Who are we?
The Virtual School is a small, joint agency, countywide team of specialist staff from education and social care set up in 2001 to improve the educational achievement and experience of Buckinghamshire’s children in care.
The Virtual School has a new extended duty to all children known to social care, since September 2021. This is a strategic role with the aim of developing partnership working to support improved outcomes for children with social workers.
Guidelines for Looked After Children
The Virtual School has produced guidelines for schools in relation to Looked After Children.
This guide supports schools to maximise outcomes for their Looked After Children, through monitoring and supporting their progress via Personal Education Plans and effectively communicating with the appropriate people and agencies involved in the life of each young person.
Post 16 and Careers
We work to promote the Further and Higher Educational aspiration and achievement of young people in care and care leavers. We try to re-engage those who are NEET and maintain regular contact wherever possible.
We support young people in care and care leavers to take up their place and achieve success in Further and Higher Education.
We offer help and advice on issues relating to College, University and Higher Education.
New duty for children known to social care
The Government’s children in need review recognised the crucial role that Virtual School Heads have in helping education settings and local authorities work together, and made a commitment to explore the capacity needed to extend their leadership to the cohort of all children and young people with a social worker.
The Virtual School has launched a new advice service which goes live on 4th April 2022. There are two elements to this service.
Previously Looked After Children
Following the Children and Social Work Act 2017, the work of the Virtual School was extended to include a wider group of children, specifically those who were previously looked after by a local authority.