What Is a Virtual School?
The Virtual School acts as a local authority champion to bring about improvements in the education of children in our care and care leavers and to promote their educational achievement as if they were in a single school. Ensuring that they receive a high-quality education is the foundation for improving their lives.
The school does not exist as a building. Although we organise and run some events and sessions for children and young people, children do not attend our “school” every day – they remain the responsibility of the school at which they are enrolled. RBG Virtual School is here to raise attainment for our young people through monitoring and tracking individual children’s progress and effective coordination of their educational services at both a strategic and operational level.
What do we do?
- Influence policy and develop and improve services for children in our care and care leavers.
- Promote individual achievement, health, and well-being.
- Provide advice, support, and training to professionals, schools, colleges, and institutions.
- Improve access to specialist services, including health assessments, mental health assessments, and treatment.
- Provide access to professional advice and guidance on education, training, and employment.
- Provide additional opportunities for out-of-school learning and leisure.
- Facilitate access to early education and child care.
How are we organised?
Virtual School Greenwich comprises a Headteacher and the following roles:
Operational manager of the team ensuring education officers are effective in their role. The Deputy Head has other whole school responsibilities such as Behaviour and exclusions and transition planning.
We have two assistant heads that oversee specific areas of the Virtual School and ensure that all our statutory and advice/guidance duties are fulfilled. We have an Assistant Head who oversees KS4/Post 16 and one who focuses on our extended responsibilities of supporting the outcomes of children known to social care.
Education officers track and monitor the progress of children in our care in their allocated year groups, co-ordinating and deploying RBG support to raise their attainment according to an assessment of their needs. They quality assure education and transition planning for all in their area, including supporting carers and social workers to source schools. Officers will also deliver for designated teachers, schools, social workers, foster carers and governors, and act as advocates by positively challenging the practice of schools.
These team members ensure the smooth running of the virtual school, providing the first point of contact for enquiries and maintaining administration and financial support for the service.
Two of RBG’s experienced Educational Psychologists also work with the virtual school for two days a week. As well as supporting us with consultation sessions and delivery of training to a range of professionals, they are involved in a number of projects supporting some of our most vulnerable young people in care. This provides us with invaluable consultation.
Reintegration officers and Learning Mentors
The Virtual School has access to reintegration officers and learning mentors who are referred to work directly with our children and young people who may be experiencing some difficulties socially and/or emotionally at school. The support they give is ensure they get they get help they need at the right time to overcome any emotional barriers they might be experiencing. They have extensive experience of working in school settings and supporting children with social and emotional needs.