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THE WALSALL VIRTUAL SCHOOL FOR LOOKED AFTER CHILDREN

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					THE WALSALL VIRTUAL SCHOOL FOR LOOKED AFTER CHILDREN
The Virtual School is not a teaching institution – the students are of course still educated in their own schools. It is rather a model “by which we can provide services and support for the education of looked after children of school age and a constructive challenge to those providing the services”. Our overall aim is to help produce better educational outcomes and also enhanced personal and social development in the context of Every Child Matters, so that our looked after children have better life chances. It is our role to champion the interests and needs of our looked after students in all contexts and, in particular, to provide all possible support both to carers and also to the schools in which they are educated. To do this we work in partnership with all the other agencies who are also involved with the children. All looked after children are on the roll of the Virtual School, which is based at: The Achievement Centre Odell Road, Leamore, Walsall WS3 2ED Tel: 01922 490230 Fax: 01922 490248 Email: deborah.crutchley@we.serco.com

The Headteacher is Tony Stephens

(anthony.stephens@we.serco.com Mobile: 07977804899)

The Education Liaison Officer is Lorraine Thompson

(thompsonlorraine@walsall.gov.uk Mobile: 07932416644

If you wish to talk to us about general issues or require academic or resource support for a student then please contact Tony Stephens

If a school or agency is concerned about an individual student please contact Lorraine Thompson in the first instance, who will then engage with everyone who may need to be involved, including the social worker.

You can be assured of a speedy, efficient and helpful response. These children and young people deserve the best – they are one of the most vulnerable groups in society and the majority of them who remain in care have suffered abuse or neglect. However, the extent of the gap nationally between the outcomes of those in care and outcomes for all children is shocking:-

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In 2006 only 12% of children in care achieved 5 A* - C grades at GCSE or equivalent compared with 59% of all children 41% of children in care achieved not even one GCSE 1 in 4 of children in care are not in mainstream education 27% of children in care have statements of special educational need compared with 3% nationally 1 in 10 children in care miss 25 or more days of schooling a year 30% of care leavers aged 19 are not in education, employment or training Children in care are 8 times more likely to be excluded from school Only 1% of children in care go to university 45% of children in care are assessed as having a mental health disorder compared to 10% of the general population 9.6% of children in care aged 10 or over were cautioned or convicted for an offence during 2006 – almost three times the rate for all children of their age, and about a quarter of adults in prison were looked after children Up to a third of rough sleepers were looked after children in their lives Children in care are twice as likely to be teenage parents

Looked after children have to receive the very best possible support from all of us if they are to move on to successful and fulfilling lives – they need special treatment and positive discrimination in their favour. THE SUPPORT WE OFFER It is the expectation that the School will always take responsibility for any issues relating to a student in the first instance, but we are available when a school really needs extra resources to be able to give the best possible provision.             We will be there straight away if there is a major problem with any student and / or if you urgently need any form of extra support. We can provide Learning Mentors to provide support either in the classroom or on a one to one basis where this is urgently needed, eg. when a student is clearly underachieving or is coming up to public examinations. We organise a range of initiatives to help raise students attainment, eg. SAT’s packs, learning resources, revision sessions, private tuition, resource library. We can provide support when there are behaviour issues concerning the student that could, for example, lead to an exclusion. We can provide counselling and mentoring support when the school’s own provision is fully stretched. We will provide homework / coursework support or catch up when this is becoming a serious issue. We can provide access to our VLE when this will be of specific assistance to a student and can also give access to online qualifications if the school does not offer them. We operate a laptop loan system for students. We have established an Excellent Reward Scheme and other forms of praise and rewards including events that celebrate student success. We will keep you up to date about any issues in the student’s life which you may not know but need to know. We provide support for carers, especially in relation to assisting the student with his/her education. We will be present at PEP meetings or reviews when there are special issues that are likely to arise and this now includes pre-school PEPs for ¾ year old children.

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We can give information about extra curricular opportunities for the students that are available out of school. We organise holiday and out of hours clubs and activities. We will be available for extra support at times of transition for the student eg. KS2/KS3 transfer : Option choice in Year 9 : Post 16 pathway choice. We provide training for all those involved in the education and care of looked after children.

Tony Stephens Headteacher of the Virtual School for Looked After Children

J:CIPC:TS:GENERAL-THE WALSALL VIRTUAL SCHOOL FOR LAC.JAN08


				
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