Information for families in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole

The Virtual School and College for BCP Council

The Virtual School and College for BCP Council logo

The Virtual School and College for BCP Council co-ordinates strategic and operational educational services for children that are in care (CIC) and those previously looked after within Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole and will advise on educational issues for those children and young people.

Our priorities are to:

  • raise the educational achievement and progress in education of all children in care.
  • offer support, guidance and training to schools, foster carers, social workers and other professionals.
  • ensure every child and young person in care has an effective and up to date Personal Education Plan (ePEP), for children aged 2 to 18 years.
  • listen to the views of the child through the ePEP process.
  • liaise with all agencies and teams involved with children in care and supporting the transition processes for vulnerable children in care.

The virtual school and college does not exist in real terms as a building, there are no teachers, and children and young people do not attend. It is a service provided by dedicated professionals within the local authority whose work it is to promote and co-ordinate educational support for looked after children and care leavers so that they succeed at an early years setting, school, college and university or any other place of learning.

Our purpose is to ensure that all professionals who work with looked after children and care leavers have high educational aspirations for them so that our pupils and students are given the best opportunities to engage, progress and achieve to their full potential, and are not disadvantaged by their past experiences or vulnerabilities.

We work closely with social care teams, including the Aspire Team, foster carers, schools and other educational providers, the Educational Psychology service, the SEN team, the Youth Justice Service and health colleagues. 

What do we do and how do we do it - from the moment a child or young person enters the care of the local authority we allocate them with a specialised support officer or teacher to work with colleagues and understand each child or young person's educational needs including any challenges they may face.

The support officer then provides advice and support to enable them to access the best possible educational provision according to their needs. They also have regular contact with schools, academies, colleges, training providers and universities and close liaison with designated teachers and designated persons.

On a regular basis we coordinate and process Personal Education Plan (PEP) meetings and associated documentation. As part of the PEP the support officer will analyse attendance, progress, and achievement data in order to track, monitor, support and challenge all those involved in the pupil's education and welfare. We also allocate, track, and monitor the use of pupil premium plus funding and its impact. Under certain circumstances we may also arrange access to additional learning opportunities or specialised alternative provision including one to one tuition. 

The team email address is virtual.school@bcpcouncil.gov.uk

The team is made up of:   

 

View all details
Venue/Contact Details
Area coverage
BCP Area
Directions
See Journey Planner on the right-hand side of this page, where you can view bus, car and train routes from your location.
Times and Costs
Further opening details:
  • Evening
  • Afternoon
  • Morning
  • Daily
Availability
  • All Year Round
Costs:
This is a free service.
Ages, Booking Details and Referral Information
Ages:
From 2 years to 18 years
Referral process:
  • When a young child or person comes into care they are allocated to a member of the virtual school.
SEND Local Offer SEND
Description:

Details of education support for looked after children and young people with SEND can be found here.