About Virtual Schools

What a virtual school does

The role of the virtual school is to:

  • Track 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 track the use of the Pupil Premium Grant
  • Support schools and designated teachers to develop effective strategies and support
  • Provide advice and guidance for social workers and carers on issues relating to the education of looked after children
  • Commission and fund extra resources for looked after children to support education
  • Develop and put in place programmes and activities to support the education and learning of looked after children
  • Provide information, advice and guidance about education, employment and training

The virtual school head

The Children and Families Act 2014 requires local authorities to appoint a virtual school head. Their purpose is to ensure the local authority fulfils its statutory duty to promote the education of looked after children.

The virtual school head manages the three virtual school teams within:

  • Kensington and Chelsea
  • Hammersmith & Fulham
  • City of Westminster

The Virtual Schools Enrichment Programme

Each term the Virtual School service publishes a new Enrichment Programme. Projects are planned with partners such as the:

  • Lyric Theatre Hammersmith
  • BBC
  • Tate Modern
  • Arvon Foundation
  • Imperial College

All activities are open to children and young people Looked After by or leaving the care of the three local authorities. Many are for foster families too. 

Young people who take part in activities outside of school or college can:

  • build their confidence, knowledge and skills
  • do better in formal education
  • develop interests, abilities and relationships to last well into their adult lives