What is the role of the virtual school head, what does their new duty to support all children with social workers entail, and how can they support schools? Darren Martindale explains

Many schools will have had some experience of working with their virtual school head (VSH), or virtual school teams, in supporting their pupils in care.

The role of the VSH is to promote the education of children and young people in care and previously in care, and to ensure that the local authority’s statutory duties in this area are discharged effectively.

The role has been statutory since 2014, and the Department for Education also published statutory guidance in that year, since updated, which outlines the role of the designated teacher for children in care and previously in care in schools, and the duties that schools need to be aware of around this critical role (DfE, 2018).

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