What support can the Virtual School provide for my child?
The Virtual School is able to promote educational achievement of previously LAC to anyone the Virtual School Head considers appropriate. This will usually be the parents and educators of Previously LAC, from the point they become eligible for free early education, up to the end of Year 11. Children must be learning at an education setting in Leicestershire, although they may live outside of the county.
PAC-UK’s Education Service has put together this useful guide, showing eligibility criteria, how funding can be accessed, what it can be used for and other vital information for adoptive parents and other permanent carers, school staff and social workers.
What kind of support is offered?
The Virtual School will respond to requests for information and advice from parents, providers of early education or Designated Teachers in schools and academies, or sign-post them to other services that can offer advice and support.
In particular, the Virtual School Head should develop a good working relationship with DTs for previously LAC in the area and make general advice and information available to early years settings and schools to improve awareness of the vulnerability and needs of previously LAC. This should include promoting good practice identifying and meeting their needs, and guidance on effective use of the PPP.
There are concerns about my child's behaviour at school, what can I do?
Parents can call the Virtual School for advice and support, including advocacy and contacting the school on your behalf. We can also signpost to CAMHS Post Adoption Support, Oakfield Short Stay School outreach and processes for accessing Inclusion Partnership support.
You can contact us on 0116 305 6097
Monday to Thursday, 8.30am to 5pm
Friday, 8.30am to 4.30pm
What support can my child's school put in place?
The Virtual School offers all Leicestershire schools training for all staff on attachment and trauma and advised school on attachment friendly strategies, such as:
- Key adult
- Safe space
- Preparation and support for transition and change
- Emotional literacy support including emotion coaching and wondering aloud
- Strategies to support Executive Functioning skills
- Targeted use of PPP
- Use of Boxall Profile and SDQs to track and monitor progress for emotional wellbeing
How can I prepare my child for starting school or moving to a new school?
Transitions and change can be very difficult for adopted children and planning needs to be in place prior to these changes.
This information created by PAC may be helpful.
How can I choose the best school for my child?
What if there are no places left at my chosen school?
Your local authority has a school admissions department and they are responsible for ensuring your child gets a school place. Since September 2013, Looked After Children (LAC) and children who left UK care on an Adoption Order, Special Guardianship Order or Child Arrangements Order (formerly Residence Order) have the highest priority. The authority which placed your child can provide a letter confirming your child's status.
The admissions code states:
1.7 All schools must have oversubscription criteria for each 'relevant age group' and the highest priority must be given, unless otherwise provided in this Code, to looked after children and all previously looked after children. Previously looked after children are children who were looked after, but ceased to be so because they were adopted (or became subject to a child arrangements order or special guardianship order) … immediately following having been looked after. Oversubscription criteria must then be applied to all other applicants in the order set out in the arrangements.
You can find the full admissions code on the DfE website.
My child has been excluded, what should I do?
Contact the Virtual School for advice. If your child is a primary aged pupil, check that their school has already consulted the Oakfield Behaviour forums or, for Secondary pupils, the local Inclusion Partnership.