All local authorities in England are required to have a Virtual School Head who monitors looked after children as if they were in one school, The Virtual School. The role of the Virtual School Head and The Virtual School varies across authorities but all work with schools to help improve the outcomes of looked after children.
Virtual School Heads can offer advice and guidance to schools and have responsibility for managing and distributing the Pupil Premium Plus for looked after children.
Virtual Schools rely on schools providing them with progress data on a regular basis in order to ensure looked after children are on target to achieve to their full potential. It is important that schools have high expectations and set aspirational targets. Early end of key stage outcomes may not reflect the true ability of a looked after child who may have been in a traumatic situation at the time of the assessments and not focused on learning.
One project in The Wirral explored target setting in their RADY Project.