Dear Parent/Carer,

As parents or carers of previously looked-after children, our team can provide you with information and advice to promote the educational achievement of your child.  Our aim is to help you to confidently advocate for your child.  This advice includes support for parents of children who have been adopted, are the subject of a special guardianship order or are the subject of a child arrangement order.  It includes children who are in early years provision as well as children of compulsory school age.

In Barnsley, we are committed to working towards the best outcomes for our previously looked-after children.  We have a team of professionals in our Virtual School ready to offer information and advice.  They are:

Liz Gibson - Virtual School Head 

Alison Green - Education Advocate – Early Years to Year 1  (ages 2 to 7)

Karen Harkness - Education Advocate – Year 2 to Year 9  (ages 7 to 13)

Jude Cooper - Education Advocate – Year 10 to Year 12 and 16+ (ages 13 to 16+)

Our service is aimed at helping you to be the best advocate for your child’s education.  This may concern the following:

  • Choosing a school and the school admission process
  • Getting the best out of the Pupil Premium Grant
  • Encouraging good school attendance
  • Special educational needs and inclusion including the EHCP process
  • Behaviour and exclusion
  • Any other issue related to your child’s education

We work with the following teams:

Post Adoption Support Team 

A small team within Adoption known as Post Adoption Support (PAS), offer a consultation and referral system for families seeking support around interventions. The team are able to access post-adoption funding known as Adoption Support Funds (ASF), giving access to a range of therapies to support children and families. You can contact them for advice on 01226 775875 where you will be signposted to an adoption duty social worker.  Information about ASF can be found on the GOV.UK website.

Special Guardianship – Should you require information and support please contact 01226 775875 where you will be signposted to a specialist social worker (Louise Fisher).

Public Health Nursing Service 

When a child ceases to be in care they are transferred from the Children in Care Health Team back to the 0-19 Public Health Nursing Service. This service has 3 levels of care dependent on the child’s current health needs. 

A child/young person can move up and down levels when new health issues arise or when health issues are resolved. If you have concerns about your child’s health please contact the Single Point of Access (SPA) on 01226 774411. These support staff will ensure a Health Visitor or School Nurse receive a message to contact you and discuss your concerns.


If you feel you need practical help in advocating for your child, the following agencies/teams may be able offer more direct support:

  • Adoption UK - 01295 752240
  • Barnsley Post-Adoption Support Team - 01226 775875
  • Adopter Voice  
  • SENDIASS - 01226 787234
  • KIDS send Mediation Service - 03330062835

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