Virtual School – Promoting the Education of Children

  • Gov Leglislation
  • Author:Department for Education
  • Published:June 2021
  • Country: United Kingdom

Virtual School – Promoting the Education of Children with a Social Worker Head Role Extension

This non-statutory guidance from the Department for Education intends to support all local authorities as Virtual School Heads take a strategic leadership role in promoting the educational outcomes of the cohort of children with a social worker and those who have previously had a social worker who is aged from 0 up to 18. This guidance has been produced with input from the National Association of Virtual School Heads (NAVSH) and the Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS).

The Government’s Children in Need review recognised the crucial role that Virtual School Heads have in helping education settings and local authorities work together and made a commitment to explore the capacity needed to extend their leadership to the cohort of children and young people with a social worker. Coronavirus (COVID-19) has affected all children and for many of the most vulnerable has increased barriers to education. It is essential that the cohort of children with a social worker are supported to recover from the pandemic.

Expiry or Review Date

This guidance will be reviewed before the end of March 2022 but will not be revised if it is no longer required.

Defining the cohort of children with a social worker

From September 2021 Virtual School Heads are being asked to become strategic leaders for the cohort of children who have been assessed as being in need under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989 and currently have a social worker and those who have previously had a social worker.

For ease, the term “children with a social worker” will be used to refer to this group of children throughout this document. It covers all children who were assessed as needing a social worker at any time due to safeguarding and/or welfare reasons, which includes all those subject to a Child in Need Plan or a Child Protection Plan. This includes children aged from 0 up to 18 in all education settings.

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