compliments, Suggestions and Feedback

Please provide us with feedback, comments, compliments following your interaction with our service and our team, from arts and culture events participation, or attendance at one of our training events. We would love to hear from you.

Please click here to access and complete the online form. 

Last updated: 26/02/2024 15:04

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