Virtual School for Children in Care

Cornwall Council, Town and Parish, and the Police and Crime Commissioner elections information and results.


What is the Virtual School?

We are Cornwall Council’s Virtual School for children in care (CiC). We also work with previously looked after children (PLAC). The school exists to improve the education of these vulnerable children. It is a cross-phase school and our learners range from 2 to 18 years.

Our learners attend real schools and settings. The Headteacher or Designated Teacher (DT) of each school provides us with information.  We track each young person's education. Our team provide support to help learners achieve.

Why we need a Virtual School

Many children and young people in care, or having left care, enjoy and do well at school. But, as a group, they may not perform as well in their education as their peers.

Each Local Authority (LA) in England has to appoint someone to promote achievement in looked after children. In Cornwall, we have a Virtual School Headteacher. Their job is to review how children and young people are doing. Systems are also put in place to support and challenge schools and other agencies to help them do better.

The Virtual School works across Cornwall Council and involves many different departments. We also work with external organisations. We aim to deliver the best possible education for children and young people in care.

Who the Virtual School’s learners are

Our school includes four groups of children and young people:

  • Cornish children in care and care leavers educated in Cornwall
  • Cornish children in care and care leavers educated in another Local Authority
  • Children in care/care leavers looked after by another LA but educated in Cornwall
  • Previously looked after children
  • Adopted previously looked after children, or those under special guardianship orders (SGO) or child arrangement orders (CAO)

We listen to the voice of our young people. We do this by including them on our Governing Body. We ask them to be part of interview panels and monitor what we deliver as a school. We listen to what they tell us in their Council forums.

How we work with schools and education settings

  • We work with Designated Teachers to track individual children's progress. This includes attainment and attendance.
  • We provide guidance on individual situations. We achieve the best possible outcomes for this group of learners
  • We provide training to Designated Teachers and named vulnerable groups Governors. To view our training, please visit School Messenger (log in required).
  • We pay the CiC Pupil Premium Plus funding to settings. (If an up to date PEP form plus current progress, attainment and attendance data have been logged on the Welfare Call EPEP database)

How we work with social care staff

  • We advise social workers on choice of schools and on specific issues relating to the education of these learners
  • We attend as many first and transition Personal Education Plan (PEP) meetings as possible. As well as PEP meetings where we discuss complex issues for CiC
  • We train and update social care staff on educational issues

How we support parents and carers

  • We advise parents / carers on specific issues relating to education of their child
  • We offer training on educational issues and updates

Strategies, policies and plans

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