Support for previously looked after children
The role of Virtual School heads and designated teachers in schools has extended to certain previously looked-after children as they continue to experience educational challenges after leaving care.
Who is considered a 'previously looked after child?'
Previously looked-after children are those who:
- are no longer looked after by a local authority in England and Wales because they are the subject of an adoption, special guardianship or child arrangements order
- were adopted from 'state care' outside England and Wales. 'State care' is care provided by a public authority, a religious organisation, or any other organisation whose sole or main purpose is to benefit society.
Who is eligible for support from Derby Virtual School?
Derby Virtual School is able to promote the educational achievement of previously looked after children to anyone the Virtual School Head (VSH) considers appropriate. This will usually be the parents and educators of previously looked after children from the point at which they become eligible for free early education up to the end of year 11 when aged 16, provided they are on roll to an education setting in the city of Derby, no matter where they live.
What support does Derby Virtual School offer?
The Virtual School must:
- respond to parental requests for advice and information for example, advice on school admissions in their area. Where appropriate, the VSH should signpost parents to other services that can offer advice and support
- respond to requests for advice and information from providers of early education, designated teachers in maintained schools and academies, and providers of alternative provision in their area in respect of individual children supported by the local authority. In particular, the VSH should develop a good working relationship with designated teachers for previously looked-after children in their area
- make general advice and information available to early years settings and schools to improve awareness of the vulnerability and needs of previously looked-after children. This should include promoting good practice on identifying and meeting their needs, and guidance on effective use of the Pupil Premium Plus.