Hi, my name's Jessie
Welcome to the Virtual School website.
I was five years old when I first came into care.
I’ve lived with my current foster carers for nine years. They're very supportive and caring. I go to secondary school in Barnsley and I've recently taken my GCSEs.
Sometimes, I need extra help in school and my carer needs advice on how to support me. It's great, because we can both get the support we need from the Virtual School.
About this website
If you're in care, this is a great place to start if you're looking for information.
You might want to find out about what happens when you first come into care. You can find out who can support you, what the Virtual School does, what your school's designated teacher does, what Personal Educational Plans are and anything else that you're not sure about.
This site is full of information to help you get the best out of your time at school. There's even something for foster carers and professionals too. If you were previously in care or are a parent or carer of a previously looked after child there are sections for you too.
What is a Virtual School?
The Virtual School isn't an actual school building with it's own pupils; it's the name for the group of professionals who are involved in supporting and providing education for Barnsley's children in care.
Children in care attend various schools across the borough. The Virtual School works with those schools to make sure our children in care receive a first class education. Together, they provide all the support they need to help them achieve their potential and go on to succeed in their adult lives.
The Virtual School also provides advice and guidance for parents and carers of previously looked after children.
Information for children in care
All children need some support to help them do well at school. If you're in care, you might need a little extra support to help bring out the best in you.
Information for designated teachers
Designated teachers promote the education of all children in care. They're responsible for making sure children get the support they need to get the best out of their time at school.
Information for foster carers
It's important that you play an active role in the education of the children in your care and build positive relationships with their school.
Information for social workers
Social workers work with other professionals to make sure children in care are safe and well cared for, and that they get the education and healthcare they need.
Information for parents and carers of previously looked after children
We want to support you and your child with their education, helping them to make the most of their studies and succeed at school.
Something to shout about? Let's celebrate
We know that children in our care do some amazing stuff so we're going to shout about it here. Whatever you've achieved, big or small, we want to recognise and celebrate it.
70 strategies supporting young people
Read our resilience-based toolkit to help looked after and previously looked after children and young people succeed in schools and education settings.