West Berkshire Council

The Virtual School

Educational support for looked after and previously looked after children in West Berkshire

The aim of the Virtual School is to improve the educational outcomes of children in care and those previously looked after.  It uses the same structure as a traditional school but does not actually exist in a building.

Children in Care

Children in care are placed on a "virtual" school register, even though they may be physically spread across schools within the local authority and beyond. 

This approach allows us to help, monitor and raise the profile of children in care more effectively.

The Virtual School comprises:

  • Headteacher
  • Post 16 Consultant
  • Secondary Consultant
  • Primary Consultant
  • Preschool Consultant

Personal Education Planning (PEP)

All children in care must have an up to date Personal Education Plan.

This is reviewed at least every six months in school and often more frequently.

The PEP involves children and young people, foster carers, designated teachers and other key people with the aim of ensuring educational progress.

Pupil Premium Plus (PPP)

All children in care receive up to ¬£1,900 additional funding to promote progress in school. 

Funding is discussed and approved through the PEP process. 

The Virtual School publishes its PPP Policy on an annual basis.

Advice and Training

The Virtual School offers advice and training to the following groups:

  • other local authorities
  • West Berkshire schools  
  • designated teachers for looked after children
  • foster carers and adopters