The aim of the Virtual School is to enhance the life opportunities for children and young people in care by supporting their education and enabling them to achieve the best they can.
The Virtual school does not replace the school or educational provision of children or young people in care - it is an additional resource which exists to support and challenge all those involved in the education of children and young people in care.
The Virtual School is involved in or promotes various initiatives to support the educational achievement of children and young people in care. Including providing training and advice for schools, council staff and carers.
The CYC virtual school works closely with colleagues within the council and external agencies as part of an integrated, multi-disciplinary approach to supporting children and young people in care.
The virtual school approach is to work with children and young people in care as if they were in a single school, liaising with the schools they attend in order to:
All children and young people in care should have a Personal Education Plan. This is provided through Welfare Call PEP online which both schools and social workers can log into and complete before the face to face meeting.
The Personal Education Plan (PEP) is the statutory tool to ensure that everyone is actively prioritising the education of the young person, carefully tracking their progress and supporting them to achieve well and to be aspirational.
All children and young people in care have a statutory Care Plan, which is drawn up and reviewed by the Local Authority that looks after them. The Personal Education Plan (PEP) is a legal part of the Care Plan; which is a statutory requirement for all of Our Children & Young people from pre-school to the age of 18.
The key personnel who should be involved in every PEP meeting are:
Show Me That I Matter (SMTIM) is the name of York's Children in Care Council. The SMTIM website provides information for children and young people on anything and everything to do with being in care.
Gill meets young people to ensure that they have plans in place for their future, and have information on education, employment and training. She also supports visits to sixth forms and colleges and helps get bursaries to support young people with their learning. Gill helps move young people to the Pathway Team as they get older to make sure they get continuous support. She also mentors pupils who may, at sixteen, return to York from out of area.Nikki Wilson, Children's Right Advocate - Tel:07769 725174
The Children's Rights Advocate promotes the rights and participation of children and young people who are looked after by City of York Council. The main purpose of the job is to; 1) Provide independent advocacy, information and advice to looked after children and young people, including when they wish to complain or are particularly vulnerable due to isolation or disability. 2) Support the City of York Council's elected members and officers in the exercise of their function as corporate parents to looked after children and young people. This includes facilitating York's Children in Care Council, Show Me That I Matter. 3) Promote and facilitate opportunities for looked after children and young people, and care leavers, to influence broader service planning and development across the council.
Mike Jory, School Effectiveness and Achievement Advisers
Maxine Horsman supports the Virtual School on Early Years matters.
Rachel Duffield Learning and Wellbeing Worker