Latest news, events and useful links

Virtual School extended duties September 2021

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.

Further details will follow in due course.

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 May 2021

We are pleased to announce that 12 of our young people in Telford & Wrekin have successfully achieved their Discover Arts Award. This was undertaken over 4 days during the May half term as well as independently.

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 included singing, Guitar, individual graffiti design and African drums. 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

Coronavirus - Returning to school

Children’s Commissioners' Offices for England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales have released a podcast in which children from across the UK asked government scientists their questions about the coronavirus pandemic. Read the news story and listen to the podcast: Children from across the UK ask government scientists their questions about coronavirus.

Visit the Commisioners website for more information from the government scientists

Parent Infomation has published tips for parents and carers to help their primary and secondary school children and young people cope when returning to school.

Visit the Parent Info website to find out more on returning to school: 7 tips to help your primary-age child cope

Visit the Parent Info website to find out more on returning to school: 7 tips to help secondary students cope

COVID-19 information shared by the virtual school team

The virtual school team have provided schools, foster carers, parents and social care with information during this uncertain and difficult time. The letters include information relating to children's attendance, personal education plans (PEPs), self isolation information and home learning educational resources. foster carers/parents and designated teachers.

Download letters that have been shared by the virtual school team

COVID-19 - during and after support for young people

Download guidance to support young people during and after the pandemic, intended for foster and kinship carers, adoptive parents, and professionals who work with care experienced children in schools, residential care homes and other settings.

Last updated: 28/09/2021 14:58

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