School admissions (Virtual School)

How does my child get into a school?

As the local authority corporate parents we aim to access what we can, when we can, in the best possible provision to meet the needs of the individual child. Further information be found on the school admissions policies and reports web page.

Children in care receive top priority for a school place. If an in year admission is needed, a place will be arranged at the school most appropriate to the child's needs, in line with the protocol for the processing of in year admissions for children in care.

Transfer at usual times

Virtual School Education Support Workers (ESWs) will be aware of any pupils in Years 2 moving to a Junior or Primary School, and all pupils in Year 6 moving into secondary education, and should be involved in discussions regarding school choices along with the child's social worker and birth parents and relatives (where applicable).

  • Young people in care should be given the opportunity to visit a chosen school and college open days/evenings as any other children of their age.
  • Children in care should be enabled to access Early Years education from age two.
  • For those with an education, health and care plan (EHCP) the SEN team must also be involved in securing a place in a suitable educational setting.
  • School choices should be discussed in the personal education plan (PEP) reviews in the year before an application has to be made, for example in Year 5, for secondary school applications.

What happens if a child in my care needs to move school during the academic year?

  • After consultation, a Virtual School AHT will manage this process in the first instance. They will liaise with the chosen school and where necessary, a local authority school admissions team.
  • The process will start as soon as a need to move schools is identified by the social worker, however the aim should be to ensure there is no break in schooling. This is supported by statutory guidance and best practice.
  • Personal education plans should inform these choices (foster carers should have a current copy) as it is the most immediate, relevant information regarding the young person's education.

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