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Norfolk Virtual School for Looked After and Previously Looked After Children is part of the Inclusion and Opportunity Service. We are based within Norfolk Children's Services department.

Our role and what we do

Our team of advisers work with:

  • Children and young people
  • Schools and other educational settings
  • Social care teams and carers

to help improve the educational journey and outcomes for children in care, from early years to the end of Year 13. We also offer support and guidance to care leavers and the staff supporting them. 

This is achieved by:

  • Ensuring children have the best possible education to enable them to realise their potential 
  • Ensuring effective transition between school or other providers
  • Quality assuring all Personal Education Plans (PEPs)


Norfolk In Care Council asked for a short video giving information about the Virtual School. We worked with a young person who edited the script, composed and performed the music, provided the voiceover and was involved in every stage of the production.

The role of the Virtual School Head

The Virtual School Head is Keeley White. The Virtual School Head is the statutory lead (Children and Families Act 2014) within the local authority. They have responsibility for ensuring that arrangements are in place to improve educational experiences and outcomes of looked after children and young people. This includes those placed outside of the county.

The Ofsted inspection framework for local authority services to children in care has clear expectations of the information that will be available to inspectors. These expectations strongly influence both the organisation and work planning of the Virtual School.

Statutory responsibilities

  • Monitor attendance, track progress data and attainment for all Norfolk looked after children
  • Manage the DfE Pupil Premium Plus Grant Funding and ensure this is used effectively to improve outcomes 
  • Ensure that all children have an effective high quality Personal Education Plan (PEP), linking the allocation of Pupil Premium monies to PEP targets effectively
  • Monitor school admissions and ensure:
    • Children are placed in a school which best meets their needs
    • That challenges resulting from changes of care placement or school are reduced
  • Provide challenge where necessary and holds stakeholders to account
  • Regularly report on the attainment of looked after children, through the authority’s corporate parenting structure
  • Promote the importance of listening to and taking account of children’s wishes and feelings about their education

New duties in respect of previously looked after children

Statutory guidance for local authorities sets our new duties in respect of previously looked after children. This to promote their educational achievement by providing information and advice.  

Statutory guidance for designated teachers sets out the responsibilities for designated teachers in respect of previously looked after children.

For more information see our page on Support for previously looked after children.

The Adoption Support Fund

The Adoption Support Fund (ASF) provides funds to local authorities and regional adoption agencies (RAAs). These funds are to pay for therapeutic services for eligible adoptive and special guardianship order (SGO) families.

Services offered by the Virtual School for Looked After and Previously Looked After Children

  • Provision of training for:  
    • Schools, early years settings and Post 16 providers
    • Professional colleagues, for example social workers and foster carers
  • Support with and signposting to interventions and resources to improve learning
  • Advice, guidance and support to:
    • Schools, early years settings and Post 16 providers
    • Professional colleagues, for example social workers, foster carers
    • Children
  • Support and guidance for Personal Education Plans (PEPs)
  • Provision of out of school activities to support learning
  • Events that celebrate and recognise the achievements of children and young people


For wellbeing support please visit Just One Norfolk