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The extension of the Virtual School Heads role in relation to children with a social worker

From September 2021 virtual school heads will be responsible for promoting the education of all children with a social worker.

This means they will help to:

Make visible the disadvantages that children with a social worker can experience, enhancing partnerships between education settings and local authorities to help all agencies hold high aspirations for these children.

Promote practice that supports children’s engagement in education, recognising that attending an education setting can be an important factor in helping to keep children safe from harm.

Level up children’s outcomes and narrow the attainment gap so every child can reach their potential. This will include helping to make sure that children with a social worker benefit from support to recover from the impact of COVID-19.

Virtual Heads are not being asked to:

Work with individual children and their families - including tracking and monitoring the educational progress of individual children or providing academic or other interventions.

Respond to requests from parents or carers to offer advice, intervention and support in relation to individual children with a social worker.

Take responsibility for children with Special Education Needs and Disability
(SEND) who do not require or need a social worker.



The Virtual School Inclusion Team 

The role of the Virtual School Inclusion Team is to promote the education of children with a social worker. They will do this by providing advice/guidance, support and challenge to schools, social care staff and other professionals in relation to improving educational outcomes for this group of children and young people. The team will become involved where a child/young person is not in education, if they are at risk of fixed term or permanent exclusion or there are any barriers to them accessing education.

The Team consists of an Inclusion manager and two education liaison officers. The team work under a locality model based on where children and young people live not where they attend school. referrals to the team can be made by emailing  Contact details for the team are:


West Locality and Children with Disabilities

Lisa Spooner – Inclusion Manager - 07908 211233


North Locality

Alex James-Walker – Education Liaison Officer - 07779 570609


South and Central / East Locality

Jenny Dalton – Education Liaison Officer


Resources to support children with a social worker