The role of the Virtual School Head Teacher was extended in September 2021 to include the provision of strategic leadership and promotion of the educational outcomes of children with a social worker. This includes all young people across the City of Wolverhampton who are currently or have ever been subject to a Child in Need or Child Protection Plan. It is well evidenced that this group of children often face multiple and overlapping disadvantages that culminate to increase the barriers to successful educational outcomes.
The Wolverhampton Virtual School - supported by a School Improvement Adviser leads on this vital area of work in collaboration with colleagues across Education as well as those in Children’s Social Care to promote high aspirations.
We have identified the schools with the highest number of disadvantaged children on their roll and offering ongoing training and support. The offer of bespoke training in Attachment and Trauma Awareness as well as the use of Emotion Coaching in school is one example of how staff in schools can gain a deeper understanding of why children who have suffered trauma often perform less well, academically, socially and emotionally. Schools are then given ongoing support in using the strategies taught to level up outcomes and narrow the attainment gaps for disadvantaged children.
Participation in current initiatives with partners from across Social Care and Education such as the “Social Worker in Schools” Project provide opportunities for best practice learning and working.
Contribution and collaboration with existing SEND and Exploitation Prevention Networks provides the opportunity for partner agencies to challenge each other whilst ensuring high aspirations for this particular cohort of young people.
The links below give further advice and guidance on the expected outcomes of this extended duty.