Virtual School for children in care and previously in care

COVID-19 update

Please note that the Virtual School have changed the way they operate. However, we are very much here to support designated teachers in schools and children at home with their carers.

We've sent out revised guidance to all designated teachers about how the Virtual School will be supporting you and children in care (PDF 87KB).

Helpful links

Government guidance on remote learning

Resources from the Education Endowment Fund


Transitions during COVID-19 

TouchBase Transition Primary School Guide (PDF 4MB)

TouchBase Transition Secondary School Guide (PDF 1.83MB)

Creating Opportunities for Connection Experiencing Being Held in Mind (PDF 274KB)

School Transitions in children in care and previously in care (PDF 370KB)

Previously in care: Information and resources for supporting the education of children and young people previously in care, and their parents and carers

This information has been sent out to parents, carers and schools.

April 2020: some useful websites for parents, carers and for professionals

TouchBase resources

Beacon House resources

Safe Hands Thinking Minds resources

 

Please find a range of learning websites below that both children, young people, carers and parents can access to support with learning and preparation for exams.

Audible lets you instantly stream an incredible collection of stories. All stories are free to stream on your desktop, laptop, phone or tablet.

P.E with Joe Wicks. Every morning Monday – Friday at 9am, live on You Tube.

SENECA provides free revision for GCSE and A Level pupils.

The White Rose Maths Team has prepared a series of five maths lessons for each year group from Year 1-8. The will be adding five more each week for the next few weeks.

TED-Ed celebrates the ideas of teachers and students around the world.

The home of news and fun facts for kids. Find out what is going on, with stories, pictures and videos.

Learn a language with Duolingo.

Games for tomorrow’s programmers. Blockly Games is a series of educational games that teach programming.

Journey through nearly 14 billion years of history in this self-guided, six-hour version of Big History. You'll find every chapter full of great activities to keep you entertained and test your learning.

Visit DK Find Out! to learn about dinosaurs, space, animals, nature & more. Fun learning activities for kids with videos, quizzes & galleries.

Smart videos for curious minds of all ages.

Videos for Primary Science on YouTube.

Learn Geography whilst playing games

Day-by-day projects to get kids, reading, thinking, and growing:

Learning from home (PDF 660KB)

 

BBC Bitesize (Primary and secondary)

GCSE past papers (secondary)

National geographic: (Primary and secondary)

Tips for success and how carers can help (Primary and secondary)

Oxford Owl for primary school children (Primary)

Learning for primary school children (Primary)

BBC cbeebies (primary)

Topmarks (Primary)

Kids club (Primary)

ICT games (Primary)

Pb kids (Primary)

Support for families, parents, carers and guardians

Help younger children calm their anxieties

From Brighton & Hove Charity Safety Net, see a range of helpful information

Helpful advice from the Young Minds charity

Norwegian Psychology website

Support for schools, colleges and education professionals

A range of information for schools and colleges

A blog post with lots of links to helpful advice

Explaining coronavirus to children

Coronavirus: Why it might not be as scary as it sounds

Learning the facts can help ease your mind

 

Contact the Virtual School Team:

 

 

 

Our Mission: to improve the life opportunities for children in care and previously in care by supporting their education and enabling them to achieve the best they can.

What the Virtual School is

Brighton & Hove’s Virtual School was established in 2011 to maximise the educational success of approximately 300 children in care. Since 2015 the Virtual School’s remit has been extended to include young people previously in care who now live with families through adoption, special guardianship orders or residential orders.

The school is ‘virtual’ in the sense that it is not a school that students actually attend – most go to school in Brighton & Hove, with some children attending school in other local authorities. We work in partnership with children and young people aged mainly 3 to 18, with their parents and carers and with early years settings, schools, colleges, universities and social workers.

The Virtual School has a team of committed professionals with a wide breadth of expertise and has been successful in improving outcomes for children in care. We work with a range of partners and aim to further narrow the achievement gap which currently exists between this group of children/young people and their peers.

Virtual School Team Structure Chart (PDF 174 KB).

The Virtual School is now on Twitter! Follow us for news and updates.

What the Virtual School does for children in care

The Virtual School works with all children in care as if they were on one school roll. We track their attainment, attendance and exclusion and identify when and how best to support them if they are not making good progress.

The Virtual School will also put in place (or streamline) systems and structures and work strategically to ensure we meet our aim of every child on the Virtual School roll fulfilling their potential.

What the Virtual School does for children previously in care

The Virtual School also supports the education of children previously in care. We do not have the same statutory responsibilities or rights to access information about day-to-day progress for previously in care children, however, we can respond to direct requests for support from parents/carers or from schools for this group of children.

We recognise that the needs of children don’t change overnight when they leave the care system. They may now be living in a family through adoption or with wider family or friends through a special guardianship order or child arrangement/residence order and still need support to fulfil their potential. Therefore, we are also working to ensure that the systems and structures we have put in place for Children in Care are extended to include Children Previously in Care.

Why we need a Virtual School

Children in care and those previously in care can do very well in early years settings, school and college with the right support in place, despite the challenges they have faced.

However, we know that across the board there is a gap between the attainment of this group and their peers. We also know that doing well in education opens up greater opportunities as children grow up. It is vital that across Brighton & Hove the Virtual School works with all its partners to raise the profile of children in care and those previously in care, helping to remove barriers to their education and ensuring everything is done so that they achieve the best they can.

At the Virtual School we work to ensure that all children in care and those previously in care:

  • achieve educationally to their full potential
  • attend a school that best suits their needs
  • maintain a high level of attendance without school exclusions
  • enter employment, education or training when they leave school

Information for early years, schools, colleges and social workers

Guidance documents, checklists and links:

Pupil Premium Grant:

Teaching Toolkits:

Personal Education Plans (PEPs) and Personal Opportunities Plans (POPs):

Training Offer for Professionals, Parents and Carers:

Children Previously in Care - guidance for schools:

Information for parents/carers

General Information