We provide extra support through:
- our virtual learning environments
- our Surrey Liftoff project
- our access to education team
- our educational psychologists
- our Gypsy and Traveller support work
- our physical and sensory support team.
There are also ways in which parents can give extra help to their children at school.
Virtual learning environment
Most schools have a virtual learning environment (VLE), a way of accessing learning online in a variety of environments – at school, at home and on the move.
A VLE aims to:
- promote independence
- encourage learners to collaborate and feedback to each other
- provide an environment that appeals to our learners who are then more engaged in the learning process
- provide a place where staff can access others' expertise
- share resources and help schools communicate as a community.
VLEs provide opportunities for parents and carers to become involved in their child's educational life, for example, by being consulted on school issues or generally being involved in their children's day-to-day activities. Some VLEs allow students, staff, parents and carers to take part in live group lessons through any web-enabled devices. VLEs can also be particularly useful for vulnerable pupils who need extra encouragement and support in their learning.
A VLE also lets pupils experience and explore safe and responsible online behaviour in a protected, recorded and monitored environment.
Surrey's Virtual School has a VLE called Frog for our looked after children. If you are a child in our care or a carer, you can use it to keep in touch with your Virtual School assistant headteacher in a safe and secure way and access a wide variety of learning materials.
Surrey Liftoff project
This is an online learning project developed for key stage 4 students who are not attending school and are hard to reach and engage.
- individually negotiated timetables, structure and guidance through online courses and feedback from specialist teachers
- qualifications from recognised bodies, functional skills maths and English and the chance to work for maths, English and science GCSEs
- literacy and numeracy assessments geared to producing tailored and interactive learning
- care and support from the team alongside work experience and occasional targeted group activities.
Access to education
The access to education (A2E) non-medical service offers educational provision up to 25 hours a week short-term for young people who through exceptional circumstances cannot attend school. A highly personalised service, it is made up of academic, teaching, emotional, behavioural and social development work, mentoring and access to a virtual learning environment and other tailored elements. A2E medical service provides similar support for pupils who cannot attend school for medical reasons.
Our qualified educational psychologists work with you and your child's teachers to help if your child (pre-school or school age) is having difficulties with:
- their learning and general development, including reading, writing, maths and communication skills
- behaviour and managing their emotions
- making relationships with other children and adults.
Educational psychologists may work with teachers, groups of children or individually with your child, but only after we have sought your permission. They also work with schools to provide support in more general areas including behaviour management and teaching methods. Our educational psychology team has produced guidance you may find useful.
If you are concerned about your child's progress, first speak with your school's special educational needs co-ordinator.
Gypsy and Traveller support work
Our county-wide Traveller education support team helps Traveller families find places for their children at Surrey schools. The team also works to achieve the following for children and young people from Traveller families:
- equal and unhindered access to education
- development and learning opportunities along with improvements in their achievements
- support and welcome from schools and other organisations through provision of resources to them
- an end to discrimination
- the recognition and valuing of the culture and lifestyle of Traveller communities.
If you are a Traveller parent living in Surrey you can contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 01737 737783 or 01483 519230.
Physical and Sensory Support
Physical and Sensory Support (PSS), uses specialist knowledge to support children and young people with physical, hearing, vision and multi-sensory impairment (dual impairment of vision and hearing) from the ages of 0 to 25 years of age who meet our criteria for involvement. Our Post 16 team support young people from 16 years onwards in Further and Higher Education.
PSS promotes educational achievement and social/emotional development for children and young people with vision, hearing or physical needs. To achieve this we give specialist advice and support, and provide training to children and young people, parents, schools and settings and work closely together with other organisations. If you would like to contact Physical and Sensory Support please see our key contacts page.