The virtual school

What is the virtual school?

The school does not exist in real terms as a building and children do not attend. They remain the responsibility of the school at which they enroll.

The virtual school supports the education of children in care. It also provides advice to the carers, parents and schools of previous children in care and care leavers.

We work in cooperation with:

•    all children and young people in care aged 3-18, wherever they are educated
•    carers and professionals linked to the children and young people in care
•    other local authority virtual schools

We aim to:

•    help children become happy, successful and fulfilled
•    support children, young people, carers, schools and social workers to improve educational outcomes
•    ensure that a personal education plan (PEP) is integral to the child’s care plan and review it regularly
•    ensure that young people make the best possible progress in the most suitable educational placement

Personal Education Plans (PEP)

Every child in care must have a care plan, part of which is the PEP.

A PEP should support a child’s personalised learning from pre-school to age 18. It is a record of what needs to happen to enable them to fulfil their potential.

The quality of the PEP is the joint responsibility of:

  • the county council
  • virtual school heads
  • schools
  • designated teachers
  • social workers
  • carers and other professionals

PEP meetings usually take place every term in a relevant educational setting.

They should always involve the child and, where appropriate, the child’s parent and, or relevant family member.

The meetings will include a review of the child’s progress, discussion about their future needs and decisions about funding.

Once a PEP has been drawn up for a child or young person, you can access it online via ePEP.

Funding for virtual schools

The pupil premium funding for pupils who are looked after by us is managed by our virtual school.

Up to £2,345 per child will be allocated through Personal Education Plans.

For details, read our pupil premium and grant policy.

Interim funding

Interim funding is available to support the social and emotional well-being of children in care for short periods of time.

Schools can apply if the child’s needs cannot be met using pupil premium and special educational needs delegated funding.

Up to £1,500 of funding can be used to:

  • support a child's transition into a new setting
  • provide additional staffing to support flexibility

Schools are expected to identify the child's needs over a longer period.

Schools are eligible if:

  • the child is aged between 4 and 16 and is looked after by us
  • the child attends, or has joined, an educational establishment either in Lincolnshire or an out-of-county provider
  • the child does not have an education, health and care plan
  • the funding is to support social and emotional needs, not academic needs