Education of Children in Care
Education of children in care
Why do we need to support the education of children in care?
Children in care have a right to expect the same outcomes that we want for every child.
- We are their 'corporate parents' and should advocate for them as we would for our own children.
- Devon County Council has a legal duty to promote the education of children in care.
- National research has shown that young people in care underachieve significantly in school.
- A good education provides a sound basis for transition to a fulfilling and successful adult life.
- School provides stability, continuity and normality for children in care.
How do we support children in care?
We use a virtual school model. This is a structure in place to improve the education of children in care aged from 3-18 years. It means that attainment, progression, attendance, exclusion and out of school hours learning can be monitored and tracked so that support can be put in place where needed.
The Virtual School Team includes staff from a range of services working together to promote and support the education of children in care; this is led by a lead officer who is the virtual school head teacher.
Pupils still attend real schools or settings. The head teacher or the designated teacher at the real school gives information to the virtual school head teacher to help them monitor and track progress and so that they can advise on any support available to help pupils achieve their potential.
The Virtual School Team supports:
- children in care or leaving care looked after by Devon County Council and educated in Devon
- children in care or leaving care looked after by Devon County Council and educated in another local authority area
- children looked after by another local authority but educated in Devon.
Why do we need a virtual school?
Many individual children and young people in care enjoy and do well at school. However, as a group, children in care do not perform as well in their education as their peers.
The virtual school:
- promotes opportunities for children in care through Personal Education Allowances which can be used to allow children to have additional learning and development activities
- commisions key services needed to support children in care
- monitors and tracks achievement
- ensures that children are appropriately placed and are getting the right support for their needs
- ensures children in care are admitted to school promptly and monitors attendance
- works to reduce exclusions from school.
How do I contact the Virtual School Team?
Deborah Booth, Strategic Lead for the Educational Achievement of Children in Care
01392 383977 firstname.lastname@example.org
Kim Piper, Children in Care Co-ordinator
01392 384722 email@example.com