Virtual school

The Children and Families Act 2014 requires Local Authorities to appoint a Virtual School Head whose purpose is to ensure the Local Authority fulfils its statutory duty to promote the education of Looked After Children.

Statutory Guidance requires local authorities to appoint a Virtual School Headteacher whose role is to ensure the local authority fulfils its duty to promote the education of looked-after children and previously looked-after children, and the educational, training and career needs of care leavers.

  • Looked after children are those who are in the care of the local authority.
  • Previously looked after children are children who have previously been in care but are now adopted or placed on a Special Guardianship Order.
  • Care leavers are young people aged between 18 and 25 who have left care but continue to receive support from the local authority.

The key functions of the Virtual School are to:

  • Monitor and promote the educational progress and achievement of looked-after Children and care leavers
  • Ensure that Personal Education Plans are current, relevant and effective
  • Promote and advise on the use of the Pupil Premium Plus Grant
  • Support schools and Designated Teachers to develop effective strategies and support for looked-after children and previously looked-after children
  • Provide advice and guidance for social workers, parents and carers on issues relating to the education, employment and training of looked-after children, previously looked-after children and care leavers
  • Commission or fund additional resources to support education of looked-after children and care leavers
  • Provide information, advice and guidance to looked-after children and care leavers about education, employment and training

Looked after children in years nine to 13 who attend mainstream education may receive a contribution of £300 towards a laptop.

Free online education resources

A non-exhaustive list of online educational resources.

BBC Bitesize
This site is old and no longer updated and yet there's so much still available, from language learning to BBC Bitesize for revision. No TV licence required except for content on BBC iPlayer. Visit website.

CBeebies Radio
Listening activities for the younger ones. Visit website.

Crash Course Kids
Explore the incredible world of science. Visit website.

Khan Academy
Especially good for maths and computing for all ages but other subjects at Secondary level. Note this uses the U.S. grade system but it's mostly common material. Visit website.

Kids Should See This
Wide range of cool educational videos. Visit website.

Mystery Science
Free science lessons. Visit website.

National Geographic Kids
Activities and quizzes for younger kids. Visit website.

Oxford Owl for Home
Lots of free resources for Primary age. Visit website.

Prodigy Maths
Is in U.S. grades, but good for UK Primary age. Visit website.

Big History Project
A joint effort between teachers, scholars, scientists, and their supporters to bring a multi-disciplinary approach to knowledge to lifelong learners around the world. Visit website.

Crash Course
Search courses by topics. Visit website.

Seneca Learning
For those revising at GCSE or A level. Tons of free revision content. Paid access to higher level material. Visit website.

TEDEd
Engaging, educational videos. Visit website.

Inclusive Teach
Free printable SEN teaching resources. Visit website

My Story About Pandemics and the Coronavirus
A social story about Coronavirus for children and young people with ASD by Carol Gray. Download document

SEN Teacher.Org
Lots of worksheets and activities for teachers in school and parents at home. Visit website