Virtual school heads (VSH) are statutory and have a duty to promote the educational achievement of all children looked after by the local authority they work for. They are responsible for managing pupil premium funding and for allocating it to schools and alternative provisions. Designated Teachers should be as proactive as possible in working in partenrship with virtual schools in order to secure the funding and support available to help level the playing field for children looked after.
Virtual school set up is different in every local authority but they all have three key areas of responsibility, as outlined in the Virtual School Handbook:
- To make sure that there is a system in place to track and monitor the attainment and progress of children looked after
- To make sure that all children looked after have a robust and effective Personal Education Plan (PEP) in place, including access to one-to-one support and specialist educational provision where appropriate
- To champion the needs of looked after children across the authority and those placed outside of their authority
As a school, you may work with more than one virtual school depending on which local authority is the corporate parent, a full list of virtual school heads is available here, correct as at 24th April 2017.