Support From Virtual Schools And Pupil Premium Plus
Virtual School Heads (VSH) are required by law to encourage the academic success of all children now and formerly under the care of the local authority, they work for. Please refer to our section, Legal Framework - Being Aware Care, for the legal framework and a list of VSH responsibilities.
Based on the number of children aged 4 to 15 who were looked after for at least one day on August 31, as reported in the most recent looked after children data return, Virtual Schools are awarded a Pupil Premium Plus (PP+) funding allocation of £2300 per looked after children to assist their work.
Please be advised that PP+ for looked after children is assigned to and controlled by the school, not the Virtual School, and the child's parent, caretaker, or guardian must let the school know.At the moment, each child costs £2300.
What do we mean when we say previously looked after children? The necessity of informing the school so that it can provide the increased support to which they are entitled should be made clear to parents or guardians of formerly looked-after children by designated teachers. Additionally, Virtual Schools are obligated to provide guidance and assistance upon request to the Designated Teacher and the parent of the previously looked after child.
The Virtual School is in charge of administering the PP+ grant for looked after children and distributing it to the appropriate schools and alternative alternatives, each of which has its own mechanism for doing so. As a result, they are able to employ PP+ financing with a great deal of freedom. Personal Education Plans (PEPs) should be used by Designated
Teachers in a proactive and open manner so that the proper funds and assistance can be obtained to help level the playing field for looked-after children. Every Virtual School is obliged to publish a clear policy on how they utilize PP+, including how they choose the amount and use of any funds from PP+ that has been top-sliced to offer support that is best delivered at an authority-wide level, like dedicated teacher training.
Every local authority has a distinct arrangement for virtual schools. However, they always have three primary responsibilities that are detailed in the virtual school handbook:
- ensuring that a mechanism is in place to track and monitor the development and achievement of looked after children
- make sure all looked after children have a solid Personal Education Plan (PEP) in place, with access to one-to-one assistance and specialized educational opportunities as needed.
- to advocate for the needs of looked after children both inside and outside of their authority
What Can Be Done With the Pupil Premium Plus Funding?
Children looked after who are cared for in accordance with Designated Teachers and carers can benefit from a variety of educational and developmental supports through the usage of the PP+. According to statutory advice, interventions supported by funds should be backed by evidence and be in the child's best interests.
Please refer to our Interventions in the Classroom and the Education Endowment Fund Toolkit section for suggestions on using PP+ effectively. Both of these resources provide easily accessible summaries of evidence-based interventions to support improved outcomes for vulnerable learners that could be included in a PEP.
The Agency for Adoption and Permanency Support (PAC UK) has provided a helpful description of how Pupil Premium Plus should be used - accessible here, and case studies from the PALAC knowledge-sharing initiative (Promoting the Achievement of Looked After Children).
Achievement for All's evidence-based school coaching and improvement programs, Achieving Schools and Achieving Wellbeing (CLA), are increasingly being supported in schools throughout the nation through Virtual Schools utilizing the PP+ award. Both programs aim to close the gap and expedite development for the target cohorts of looked after children. Additionally, we collaborate with Virtual Schools to set up Designated Teachers' training and practice exchange centers in Croydon and Northumberland.
Training for Designated Teachers
The Virtual School is required to make sure there are suitable opportunities for Designated Teachers to access training in important areas like school admission policies, special education needs, attendance, expulsions, homework, GCSE options, managing challenging behavior, promoting positive educational and recreational activities, and encouraging children to have aspirations. Get in touch with your virtual school to learn more about your training options.
Designated Teachers must be aware of these needs and know how to support them because looked after children who are or have been in foster care are more likely than their non-looked-after peers to struggle with social, emotional, and mental health issues. For more information, see our section Understanding and Managing Challenging Behavior. To help Designated Teachers better identify and address the mental health and well-being needs of looked after and previously looked after children so that they are as happy and prepared to learn as possible, virtual schools should direct them to specialized training and support in fields like attachment and trauma.
Depending on which local government is the corporate parent for each kid cared for on the roll at your school, you could collaborate with more than one virtual school. Here you may find a complete list of virtual school leaders that was current as of April 24, 2017.
For more information on Virtual Schools, please visit the National Association of Virtual School Heads.