The Virtual School for Children Looked After by Slough (CLA) and Care Leavers, wherever they live geographically is a core service within Slough Children First. It is not a physical building that children attend, but is a team of education specialists who are there to ensure that children looked after and children who have left care are supported and achieve their full potential at their real schools.
The service provides support to children and young people in care and advice, training and support for a range of professionals including, teachers, school staff and governors, education support services, social workers, residential key workers, parents and foster carers. Led by the voice of the child, Personal Education Plan meetings are held every term where the child’s advocate on the Virtual School holds the real school to account on how to get the best for the child’s education. The Virtual School supports children looked after by Slough, wherever they live in their Early Years settings, schools, alternative provisions, colleges and universities. We work with specialist to identify any specific needs such as dyslexia. Any incidents of bullying are followed up as a matter of priority. Where relevant children at risk of exclusion are supported. The complete range of qualifications are supported, including into apprenticeships at all levels.
We work with children, their foster parents and social workers to choose the next school, and make sure that the preferential admissions criteria are always applied. For those not in education the Virtual School seeks to find the right options for that individual, for example specialist tutoring or a return to education at a later age.
We have recently started to offer services to Slough schools for children previously looked after. These include adopted children and those on Special Guardianship Orders.
To contact the Virtual School to discuss any educational needs for children looked after or care leavers please phone 07544 378514. For previously looked after contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The service monitors and evaluates the educational provision, attainment and progress of all children and young people in the care of Slough Children First. The aim of the service is to enhance life chances of children looked after, by aspiring for them and being their education advocate through promotion of achievement and equality of opportunity.