The Virtual School promotes education for Sheffield's Children Looked After (CLA), aged 2 to 18. We work in partnership with schools, social workers and other professions to ensure the children and young people in our care attend school or other educational provision; that they learn; and that young people in care and care leavers have access to employment opportunities. As young people grow up and leave our care, we need to support them to be fully aware of the education and employment options open to them. We also need to assist them to engage in further or higher education or training, or to move into work. We can then support them in a successful transition into adulthood.
Children in care have a termly Personal Education Plan (PEP) that provides a record of their attainment, progress, targets and their educational needs.
The PEP identifies how their additional funding from the Pupil Premium Grant (PP+) will be spent to support positive outcomes and remove any barriers to their learning.
The Pupil Premium policy outlines how the grant is distributed to schools. Schools can apply for additional pupil premium funding in addition to the fixed amount they receive each term per child placed with them.
The Virtual School also coordinates a number of programmes and projects to support Children in Care including:
- Collaboration work with the Universities such as the 'Building Learning Power' club to support our Y5 and 6's
- Support for literacy and maths, which involves theESCAL Volunteering programme
- Providing schools with an intensive package of support for any child who has English as an Additional Language (EAL)
- Our Action Research Project: 15 Sheffield schools across phases are investigating how the impact of PP+ on the education outcomes of children in the care of Sheffield can be maximised
- The Sheffield Music Hub providing 1:1 tuition for CLA and Post-CLA. CLA and Post-CLA can access extra-curricular after school orchestras, bands, choirs and residentials
- Working closely with the Children in Care Council (CICC). Sheffield CICC have responded to their Bright Spots findings by designing an assembly session to be rolled out in all primary and secondary schools across the council to address the stigma felt by being children in care
For more information on the projects and support available from the Virtual School, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.