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Vulnerable children education team (VCET)

The East Riding Virtual School is also known as the Vulnerable Children Education Team (VCET). The primary responsibility is to promote the education of Children Looked After (CLA) and Previously Looked After Children (PLAC). The team is responsible for all aspects of access to education and educational progress of East Riding Children Looked After. The Virtual School also provides advice and guidance to support the education of Previously Looked After Children.

What are the responsibilities of the Virtual School / Vulnerable Children Education Team (VCET)?

The responsibilities of the Virtual School include: 

  • Implementing the statutory responsibilities for Children Looked After and Previously Looked After Children.
  • Managing the allocation and the effective use of the LAC Premium Grant for East Riding Children Looked After.
  • Organising and chairing the termly Personal Education Plan (PEP) meeting for East Riding Children Looked After including children placed outside the East Riding Local Education Authority.
  • Delivering training for designated teachers, social workers, foster carers and other professionals to help understand the issues and challenges faced by Children Looked After and Previously Looked After Children.
  • Monitoring and reporting on the educational progress, attainment and attendance of East Riding Children Looked After.
  • Promoting high aspiration and raising achievement through challenge, support and targeted intervention.

How is the Virtual School staffed?

The Virtual School is made up of the following staff:

  • Virtual School Head Teacher
  • Virtual School Deputy Head
  • Teaching and Training Co-ordinator
  • Education Welfare Officer (North Area)
  • Education Welfare Officer  (West Area)
  • Education Welfare Officer   (East Area)
  • Educational Advocate (PLAC)
  • Technical Officer
  • Performance Technician

What is the Virtual School for Children Looked After?

The Virtual School supports and challenges all those involved in the education of Children Looked After. 

The Virtual School is not a physical environment. It works in close collaboration with colleagues from the child’s educational provision to promote positive educational outcomes. 

The Virtual School strives to offer all the support that a good parent would give in order to make sure that the children they look after reach their full potential.

All children in the care of East Riding have a personal education plan monitored by the Virtual School Head teacher. 

The Personal Education Plan meeting for pre-school pupils is aligned to the CLA review under the leadership of an Early Years Development Advisor.

For post 16 pupils the Personal Education Plan is incorporated within their Pathway Plan. 

What is the Virtual School Head Teacher?

For Children Looked After, as part of a local authority’s corporate parenting role, the Virtual School Head teacher needs to be the educational advocate that parents are for others.

The Virtual Head teacher leads the Virtual School team in promoting the education of Children Looked After by East Riding local authority. The team have high aspirations for the children in the East Riding Virtual School and aim to close the gap with their peers. The Virtual Head teacher keeps an up to date roll of children in the care of the East Riding and monitors their attendance, attainment and progress. Virtual School team also provides advice and information to support children who were previously looked after and are now subject to adoption orders, special guardianship orders (SGO) and child arrangement orders (CAO).

Nicola Donoghue East Riding Virtual Head Teacher 

What are the roles and responsibilities of Designated Teachers?

Effective designated teachers have a leadership role in promoting the educational achievement of every looked-after and previously looked-after child on the school’s roll. This involves, working with Virtual School to promote the education of looked-after and previously looked-after children and promoting a supportive whole school culture. The designated teacher should be a central point of initial contact within the school.

What are the responsibilities of the designated Teacher for children looked after?

  • To provide leadership, training, information, challenge and advice to others that will influence decisions. 
  • To ensure that school policies and approaches appropriately reflect the needs of looked-after and act as a champion for them. 
  • To see children looked after as individuals rather than as a homogeneous group, not publicly treat them differently from their peers, and show sensitivity about who else knows about their looked-after. 
  • To appreciate the central importance of the looked-after child’s PEP and most importantly, the child’s own understanding of how they are being supported. 
  • To lead and coordinate the schools' processes in relation to the personal education plan (PEP). 
  • To understand how the PEP fits into the wider care planning duties of the authority which looks after the child.

 

What are the responsibilities of the designated Teacher for previously looked after children?

The designated teacher should work closely with parents and guardians of previously looked after children. The designated teacher should make themselves known to parents and guardians as someone they can talk to about issues affecting their child’s education. 

The views and wishes of parents and guardians should be respected at all times. They should be encouraged to participate in discussions about their child’s support needs and strategies to meet identified needs, including how Pupil Premium Plus should be used to support their child. 

What are the arrangements for the allocation of LAC Premium for East Riding Children Looked After?

Allocation of LAC Premium will be focussed on children’s individual needs, managed through high quality PEP documentation. An Education Welfare Officer from the Vulnerable Children’s Education Team (VCET) will chair every PEP meeting. At these termly PEP meetings the use of the LAC Premium to promote educational outcomes will be discussed. LAC Premium needs to be matched to SMART Targets/Outcomes identified on the education section of the PEP document completed by the designated teacher. At each future PEP meeting, the use of the LAC Premium will be discussed and the outcomes reviewed and monitored.

LAC Premium should be spent to support the education of the CLA. Schools may use LAC Premium towards the cost of the designated teachers’ time preparing the Educational PEP information and attending meetings. In addition, LAC Premium can pay the cost for supply cover in order that school staff can attend Designated Teacher training organised by the East Riding Virtual School.

All LAC Premium requests will need to be itemised on the PPG form and matched to SMART Targets/ Outcomes. The Virtual School Head teacher is responsible for monitoring the LAC Premium spending on each CLA.

Financial arrangements 1 April 2018 – 31 March 2019

From summer term 2018 £1 900 East Riding LAC premium will be allocated through the PEP process. Schools will be able to request up to £1 900 in the financial year 1st April 2018 – 31st March 2019. The East Riding local authority is retaining centrally £400 per CLA. 

For CLA placed in independent specialist provisions, the £1 900 will be paid as a contribution towards the cost of the specialist provision NOT in addition to these costs.

Management and accountability

The Education Welfare Officer will present the LAC Premium Requests to the Virtual School Panel meeting every fortnight. There will be an email letter to schools informing them of the allocation of funding after the Panel Meeting. Funding will be allocated to schools following this notification.

The Virtual Head teacher will be accountable to the Virtual School Governance Panel and the Corporate Parenting Group for monitoring the allocation of LAC Premium and ensuring maximised impact of the grant.

Can I access the 'Virtual Head Teacher Report - East Riding Looked After Children'?

Yes, the report is available to download as a PDF below:

Virtual School Headteacher Educational Report (pdf 910kb opens in new window)

Last Updated: Monday, 06 August 2018