Issue - meetings

Virtual School Wirral Operating Model

Meeting: 25/09/2023 - Children, Young People & Education Committee (Item 38)

38 Virtual School Wirral Operating Model pdf icon PDF 261 KB

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The Virtual School Head of Service introduced the report of the Director of Children, Families and Education introduced the report. The report provided members of the Committee with an overview of the Wirral Virtual School and its operating model. The Children and Families Act 2014 required local authorities in England to have a virtual school Head (VSH) who monitored looked after children, previously looked after children and those children with a social worker as if they were in one school, the virtual school. In June 2021, the role of the VSH was extended to include non-statutory responsibility for the strategic oversight of the educational attendance, attainment, and progress of children with a social worker as well as looked after children. This role included identifying the local authorities looked after children and those with a social worker, and being the lead responsible officer for ensuring that arrangements are in place to improve their educational experiences and outcomes. The Virtual School are responsible for managing pupil premium funding for the children they look after and for allocating it to schools and alternative provision (AP) settings. The Virtual School were also responsible for managing the early years pupil premium (EYPP). This would be distributed to early years providers that educated looked-after children who were taking up the free early education entitlement for 3 or 4 year-olds.


A discussion took place regarding funding of the scheme, management of overspends, and how funds were used. It was confirmed an annual report is presented to the Schools Forum for confirmation of funding usage.


In response to a query regarding the practices that are used to retain engagement in education, officers described good practice, such as sharing information on successful performance, sharing strategies across the authority, and highlighting disadvantages through training.


On a motion by the Chair, seconded by Councillor Vida Wilson, it was,


Resolved -That the current operating model and the approach taken to promote the education aspirations of young people with involvement in social care be noted and supported.