Translation disclaimer (Translation disclaimer)

This content has been translated by a computer program and may not be 100% accurate.

(This content has been translated by a computer program and may not be 100% accurate.)

Virtual school

Support for children who are looked after by Calderdale Council.

We want all children looked after to get the best education and support so they are:

  • successful learners;
  • positive citizens;
  • creative individuals;
  • and aspirational about their future.

We help schools and other educational settings provide positive, safe and understanding places. Also, where everyone makes sure that education is a positive aspect of each child's life.

How we can help your school

We can provide:

  • Liaison between your school and the social worker, carers, residential home and other key services.
  • Support and training specific to children looked after and their needs.
  • Advice on meeting the needs of children who have experienced attachment issues and developmental trauma.
  • Further support through Virtual school learning mentors.
  • Further and regular meetings ('Dream team' meetings). This includes key professionals to support the school when a child is struggling or in need of extra support.
  • Advice on how the Pupil premium plus can be spent most effectively.
  • Support for Designated teachers: training, networking and an annual conference.

What your school should do

  • Have a Designated teacher who:
    • knows all the children looked after and previously children looked after;
    • monitors their attainment and progress.
  • Work closely with the Virtual school. (Usually Calderdale Virtual school, though you may also have children from other local authorities).
  • Attend PEP (Personal education plan) meetings. These are usually held at school and should include someone who has an overview of the data and also knows the child.
  • Complete Termly target reviews. These help us to monitor the attainment and progress of each child and affects how the school receives Pupil premium plus for each child.
  • Spend the Pupil premium plus creatively to ensure the child benefits, with the money having a real impact on their academic success.
  • Know who are previously looked after children and how the Pupil premium plus is spent on them.

Previously children looked after

Our responsibilities include offering advice and guidance to schools, adoptive parents and other professionals on how to meet the needs of previously children looked after. This is on a general basis rather than on specific children. For support, please contact Rosalind Ryley:

One Adoption West Yorkshire (OAWY) is a regional agency that works on behalf of all five West Yorkshire local authorities. We work closely with them to establish an effective way to support schools with their responsibilities for adopted children. For advice and guidance on previously looked after children, contact Julie Pocklington (Practice development manager, Education):

Our aims

  • Place each child looked after in their local school.
  • Increase the number of schools we can place children in.
  • Place each child in a school that meets the individual needs of the child. This is more important than the Ofsted rating of a school, even if in special measures.
  • Help schools and practitioners understand attachment, relational trauma and loss and the importance of relationships.
  • Help schools and practitioners balance their understanding of the needs of the child against the need for appropriate challenge and consistent approach.
  • Be excellent communicators.
  • Help schools and services have a nurturing ethos where our children looked after feel looked after and understood.


  • No charge.

This is funded by the Council (to cover the statutory corporate parenting responsibilities of the Local Authority). We offer training to all schools and academies for designated teachers who are new to their statutory role.


Virtual School (for Children Looked After by Calderdale Council):

More information

Virtual School (Children who are Looked After). The Calderdale website has more details on the service. this includes the role of the designated teacher, personal education plans and other information.

Promoting the education of looked after children. Statutory guidance from the Department for Education to support looked after children's aspirations to achieve in further and higher education.

Designated teacher for looked after and previously looked after children: statutory guidance on their roles and responsibilities. This is about the duty of governing bodies of all maintained schools to appoint a designated teacher.

Webpage feedback

Was this page helpful? Rate this page helpful Rate this page unhelpful