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Bury Virtual School

These pages provide general information about the role of a virtual school and will be of particular interest to foster carers, social workers and Designated Teachers (DTs) for Looked after Children. The virtual school pages aim to provide information and advice as well as examples of good practice.

What is The Bury Virtual School?

The Virtual School is a team of teachers and professionals working alongside nurseries, schools and colleges to ensure that the children and young people looked after by Bury receive a quality provision. The Virtual School works to ensure that the education of our children and young people in care is of an exceptional standard. We aim for learners to have access to high quality, personalised and aspirational learning opportunities and strive to ensure they receive this.

Our goal is to close the educational gap between children who are looked after and their peers who are not, alongside reducing rates of exclusions and persistent absence. To achieve this we work directly with children and young people in their placements. We support schools directly and indirectly in collaboration with children's social care teams and social workers to provide a team of professionals putting the child or young person and their needs at the centre of decision making and planning. We collect, monitor and analyse attendance, attainment and progress data to understand how our children are doing in school.

What service does the Virtual School offer?

  • Advice and training for designated teachers and other school staff relating to education and emotional health and wellbeing of looked after children.
  • Advice on PEP targets and suitable interventions
  • We oversee and manage the Personal Education Plan process
  • We scrutinise the use of Pupil Premium Plus Grant which is awarded to schools to support their cohort of looked after children
  • We support and challenge Headteachers and designated teachers to ensure compliance with their statutory responsibilities

Support social workers by providing consultation, advice and training around admissions, exclusions, progress and attainment, the PEP process, PPG and targets.