Hampshire Virtual School

Our work is focused on the education and welfare for children and young people looked after (CLA) in the primary, secondary and special sectors as well as with care leavers. We work in partnership with social workers, schools, and other county children’s services and teams.

For specific advice on children in care attending an early years setting (0-5 years) visit our Service for Young Children website.

What we do and what we can offer

Hampshire Virtual School offers extensive support to schools and other education providers. Some examples are set out below.

Annual Corporate Visits

When a child becomes looked after (either on a short or long-term basis) it is the duty of the Local Authority as a corporate parent, to safeguard and promote his or her welfare and educational achievement. To secure these outcomes Hampshire Virtual School deploys its staff to routinely visit schools, academies and other education providers to ensure every child they look after, wherever the child is placed, to achieve the highest educational standards he or she possibly can. These visits are not an inspection of the provision for a looked after children but are focussed on challenge and support to schools on the educational outcomes for its children in care.

Activities undertaken during Hampshire Virtual School’s corporate visit

  • QA of PEPs

Further activities agreed with school as required

  • Validation of school’s self evaluation and action plan in relation to LAC
  • Data scrutiny and discussion with DT & HT around progress, attainment, attendance and engagement of each child
  • Lesson observation and shadowing of looked after children
  • Book sampling
  • Discussion with teachers and support assistants
  • Discussion with children/ young people,
  • Discussion with carers
Advice, Guidance, Training and Support for designated Teachers (DT’s)

All education providers must employ a ‘designated teacher’ for looked after children. We provide advice, guidance and support for all statutory designated teachers (DTs) around best practice. For example, providing training for new designated teachers; advice, guidance and resources on how to write an effective and meaningful Personal Education Plans; and running local designated teacher network meetings. Further information is available from schools & other education providers and the HTLC website.

Consultancy, training and bespoke support for schools, teachers, governing bodies and other Childrens Services Staff

We have a range of expertise across our staff. All our advice, support and training can be tailored for individual staff members and children or whole staff groups including school governors and cluster groups of schools. For example:

We can advise and provide resources to able schools and other education providers to:

  • Self evaluate their practice and provision and provide bespoke training on a variety of themes relating to the education of looked after children

  • Accurately identify the needs of looked after children and appropriate provision and intervention is put in place through pedagogical approaches in the classroom and individual support. This can be done through CPD for staff including action research projects.

  • Make full use of the additional funding available for looked after children to support better progress for them; and extend principles used to support this vulnerable group to wider categories of children who need focused support

Further information is available from  schools & other education providers, our training directory and the HTLC website.